Odense - AENEAS Measure #2
Mobility in Urban Area
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|Workshop participants pinpoint places where accessibility needs to be improved
The City of Odense has worked with accessibility for several years and it is a goal to create a continuous and uncomplicated traffic system for all users. Among other things, this means that traffic areas and squares are planned and implemented with a view to improve accessibility as much as possible.
In 2008, it was decided to make an accessibility plan for the City of Odense with the purpose of improving the accessibility in the inner city. Here accessibility means that public areas, squares, paths are accessible for everybody including people with mobility problems such as people in a wheelchair, parents with a pram, people with walking frames or people who are visually handicapped etc.
A main focus was on participation when making the accessibility plan. Thus, two workshops with citizens were carried out.
At the first workshop people were asked to point out places where the accessibility is poor and to write a short comment on the problems they had identified. They worked in small groups and made use of city maps.
Based on this workshop the City of Odense and Ramboll Nyvig prepared two walking routes through the inner city connecting most of the identified places in addition to important places like the main station, a pedestrian area, doctors and dentists, shops, public offices and green areas. Afterwards, every obstacle on the two walking routes and possible solutions were identified.
At the second workshop, the two walking routes and their problems and potential solutions were presented and discussed with the participants.
The participants were invited the two workshops through articles in the local newspaper and direct invitations to different organisations representing older people and handicapped people.
At the moment the City of Odense is in the process of carrying out the physical interventions.
In August and September 2010 five walking trips with focus on safety and accessibility will be carried out.
Overall, it is important to include the accessibility aspect in the initial planning phase and continue to work with accessibility when implementing a project. That is to say, it is important that employees at a municipality have knowledge about accessibility.
The accessibility plan for the City of Odense cannot be directly transfer to other cities, since the point of departure is the infrastructure in Odense.