[MLIT] Architectural Design Standards Facilitating Accessibility (Follow-up Meeting Held)

On 1 October 2021, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) held a follow-up meeting on Architectural Design Standards bearing in mind the smooth mobility of the elderly and persons with disabilities ("Design Standards"). The purpose of the meeting was to share information and exchange opinions with academia and related organizations to check and continually improve the Design Standards.

On the day of the meeting, the secretariat explained the meeting’s purpose, the outline of the Barrier-Free Act, the barrier-free ordinances by local governments, the efforts towards the creation of accessible buildings made by various entities, such as the Housing Bureau of the MLIT, related ministries, local governments, and industry groups. There was a briefing on good and advanced examples of accessible buildings and the direction of future discussions, followed by an exchange of opinions.

The direction of the discussion presented was as follows:

  • Review of the Design Standards
  • Collecting excellent and advanced examples of accessible buildings, and enhancing design and practices to be added to the Design Standards
  • Share new ideas and practices that should be introduced  towards a more accessible built environment based on the needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities.

(Example of discussion)

  • Adding new design standards, good design examples, reference literature, etc.
  • Taking soft measures to supplement hardware to add to the list of excellent and advanced examples
  • Adding buildings to the list of excellent practices that involved people with disabilities in the design phase.
  • Promote awareness and understanding of the Design Standards
  • Promoting awareness and understanding of the Design Standards towards a high level of barrier-free access throughout Japan

(Example of discussion)

  • An analysis on how to reflect the Design Standards in local government ordinances and manuals.
  • How to promote understanding of the Design Standards through collaboration with businesses and relevant ministries.

The committee consists of 5 from academia, 10 organizations of the elderly and persons with disabilities, 14 business organizations, 6 building-related organizations, 4 local governments, and 17 observers from various ministries and agencies.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held in January or February 2022.

For more information, please visit the website below.