Development of a Universal Design-Based Guide for Handrails : An Empirical Study for Hong Kong Elderly

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Original languageEnglish
Article number4233
Journal / PublicationSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Online published16 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018



An important and basic strategy for facilitating the inclusion and daily life of elderly in accordance with those living in public rental housing buildings is to allow their circulation to be barrier-free and self-supported. Therefore, the provision of a handrail guide could improve their living standard. This paper develops a universal design guide for handrails focusing on the needs of elderly. Fifteen routes with mostly elderly were selected and targeted for evaluating the existing problems with handrail provision. Surveys and informal interviews with elderly, adults, and children were also conducted to further investigate their needs, their ease of existing facilities, and possible future implementation to improve their ease. From the survey results, it was found that most of the existing problems with handrail layouts exist within the community. In addition to standardizing, modifying, and suggesting the ideas on handrail design and layout, the promotion of the ideas from universal design was the emphasis on this investigation in order to make a barrier-free city into a barrier-free but universal community for a better international city. The guide focuses on the standardization of synthetization of the scope in terms of design and layout. Simultaneously, an advanced part of design also regards the improvement of technological, environmental, and self-support features to improve Hong Kong's international friendliness with tailor-made ideas such as Elderlysteady.

Research Area(s)

  • Barrier-free handrail, Elderly, Hong Kong, Risk-free handrail, Universal design guide

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