“When you book a hotel and want an accessible room, you need to really know what that means and if it will meet your needs,” Wandke said.
But the travel industry is not set up to do this. Not only are websites often ill-equipped to allow people to select rooms that meet specific physical requirements, even when customers call, hotel staff frequently don’t know what their facility has to offer or they might provide misinformation.
Wandke and Flint are hoping to solve this problem. They’re working on a website called AbiliTrek that allows travelers to find and book rooms that meet specific needs for mobility, hearing or visual challenges. They’re using crowdsourcing to build a database of reviews focused on accessibility. AbiliTrek will also call hotels to help people find suitable rooms…. Read More
Airbnb is part of something called the sharing economy, an evolving system in which people who own certain things, like homes or cars, rent them out to others when they are not using them. In many cases, travelers can save a significant amount of money by staying at an Airbnb host’s property rather than at a hotel. Uber is another company that is part of the sharing economy. Drivers use their own vehicles to drive people around town. Despite Uber’s sometimes lax regulations and harassment and discrimination scandals, people still love using it and other services like it because of their lower prices and the ease of summoning a vehicle. Read More
Our daily lives have changed radically in recent years thanks to new technology. But… how have people with physical or intellectual disabilities benefitted from this change? Experts believe technology hasn’t permeated society equally. Services have been developed that allow the rest of the citizens to be more involved through digital management of many spheres of community life, but people with disabilities still have many needs that have not yet benefitted from this. These may, paradoxically, set up new barriers in developed societies…. Read More
Cities need to make better use of resources and become more efficient: Policies, regulation, citizen involvement and standards are all key components needed to build a viable Smart City. While all are important, in a path towards smarter cities, standardization will play a key role in ensuring consistent outcomes. Standards are relevant in the physical world, where they allow for the interconnection of hardware and technologies, but also in the virtual space where they facilitate data collection/sharing as well as city operation…. Read More
This article aims to educate and challenge current thought leadership and emerging policies concerning the development of our Smart Cities, and the design and deployment of digital technologies and their impact on citizen wellbeing. We want to ensure that future Infrastructure and Smart City solutions serve the needs of all sectors of society; including people living with sensory loss, older people, people with physical disability, and people with learning disabilities. These sectors of society are so often forgotten and have struggled for years in a world defined by a legacy of Victorian infrastructure; as we move to the next great era of technology innovation, our policies and standards for city design and infrastructure investment need to proactively champion inclusivity for everyone.
Inclusion for all sectors of society surely has to be an important metric to attain ‘Smart City’ status…. Read More
As digital data becomes a key resource to build sustainable cities, all urban stakeholders need to adapt. Development actors must step up efforts to integrate this new paradigm and broker impactful and inclusive partnerships around urban data, write AFD’s Gwenael Prie and Pierre-Arnaud Barthel in this guest column.
Inclusiveness is another key element of smart city, according to Philippe Orliange, director of strategy, partnerships, and communication at the French development agency, Agence Française de Développement.
“Smart cities are about changing the fabric of urban policy so that citizens are involved in the design of the city, so that policies address real needs, and are socially inclusive,” he said…. Read More
Help municipalities build #inclusion #SmartCities by using 3-D modeling tools that show the diversity of citizens, including seniors & people with disabilities. Read More
As we’ve previously reported, making our cities smarter and more inclusive will become increasingly important in the next decades.
“Current projections are that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, and with an ageing population comes higher levels of ill-health, impairment and disability.
“Futurists, tech visionaries and urban stakeholders have been talking about ‘smart cities’ for a number of years …and they could transform the lives of those with disabilities,” said Robin Christopherson, AbilityNet’s head of digital inclusion.
But, at a Smart Cities NYC conference in New York last month, there was concern that mobile apps, government services and other smart city tools aren’t properly incorporating the needs of disabled people. Read More
For ICLEI, Smart Cities are the ones that look at the big picture, using resource efficiency and technological progress as well as taking overall urban governance into account to achieve a wider vision of sustainable cities and communities. This balanced approach ensures that the adoption of smart solutions in cities is people-focused, benefits urban citizens and ultimately leads to a safe, inclusive and sustainable future…. Read More
Like many other fast-growing urban centers, my hometown of Austin, TX has reached a historic tipping point triggered by Austin’s rapid urbanization. Austin City Leadership recognizes it must engage in vastly new approaches to adjust and calibrate to social and economic challenges amplified by the lightning speed of technical and industrial advances. To address these challenges, Austin is taking a big leap into the Smart City pond. Read More
The key to successful smart cities is addressing the current and future needs of every citizen. This is especially important for those who are aging or have disabilities. Inclusiveness should be at the forefront of every smart city strategy. The lens of design for inclusion is critical to make certain the promise of smart cities helps close the digital divide, rather than widen the gap. Moreover, cities are networks of diverse individuals and people who are aging and living with disabilities are integral to these networks—along with their families, neighbors and caregivers.
