Intra-urban daily mobility of disabled people for recreational and leisure purposesIntra-urban daily mobility of disabled people for recreational and leisure purposes
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This paper presents findings from an empirical study of everyday trips made within urban space by disabled but working people, for recreational and leisure purposes. The study was conducted in the city of Bydgoszcz, Poland, while the subsequent analysis is based on the authors’ inventory of selected public buildings and interviews. 450 individuals with disabilities, plus 150 non-disabled members of the same households, were sampled and surveyed across the city. The results indicate that, in general, there are great differences between people with disabilities and their able-bodied counterparts. Disabled inhabitants choose forms of recreation not involving substantial financial inputs. As fares, availability and accessibility have the strongest impact on leisure activities, the preferred forms of recreation among disabled people are meetings with relatives and friends, the spending of free time at home or on an allotment, or walking. The biggest differences in behaviour between the two categories of respondent are in turn found to arise in the case of participation in sporting activities. In-depth research into the accessibility of recreation sites shows that some areas (such as the city centre) are mainly chosen by persons without serious mobility problems. Disabled people with a lower level of mobility (needing to use walking sticks, crutches, or wheelchairs) choose the attractive outskirts of the city where the opportunity for open-air recreation exists, or else spend their free time visiting relatives and friends. This attests to availability to some extent determining the spatial behaviour of persons with disabilities.
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