Accessibility is connected to all the aspects that determine the possibility to fully participate in urban life: overcoming physical and economic barriers, perception of safety, equal access to institutions, cultural productions, participation and empowerment of citizens, information and opportunities
The ROCK project (funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme) demonstrates how urban accessibility needs to be discussed and co-designed within communities and not only inside the traditional institutions, in order to make it really universal.
ROCK cities have developed various approaches and examples to improve accessibility in urban districts with concentrations of cultural heritage and enhance accessibility and experience of cultural heritage using various tools and technologies.
The city of Bologna decided to create a new guided tour of the historic city centre dedicated to visually impaired citizens and visitors. The tour has been entirely co-created with them. The main goal is not only to ease the access to the historic area for people with disabilities but to design innovative and inclusive ways to discover its vast amount of cultural heritage.
Lisbon wishes to safeguard precious intangible cultural heritage in danger of disappearance in the neighbourhood of Marvila. Working with the community, Lisbon gathers knowledge about the cultural, material and immaterial heritage of the neighbourhood, making it available to the public in an appealing, playful and innovative way, that allows better access. By collecting memories and stories of residents of the neighbourhood, the city ensures their heritage won’t be lost.
In Vilnius’ Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, sensors help the city assess how much the local cultural offer relates to the wellbeing of visitors and residents. The technology was able to establish that, overall, people are much happier walking around in the cultural heritage site than in other areas of the city. Also, people are happier than average when going to cultural activities like festivals or other events.
Read the new ROCK case studies booklet now to find out more about these and other inspiring examples of the use of technologies and tools to ensure a better access to cultural heritage.