What’s the blueprint for building a smart, inclusive city? AT&T compiled insights and proposed guidelines in a new white paper, “Smart Cities for All: A Vision for an Inclusive, Accessible Urban Future.” Read More
As cities embrace a future permeated by technology, local leaders must continually reassert and revisit community values, while ensuring these values are the foundation of new plans, policies, and programs.
This is particularly true in the areas of infrastructure, public safety and economic development, which are consistently identified as top issues of concern for city officials.
NLC’s latest report, “The Future of Equity in Cities” takes these core issues and forecasts the opportunities and challenges to come in the near-term, and further out in 2030. Our findings include…. Read More
A new research report from the National League of Cities urges cities to carefully examine equity among all residents as they modernize and add technological advances. The Future of Equity in Cities cautions that widening gaps between the rich and the poor, and among races, is creating a growing social and economic divide that could de-stabilize cities. Read More
The report addresses the topics of economic development, infrastructure and public safety to identify upcoming equity challenges and opportunities for cities.
Although the report points out that cities’ diversity is increasing, it also indicates that the different groups are becoming more segregated….
Like every year, December 3 will be a United Nations sanctioned International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). The aim is to increase public awareness of the conditions of disabled people and, at the same time, to celebrate their achievements and contributions. IDPwD has been supported by the Australian Government since 1996 and today it’s celebrated all around the world.
This year’s theme is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”, which draws attention to how people with disability are excluded from society due to several types of barriers, including physical, information and communications technology (ICT) or attitudinal barriers.
In Europe there are almost 80 million people with mild or severe disabilities, either temporary or permanent. A real “intelligent” city must always strive for equitable and affordable access to social infrastructure for all, including disabled people. Read More
As a peaceful society, Sweden can be assessed to fulfil a number of the targets, for example, as regards effective and transparent institutions with accountability at all levels, the provision of legal identity, including birth registration, for all and ensuring public access to information and protecting fundamental liberties, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements. In October 2016, the Government submitted a communication to the Riksdag containing its strategy for the national work on human rights. In this communication, the Government makes the assessment that a national institution for human rights in accordance with the Paris Principles should be established and that this institution should be under the Riksdag. Read More
Marcy Sutton – November 20, 2017 Earlier this year, Microsoft debuted their Sonar project, dubbed a “linting tool for the web”. Sonar encourages developers to test for accessibility early in the development process using Deque’s axe-core library under the hood, in addition to rules for interoperability, security, and performance. We’re thrilled to see our work leveraged in open source projects… Read More
On November 1, 2017, the DIAUD Network held another successful meeting in preparation for the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9), which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next February. Members provided information about their planned representation and contributions at the Forum and were also able to collaborate in planning logistics for various events and meetings that will be taking place. The discussion was led by Federico Batista Poitier, Executive Assistant to the President and Communications Coordinator for Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) outlining the side events under consideration by GAATES and World Enabled for WUF9…. Read More
20th September, Barcelona – Under the theme, Empower Cities, Empower people, the 2017 edition of Smart City Expo World Congress (#SCEWC17) took place this month in Barcelona. UN-Habitat signed an agreement with the event organizers through which the programme will become a strategic partner in this and future editions of the global event.
For UN-Habitat, this partnership is an opportunity to promote urbanization as a tool for development in the framework of the New Urban Agenda and the Agenda 2030. The 2017 edition of the Congress, held from 14th – 16th November, attracted over 18,000 participants with 700 cities representatives and 420 international experts…. Read More
Central to transforming Moscow into a smart city are its citizen engagement platforms. The Moscow online portal features three key services that residents can use to engage and communicate with their government.
The first is Our City, an online complaints system that’s accessible either through the web or the mobile app. Citizens can send complaints if they notice anything awry in their community. For instance, if garbage collectors have been amiss picking up trash regularly, citizens can report the issue using the portal. The concerned citizen will then get a reply within seven days. If the issue is readily actionable, the system will also inform the sender with the resolution. The system has over a million users and has solved nearly two million complaints…. Read More
At eBay, we take digital accessibility very seriously. We strive to create a company culture that promotes it and focuses on action.
In my last guest post, I discussed what digital accessibility actually means to your brand. Digital accessibility is a way to improve your bottom line and avoid litigation, but more importantly it is a way for a brand to become an even better version of itse
Now I want to provide some actionable steps that can be taken within your company to promote accessible designs and help establish digital accessibility as a priority…. Read More