In cities worldwide, mobility and sidewalks are key to better outcomes for persons with disabilities. They are needed for accessing critical services, getting an education, strengthening economic security, expanding social inclusion, and exercising human and civil rights. But today cities and sidewalks are failing pedestrians with disabilities. Persons with disabilities do not have detailed, accurate, information needed to identify and choose trips that are safe, accessible, and appropriate for their individual and even their changing needs. G3ict, through its Smart Cities for All global initiative, is partnering with the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology (TCAT) at the University of Washington and with cities worldwide to create a new reality.
The AI for Inclusive Urban Sidewalks project is a collaboration of G3ict and TCAT with support of Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility program. The project addresses one of the biggest challenges facing persons with disabilities in cities worldwide – the accessibility of sidewalks and barriers to mobility. Through the AI for Inclusive Urban Sidewalks project, G3ict and TCAT are bringing to cities in multiple countries the OpenSidewalks accessibility open data standard and the AccessMap personalized pedestrian routing tool.
The AI for Inclusive Urban Sidewalks project, through TCAT’s innovative and proven civic technology solutions, is creating rich and open datasets describing the accessibility features (e.g. incline, size of curbs, existence of curb cuts, existence of obstacles like fire hydrants, etc.) of thousands of miles of city sidewalks. The project is deploying solutions that allow individuals and city governments to make important personal and even public policy decisions about mobility using that unique and robust sidewalk accessibility data.
Currently, G3ict and the Taskar center are partnering with five leading cities across the Americas - Sao Paulo (Brazil), Los Angeles (US), Quito (Ecuador), Gran Valparaiso and Santiago (Chile) to bring the unique OpenSidewalks data and robust AccessMap routing tool to persons with disabilities, civic organizations, and city government agencies.
The AI for Inclusive Urban Sidewalks project is working with experts, leaders, and community members in all five cities to standardize multiple sources of data and use AI to describe the accessibility of sidewalks across city neighborhoods. Along with creating the unique datasets for each city, G3ict and TCAT are building strong local communities that will sustain and guide these inclusive mobility and accessible sidewalk efforts moving forward. These critical communities in each city include not only government leaders, but also the open data community, the GIS/mapping community, technology innovators, early technology adopters, university student groups (both with GIS interests and accessibility interests), civic tech organizations, and disability advocacy groups etc.
If your city or organization is interested in leveraging leading-edge technologies and data to improve sidewalks and mobility in your city, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org