Barrier-Free Venue

Proposal on Barrier-Free Design Standards for Facilities at the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan

Barrier-Free Exploratory Committee, Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan
Chair Tadahiro Soda

The venue for the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan-both the Kaisho Area and the Youth Park Area-is composed of rolling hills. In order to allow the maximum number of visitors to comfortably enjoy EXPO 2005, either major alterations to landforms or large-scale construction are necessary. At the same time, the venue is a rich natural environment that contains a variety of living creatures, including rare species, so it is also necessary to hold the impact on greenery, habitats, and landforms to the minimum.

Under these conditions, it is necessary to construct the venue in a way that will allow as many visitors as possible to safely and comfortable enjoy themselves, and priority has been placed on making it a place that can also be enjoyed by people who have limited opportunities to venture outside because of various barriers.

The following is a proposal for making the venue barrier-free based on the above considerations.

1. Barrier-Free Main Street

The basic plan calls for the construction of a Global Loop, an elevated corridor in the Youth Park Area, which will be the focus of events. The Global Loop will link major facilities, including each of the Gates, all six of the Global Commons (the zones that will hold the pavilions of official participants), and the Corporate Pavilion Zones. This will be a barrier-free main street that greatly reduces the need for vertical movement, ensuring safe and comfortable access for visitors. Measures will be taken so that all visitors can move about smoothly and freely, especially on the Global Loop and in the Global Commons. At key points along the Global Loop where vertical movement is necessary, stairs, elevators, and escalators will be set up to ensure that the diverse visitors are able to move about without hindrance.

2. Barrier-Free Construction of Facilities

(1) Venue Facilities

Facilities that will be barrier-free

  1. Buildings
    Exhibition spaces, meeting places, event spaces, restaurants and shops, facilities offering banking and other services, postal and other public facilities, information offices, ticket offices, clinics, and all other facilities that will be used by visitors
  2. Outdoor facilities and green areas within the venue
  3. Gates
  4. Terminals near the venue (including the parking area where visitors will change to the shuttle bus)

Facilities and Location That Consider Physical Scope

Entrances and exits of buildings, ticket gates, walkways, garden paths, corridors, stairs, slopes, toilets, spectator seats, elevators, guidance (signs), rest facilities, terminals, and parking spaces within terminals

  • Facilities that come under Aichi Prefecture's Municipal Ordinance 33, which promotes making cities easier on people, will comply with the standards expressed in the ordinance.
  • With regard to buildings, in addition to the Aichi Prefecture ordinance noted above, the guiding principles of the Act on Buildings Accessible and Usable by the Elderly and Physically Disabled (known popularly as the “Heart Building Law”), will be followed.
  • In addition to the above, the methods described in “Building Parks for Everyone” (put forth by the Parks and Greens Division of the City Bureau of the Ministry of Construction and the Parks and Open Spaces Association of Japan in 1999) will be considered and applied across as wide a variety of areas as possible in order to facilitate ease of use for all visitors.
  • While adequate consideration will be given to avoid damaging the environment in forest areas or other zones that require priority to be given to environmental protection, barrier-free infrastructure will be put in place, and appropriate human assistance will be provided as necessary to ensure accessibility. Additionally, even within the artificial environment created inside the venue, work will be conducted in a way that will allow the maximum possible respect for the nature currently there, as well as man-made green areas.

(2) Transportation Within the Venue

With regard to the various transportation systems within the venue, such as the gondola, Intelligent Multimode Transit System, and a tram, actions will be taken based on the “desired level” for ease of mobility under the Law for Promoting Easily Accessible Public Transportation Infrastructure for the Aged and the Disabled (also known as the “Barrier-Free Transportation Law”), and the necessary measures for realizing ease of movement will be considered and implemented.

(3) Transportation to the Venue, Including from Offsite Parking Lots

With regard to transportation systems linking the venue with such areas as offsite parking lots, actions will be taken based on the “desired level” for ease of mobility under the Barrier-Free Transportation Law, and necessary measures for realizing ease of movement will be considered and implemented.

(4) Display Methods, etc.

With regard to the display of exhibited items by the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition, methods of display that allow diverse visitors to easily understand and enjoy the exhibits will be considered and implemented. This includes the appropriate human assistance as necessary. The Association will also call on other exhibitors to give the same consideration to their display methods.

(5) An Easy-to-Understand Venue

In order to make the locations and ways of using the different places within the venue easy to understand, consideration will be given to ways of ensuring that all visitors can freely enjoy themselves without confusion, such as by providing appropriate signs concerning guidance, information, and regulations.

3. Working with Public Transportation Systems

In order to allow smooth access to the venue by a variety of means, the Association is actively calling for public transportation systems to implement measures that will bring them up to the “desired level” for ease of mobility under the Barrier-Free Transportation Law.

4. Response for Emergency Situations

With regard to the response in the case of a disaster, much of the venue depends on the Global Loop, an elevated structure, so it is necessary to address the matter with a sound system. It will also be important to have infrastructure that can properly receive information in the unlikely event of an emergency situation. While beginning the necessary study and research concerning the formation of an emergency-response system as soon as possible, the results obtained will be acted on quickly.

5. “Soft” Measures

The effort to make the venue barrier-free will integrate the responses of both “hard,” physical infrastructure and systems of “soft,” human assistance. A system will be created quickly that involves hard infrastructure to the greatest extent possible and appropriate human assistance for those areas that cannot otherwise be covered. Human resources will be secured and trained, resulting in a system that offers smooth operation and flexible responsiveness during the Expo.

6. Method of Proceeding

From the planning stage to the construction stage to the actual EXPO 2005, exchanges of opinions on barrier-free infrastructure will be held with experts and people who have a variety of needs. Making the process public will result in an even greater collection of wisdom, and efforts will proceed with the cooperation of an even broader spectrum of people.