Inclusive Schools And Urban Space Diversity: Universal Design Strategies In Use

Erkılıç, Mualla
Valuing differences in terms of celebrating ‘diversity’ is becoming a central theme in social life and needs to be examined to demystify its overall meaning and its considerations in an urban context. Social diversity is a concept embedded in the idea of social ‘inclusion’ and means more than simply uniting diverse people but rather promoting room for differences and providing equal opportunities for diverse individuals. This paper aims to refer and exemplify the possibilities of ‘urban space diversity’ as a spatial formation that can be realized through Young’s (1990) ‘multiuse differentiation of spaces’ in urban life. The spatial peculiarities of Inclusive Education (IE) in this context will be seen as an example of ‘multiuse differentiation of urban space diversity’ due to its premise of providing equal opportunities to students with diverse abilities. Universal Design (UD), which seeks social inclusion through design and is based on the idea of design for diverse users, will be used as a tool to provide multiuse differentiation of the IE physical environment while promoting spaces for urban diversity. This paper aims to discover the potential architectural means of ‘multiuse differentiation of diversity of spaces’ in Inclusive Educational environments with the help of the UD paradigm that emphasizes the significance of the diversity of usability while addressing (a) diversity of users, integrating students with different abilities; (b) diversity of facilities, making educational and non-educational facilities available to diverse users; (c) diversity of spaces, enriching the type and quality of spaces by providing ‘flexible’, ‘intuitive’, ‘perceptible’, ‘accessible’ as well as ‘safe’, ‘tolerable’, and ‘well-dimensioned’ spaces for diverse users. It is underlined that inclusive school environments as a form of urban space diversity, differentiated and diversified by means of the principles of UD, can be considered as a catalyst for social inclusion via diversity in an urban context.


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Citation Formats
M. Erkılıç, “Inclusive Schools And Urban Space Diversity: Universal Design Strategies In Use,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 193–206, 2012, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: