Title: Assessing the social and physical walkability of interior public places: the uses of para-public spaces as third spaces by people with disabilities

Authors: Alexander Katsanis; Tiiu Poldma

Addresses: Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Montreal, H3S 1M9, Canada ' Faculty of Environmental Design, School of Design, University of Montreal/CRIR, Montreal, H3S 1M9, Canada

Abstract: This paper presents the results of a study examining the social and physical walkability of a commercial mall that acts as an accessible space where people congregate, and where positive and negative social relations occur spontaneously. In the context of this study, walkability is understood through the lens of the idea of para-public places, and how such spaces generate social activities. The mall is contextualised through Ray Oldenburg's idea of third places. This exploratory study was conducted in a recently renovated mall, Alexis Nihon, where researchers had previously completed projects within the context of a Living Lab (RehabMALL).

Keywords: walkability; universal design; interior spaces; para-public malls; mixed methods design research.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2021.10040927

Journal of Design Research, 2020 Vol.18 No.5/6, pp.249 - 269

Received: 31 Aug 2020
Accepted: 26 Apr 2021

Published online: 02 Nov 2021 *

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