The fabric of our cities is shaped by millions of small decisions and adaptations, many of which have become integral to our experience. Nowadays taken for granted, some of these elements were revolutionary at the time of their implementation. One such element is the curb cut, the small ramp grading down the sidewalk to connect it to the adjoining street, allowing wheelchair users and people with motor disabilities to easily move onto and off the sidewalk. This seemingly small adaptation has proven to be unexpectedly useful for a wider range of people, including parents with strollers, cyclists, delivery workers, etc. Consequently, it lends its name to a wider phenomenon, the “curb cut effect”, where accommodations and improvements made for a minority end up benefiting a much larger population in expected and unexpected ways.

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