Built morphology – form and structure of the worldPhysical (buildings, sidewalks, parks)Social (significance, meanings, influence)Groundwork of life experienceHidden workLandscapes are not given, they are created“Authored text” that can be read, interpreted, and obeyedNot fixed, always being maintained, reproduced, challenged, and changed
Social values instilled into landscapeIterative reinforcing relationship between built form and meaningsSymbology and valueLandscapes as a function of powerCreates categories of exclusionDefines proper behavior and Determines the “conditions of possibility”Landscapes are not static, they are active, they “do”
Our bodies interact and respond to landscapeDisabling landscapes create disabling situationsHealthy enablers vs. healthy inhibitorsPhysical accessAvailable servicesCost
Introduction and The Socio-Spatial Creation of Disability
The Construction of
Disability & Health:
The Role of Spaces & Places
APHA Disability Section
Chair’s Forum 2013
Welcome and Introduction
RTC: Rural at the University of
RTC: Community Living at the
University of Kansas
Social Dimensions of Health
Institute at the University of
The Lurie Institute for
Disability Policy at Brandeis
• People with disabilities have recognized the role of the
environment in disability experience for decades.
• This awareness has continued to grow among researchers
and policy makers since publication of the ICF.
• The focus is usually on accessibility of places and equal
opportunity for participation in society.
• Geographers have examined various aspects of the
environment for decades.
• Far beyond the creation of maps, they investigate how
people and place interact.
• They recognize that people create place even as they
themselves are created by place.
• This line of inquiry pushes the disability, accessibility and
universal design paradigms.
The Socio-spatial creation of
Beyond “Special places for special
Integration versus Inclusion
Social dimensions of health
Social Exclusion and
Disabling spaces of the home
Healthy homes in tribal
Virtual Space & Social Media
Five slides in Five minutes with Five minutes of discussion.
Wrap up with 30 minutes of discussion across topics.
The Socio-Spatial Creation
“They [landscapes] are read and
struggled over because the meanings
attached to landscapes, working
together with the landscape’s built
form, establish the ‘conditions of
possibility’ for how people live in
~ Don Mitchell 2005
Landscapes: The Groundwork of Life
• Physical (streets, buildings)
• Cultural (significance, affect)
• Landscapes are not given, they are
• A text that can be
read, interpreted, and obeyed
• Not fixed, always in flux and active
Power in Landscapes
Social values are instilled into
• Landscapes as a function of
• Categories of exclusion
• Proper behavior
• “Conditions of possibility”
Creating a Disabling Situation
“If we are to understand disability and the experiences of
disabled people we must deconstruct the landscapes of
power and exclusion, and the geographies of domination
and resistance.” ~ Rob Kitchin, 1998
For Your Consideration
• What meanings and values do our landscapes
• How might landscapes contribute to and sustain
the dominant power?
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