High levels of quality for built environments that meet the needs of the largest segments of population can be achieved by enhancing their accessibility, seen as the attitude of places, goods and services to be identifiable, approachable, understandable and usable autonomously by all. Despite an abounding framework of standards and regulations, places don't always reach a satisfying accessibility degree being, in fact, full of physical and perceptive obstacles. The “culture” of Universal Design has not yet been able to substantially modify the processes of planning and designing the habitat transformation; this calls for shifting the action from the mere compliance with regulation to the implementation of strategies for environmental regeneration. The effectiveness of projects that achieve the highest accessibility degree cannot be separated from the ability to involve all the stakeholders in the decision making process, hence including end users. Consistent policies at different scales and the development of actions with a strategic value can be adopted to meet the vision, such as the planning of interventions guided by appropriate operational tools. The paper refers to the experience carried out in Italy by some municipalities which developed “Accessibility Plan” as planning tool and “Accessibility Lab” as its operational body.
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