Planners of smart cities based on digital technologies are being urged to ensure they are as accessible to disabled people as possible.
Pressure groups G3ict and World Enable have launched a campaign to define smart city accessibility .
And they are consulting experts via a survey and a series of round table discussions to ensure disabled people and other groups are included in high tech developments.
“Smart cities can use accessible technology to improve people’s lives and upgrade the capabilities of all citizens, including persons with disabilities and older persons,” they say.
“ICT accessibility allows individuals with a range of disabilities and impairments to access information and other public services.”
A smart city uses information and communication technologies to improve urban services, to reduce costs and to enable more effective interaction between citizens and government.
Electronic payment systems, discussion forums and services for sharing goods and services are among the more obvious features of a smart city.
Developing countries where 80% of the world’s disabled people live, are leading the trend towards urbanisation.
It is here disabled city dwellers are most likely to benefit from moves towards greater accessibility.