Why is there a need to improve accessibility and what is ACE?

Worldwide there are over 1 billion people living with some form of disability which corresponds to 15% of the world’s population. Due to an aging population and a growing number of chronic health issues, the UN estimates the number of people with a disability will grow to 2.1 billion by the year 2050. With this in mind, it becomes clear that improvements are needed to ensure cities are accessible for everyone.  

Accessibility has become a key aspect of municipal planning with efforts made to make public transit more inclusive, improve walkways, and construct smart cities. However, for those with mobility concerns getting around can still be dangerous. Furthermore, tracking which areas are inaccessible and experiencing quality issues, is a challenge in the growing urban landscape. Therefore, a solution is needed. 

At GeoMate, we are committed to accessibility and have worked to create a platform capable of addressing these issues. Our new Accessible City ChallengE (ACE) is an opportunity for municipalities to get involved with a growing effort to make Canadian cities more accessible. The core goal of ACE is to form a partnership between GeoMate and municipalities to undertake an accessibility pilot program in the coming year. Let’s work together to address mobility barriers in Canadian cities! 

How do Cities and GeoMate work together? 

Municipalities that partner with GeoMate through ACE will pilot the AccessMate platform. This unique platform fuses information from computer vision software, AI, and open-source geospatial data to detect sidewalk problems. AccessMate is designed to help improve accessibility by providing cities with a virtual map of sidewalk accessibility scores for use by municipal planners, civil engineering departments, residents, and visitors. There are many possible applications for AccessMate that include the following: 

  1. 1. Use of the map interface by individuals with mobility concerns to identify barriers to accessibility while travelling around the city during day-to-day tasks. 

  1. 2. Development of short-term plans by civil engineering departments using both AccessMate’s map interface and report feature to highlight areas where infrastructure needs to be addressed to improve accessibility.  

  1. 3. Development of long-term plans to address city-wide accessibility by municipal policy makers using AccessMate’s demographic and accessibility dashboards. 

  1. 4. Improve sidewalk safety in an effort to become Vision Zero  

     

Why Partner with GeoMate and join ACE?

There are several benefits for cities that take part in ACE: 

  • – Improve quality of life and accessibility within cities for everyone! 

  • – Provide a tool to individuals with mobility concerns to help safely navigate cities. 

  • – Quickly prioritize repairs for the most concerning walkways to limit hazards/barriers to the public. 

  • – Develop long-term action plans based on a critical combination of accessibility and demographic data. 

  • – AI machine supports smart city initiatives and dynamic changes in city transportation.  

  • – Safety focused system that supports work towards inclusive active transportation network 


If you are interested in increasing city accessibility, message robert.macgregor@geomate.ca to set up a meeting. We are looking forward to helping you reach your accessibility goals!