Stockholm improves accessibility for citizens with disabilities

The city

Stockholm is Sweden’s capital and largest city with approximately 850 000 inhabitants. The city’s Traffic Administration is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the urban road infrastructure. This includes managing the pedestrian road network (sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, access to public transport facilities) and making it accessible for citizens and visitors with disabilities.

 The challenge

In 1999, the city set itself the goal of becoming the world’s most accessible capital city for visually and mobility impaired persons. Initially, the Traffic Administration adapted the urban infrastructure to their needs, for instance, by rebuilding pedestrian crossings and reducing the gap between the kerb and buses in bus stops.

Yet the changes in the urban infrastructure addressed accessibility issues only partially. In particular, the guidance of visually impaired persons with elements such as raised bands only was insufficient.

 The satellite solution

The e-Adept solution enables citizens with reduced mobility to plan their walking routes, receive precise navigation guidance and call for help in case of emergencies, thanks to audio-visual guidance. The system combines a downloadable software for mobile phones adapted for the visually impaired based on a city map of streets and roads and a GPS device connected to the mobile phone via Bluetooth.

The Municipality constantly updates the system’s information to take into account any changes in the urban landscape

e-Adept was developed by the Traffic Administration in partnership with the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency, the Swedish Road and Rail Administrations, the city of Malmö and the ICT Programme of VINNOVA, and in partnership with associations of the visually impaired.

 The result

e-Adept is currently being used on a trial basis by visually impaired citizens and proves to be a valuable support tool to increasing their urban mobility. In order to be able to market the solution more widely to other groups of citizens and visitors with reduced mobility, the Traffic Administration is currently exploring cooperation with public transport operators to integrate it with their accessibility strategies.

“By developing e-Adept we are giving people with visual impairments the same freedom the rest of our citizens have.” Pernilla Johnni, City of Stockholm Traffic Administration.

 Key Fact: Inclusive transport managed locally