The blog of the Young Academics of the Association of the European Schools of Planning

Against doorknobs (and beyond)

The website Changing London has an article by Will Horwitz that makes me think about how small things may be changing our cities.

The city of Vancouver has recently banned doorknobs. Yes, doorknobs. New housing developments are required to install levers on doors, instead. When I read the title, I wondered, why on hearth? The point is that I am a young, healthy person. But one day I'll be old. And I may develop arthritis, and doorknobs may make my life harder than levers.

Doorknobs may be “unnecessary, sometimes crippling, hindrance[s] to everyday life” (from the article).

Now I am sure there's a multitude of small, apparently obvious things (for a young and healthy person) that may represent “unnecessary, sometimes crippling, hindrances” to some-persons' everyday lives.

Will Horwitz tells us how there's both a lot of these hindrances and a lot of small initiatives going on with the aim of fighting them.

Also time matters, and the story of the “gang of pensioners” from the Flushing (Queens, New York) Korean community that have been fighting for spending more time at McDonalds when they have their meals, is revealing. The fast-food wants people to eat... fast, so they leave benches to further customers. The “pensioners gang” need more time, and find McDonalds as the only place where to socialise without spending too much (blessed European cities!). As a result, the manager of the restaurant has been calling 911 several times, with the results we all can imagine.

Ok, whatever we think about McDonalds, it may be not a problem for young, healthy persons to ingest their meals in 20 minutes (no, as a Southern European, I cannot talk about enjoying a meal, in 20 minutes!). But 20 minutes may just not be enough for elderlies.

And contemporary Western cities, are cities of elderlies, every day more and more. And, as planners, as young planners, we have a responsibility on engaging with this issue.

Both around big masterplans and small everyday things.

(Simone Tulumello)

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Savage Minds, the blog
Kyle Grayson on the journal research article

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, 28 September 2023