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Zhejiang makes easy access for all a priority

Updated: 2021-12-06 08:48 ( China Daily )
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A visitor makes use of a bench in a pedestrian area in Hangzhou, part of a renovation project which architect Xue Feng took charge of in 2019.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The city of Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province opened its first barrier-free swimming pool in November.

With the help of volunteer coaches, the physically challenged can sit on an automated pool lift before a mechanical arm helps them get into the water.

Swimmers will need to wear lifesaving inflatable arm bands.

Because of the range of muscles used in swimming, the activity is highly recommended for physical rehabilitation.

Hangzhou's measures for construction and management of a barrier-free environment were put into effect on Oct 1, replacing a previous version launched in 2004.

The measures aim to guarantee equal opportunities for the physically challenged, elderly, pregnant, children and other special groups of people, to participate in social life.

The new document calls attention to the need of the physically challenged and elderly people to be integrated into the information society, where new technologies are comprehensively applied.

It requires technological support and corresponding instruction for such groups of people, in order to help them go out independently, communicate with others smoothly and to conveniently participate in public affairs. While smart services are popular, necessary analog services should also be kept, it states.

The city of Jiaxing in Zhejiang released its urban design guidelines to build a barrier-free environment that especially benefits people with physical challenges and the older generation on Sept 17.

The guidelines provide a systematic standard for planning and design of barrier-free environment construction, Zhuo Weiming, deputy director of the standing committee of Jiaxing city's People's Congress, said at the launch.

At present, barrier-free facilities are available in the city's major venues, like the train station, revolutionary memorial museum and the Communist Party of China service center.

And the city will implement standardized barrier-free facilities into new public utilities, commercial outlets and residential communities, as well as strengthening management and supervision throughout the process of design, construction and final acceptance testing.

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