Accessibility & Universal Design

An accessible and user-friendly built environment is an enabler for people to get to education, to work or to social life, and it plays an important role in building an inclusive society. 

Image of child in pram and elderly in wheelchair in a shopping mall

What is Accessibility and Universal Design?

Universal Design (UD) refers to “design-for-all”.  It is the design of products and environment to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design.

Barrier-free ramps, braille and tactile signage, elderly-friendly toilets and lactation rooms are examples of accessible and universal design features that caters to a diverse group of visitors such as persons with disability (PWDs), families with young children and elderly.  

Image of a wheelchair-user chatting

Making our Built Environment more accessible and user-friendly

We have put in place different initiatives and collaboration to make our built environment more accessible and user-friendly. Find out more below.

Partnering the Community and Stakeholders

Accessible City Network

We have been working closely with the community and other government agencies to collectively identify issues, prioritise and co-create solutions to enhance the accessibility of public spaces. There are currently community partnerships in the Raffles Place precinct and Boon Lay, with another partnership in Nee Soon to be set up.

We invite interested members of the public to join us on this collaborative effort to make Singapore a more accessible and inclusive city. 

Images of members of Accessible City Network in site audit walks and co-solutioning workshops.

Accelerating Adoption of UD in our Built Environment

To advance the adoption of UD in our buildings, BCA has a suite of initiatives such as guides, self-help tool, courses and funding support to assist architects, developers and building owners in making their buildings more user-friendly. 

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Since the introduction of the Code on Barrier-Free Accessibility in Buildings, all buildings built after 1990 and existing buildings that undertake addition and alternations (A&A) works are required to ensure that the building can be accessed by persons with disabilities, including wheelchair users, such as the provision of accessible entrances and toilets. Learn more about the code here.

User-friendly Buildings 

To encourage the industry to adopt UD in building design, we introduced the UD index self-assessment framework (UDi) for building professionals to obtain an indicative user-friendly rating for their building projects. Projects which have achieved exemplary universal design implementation are awarded the BCA UD Excellence Award.

Images of user-friendly features in projects that were awarded the Universal Design Excellence Award 2022.

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