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RUNNING FROM THE DDA

ASTRAGAL IN VENICE

Astragal has returned to Venice for the second time in under two months. This time he went not for the biennale but for the RIBA Conference. And he was surprised on this visit to see that the water-logged city appears to be moving towards DDA compliance. Along the Riva degli Schiavoni, the main drag leading to the biennale sites, makeshift-looking ramps of scaffold poles and boarding had sprung up on the many stepped bridges that make Venice so impossible to navigate for the wheelchair user. Had the authorities been shamed by the intervention of Jeremy Till at the British Pavilion, sending all visitors round to the back entrance, perhaps because it was the only route the disabled are free to use? Not at all - apparently the ramps had been erected for a recent marathon, a concession to the super-abled rather than the disabled.

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