PAMELA - the Pedestrian Accessibility Movement Environment Laboratory - is a modular platform that can be adjusted to simulate different surface profiles and types.
It consists of 36 modules (1.2m x 1.2m) with interchangeable surfaces. Each module can slope in any direction, up to a maximum of 20%. Street furniture, such as obstacles and amenities, can be arranged on the platform with carefully designed lighting to simulate conditions from daylight to darkness. Surround sound will also allow noises to be included - e.g. trains passing through stations, announcements etc.
PAMELA's flexibility enables us to test combinations of defined street environments and the range of capabilities of pedestrians and wheelchair and scooter users, and allows us to test existing and proposed street layouts.
We aim to provide a better understanding of how design details affect people's ability to move around the static environment. We work with urban designers, city planners, physio and occupational therapists, clinicians, clinical and medical researchers, geriatricians, neurologists, neuroscientists, psychology, architecture, biology, ophthalmology and orthopaedics so that we can begin to work out how to make the environment accessible for the population as a whole.