It may sound obvious to state that universities should be accessible. Of course, all education should take place in sites where everyone feels encouraged and able to participate, regardless of age, gender or background. However, there’s a more fundamental aspect to the term accessibility, but it’s one that is not always considered. This is the accessibility of a university’s built environment, and that is what UCL Try It! aimed to explore here in London.
On February 12th, Mapping for Change will be participating in a series of activities designed to raise awareness about access issues on the UCL campus.
Are you a wheelchair user, or someone who uses another type of mobility aid to get around? Will you help us out by sharing your expertise and experiences?
Here at Mapping for Change, we’ve been busy working on one of our current projects, My Accessible EU. This project aims to develop digital tools, such as mobile phone applications, that will enable people to collect and share information about accessibility in European cities. Part of this will involve the creation of applications to help plan journeys and navigate when on route. To ensure these tools are as beneficial as possible, we need insights and feedback from people like you!
After receiving £1000 funding in November, Mapping for Change called for up to four communities to conduct air quality monitoring work in their local area. Each community would undertake a month-long monitoring process during February 2015, placing plastic diffusion tubes in strategic areas to measure nitrogen dioxide levels.
This week, the Mapping for Change team have been busily preparing for our Wheelmap Mapping Parties! These events will coincide with UN Enable’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities – held annually on December 3rd.
For 2014, the UN have chosen ‘Sustainable Development: the Promise of Technology’ as a theme, to highlight the promises and limitations of technology that are experienced by people with disabilities. Technology has the power to bring far-reaching, positive change, and no groups should be excluded from this.
Given the technological scope of our ongoing project, My Accessible EU, the day seemed like an excellent opportunity to host a series of activities: et voila! The idea of a pan-European Mapping Party was born!
Here at Mapping for Change, we’ve been busy working on our latest project – the EU-funded My Accessible EU. Accessibility is a key issue in cities all over the world. However, for various reasons, plenty of people can often struggle to access services and facilities. These issues are likely to affect everyone at some point in their lives: as parents or carers with pushchairs, as wheelchair users, or more generally as people grow older and become less mobile. My Accessible EU hopes to raise awareness about these problems, and devise new tools and technologies which can help to make European cities more inclusive places for everyone.
Last Friday, Mapping for Change joined a group of residents at the Abbey Road Community Centre for their weekly coffee morning. The centre is situated on Belsize road, midway between Kilburn High Road and West Hampstead Overground stations. We were welcomed to their garden room with coffee and custard creams, and spent a couple of hours nibbling away, and discussing people’s experiences of the local area.
As part of the Science in the City project, residents of the Barbican Estate in the City of London monitored their local air quality between October 2013 and May 2014. Since February, residents have been using handheld sensors to track the presence of PM2.5 particulates* whilst on their everyday journeys and have managed to capture the effects of the dust storm in their community.
Twenty-five Barbican residents took part, carrying the sensors for up to five days each and making eighty-seven journeys in total. Although Science in the City focuses on air quality around the Barbican Estate, residents carried the sensors as far as Darlington and Cambridge providing a wealth of information illustrating changes in air quality across the country as well as in the Barbican area.
Concerned communities, and organisations that work with them, including councils, academics, and public health bodies are invited to a conference being run by Mapping for Change on the 17th April at UCL.
Late January saw members of the MfC team travel to Udine to participate in a series of seminars under the Active Citizenship in Social Housing (ACts) project, funded by the Grundtvig Life Long Learning Programme. Over the course of 3 days visits were made to communities in the area and a number of presentations covering a diverse range of perspectives were shared. Several interesting issues surrounding citizenship and social space were raised for discussion: