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ZuriACT (Zurich Accessible CiTy)

  • ZuriACT - Project Update

    ZuriACT - Poject Update

    Accessibility data collected in District 1 of Zurich by ZuriACT participants using the Project Sidewalk tool

  • ZuriACT - Project Update

    ZuriACT - Workshop

  • ZuriACT - Project Update

    ZuriACT - Workshop

  • ZuriACT - Project Update

    ZuriACT - Workshop

Project Update - January 2024

ZuriACT: Project team gives a status update and provides an outlook
The ZuriACT project team hosted an event on January 24 to provide information on the current status and celebrate what has been achieved so far. Attendees were also informed about the next steps in the project.

Over the past few months, dedicated participants of the project have actively contributed to enriching spatial accessibility data on sidewalks using the Project Sidewalk web tool. Thanks to the commitment of these valuable participants, more than 7500 features have been collected within the study area of District 1 of the City of Zurich.

To commemorate these achievements and provide an overview of the project's current status, Hoda Allahbakhshi and her team organized a Status Update Event on January 24 at the Digital Society Initiative of the University of Zurich. This event served as a platform for stakeholders, participants, and other interested individuals to come together, sharing insights and experiences gained during the first data collection phase.

Simone Brander, the City Counciler, opened the presentation by acknowledging the two project managers, Hoda Allahbakhshi and François Rüttimann (GIS Project Leader, Innovation & Strategy, Geomatics + Surveying, City of Zurich), the research team, and all the volunteers, emphasizing that their collective efforts have made ZuriACT possible. She continued by stating that the primary goal of the ZuriACT project is to facilitate inclusive mobility in the city of Zurich, with a current focus on the old town as the study area. She expressed the city's commitment to equality for all residents in every aspect and highlighted the importance of accessible public spaces, especially in her role as the head of the civil engineering and waste disposal department. «I am delighted that ZuriACT is collaborating with various city departments. In my view, this collaboration between society, science, and administration is forward-looking» she said (Text is translated from Swiss German). Simone Brander extended her gratitude, saying: «I would like to express my thanks to you, both as a city councilor responsible for public space and on behalf of the entire city council. I take pride in the city of Zurich supporting a project like ZuriACT, dedicated to building an inclusive city. I assure you that our commitment to inclusion extends beyond sidewalks; it is a priority across the city's agenda» (Text is translated from Swiss German).

As for the next steps, the research team outlined their plan to collect more accessibility data on sidewalks in District 1 and validate the gathered information through various stages, such as using the infra3D web tool provided by the company iNovitas. Additionally, a focus group is scheduled on March 14, aiming to gather further insights from citizens and stakeholders regarding their experiences and needs in accessibility.

Registration for the Focus Group Discussion and the data collection is still possible until the end of February 2024.


Weiterführende Informationen

ZuriACT - Data collection training workshop

In August and October, we successfully organized three data collection training workshops, providing participants with valuable insights and hands-on experience. In order to fulfill individual needs, both online and on-site options were provided. To further consider our participants’ preferences, they were also given the option to independently acquire the necessary knowledge for the data collection themselves instead of attending a training workshop. During a brief online or on-site meeting, the participants were provided with essential information such as personal access details, data collection guidelines, and a tool overview.

During the guided data collection training workshops, participants were introduced to the Project Sidewalk tool, a platform that allows for data collection of sidewalk accessibility data in a comprehensible design. Through interactive sessions and practical demonstrations, participants gained a general understanding of the tool's functionalities and learned how to effectively collect accessibility data within District 1 of the City of Zurich. Participants were encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussions to ensure a thorough understanding of the data collection process. In addition to live demonstration and practicing during the workshop, participants were provided with guidelines on the data collection and the tool to consult in case of questions. By offering data collection training workshops, we aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to execute their tasks with precision and reliability. These workshops marked a significant step in our pilot project as they are a starting signal for the data collection.

Many thanks to our participants and all involved in organizing the workshops.

Introductory Workshop Highlights

Focus Group Discussion: An interactive focus group discussion provided a platform for participants to express their hopes, concerns, and expectations related to sidewalk accessibility in the city. This open dialogue helped to gather valuable insights and know-how about sidewalk mobility needs in Zurich from a diverse group of participants, including persons with disabilities, older adults, caregivers, and parents with pushchairs. 

Primary Data Collection with Project Sidewalk tool: Participants were introduced to the Project Sidewalk web application and experienced firsthand data collection using street view imageries and virtual audits.    

ZuriACT – Scientifica 2023

The last day of August marked a momentous occasion as we unveiled "ZuriACT (Zurich Accessible CiTy) – Towards a More Accessible and Inclusive City" at Switzerland's largest science festival, Scientifica 2023.

Here's a glimpse into the highlights of our event:

Part 1: We embarked on an enlightening guided walking tour, traversing from Helmhaus to the central library. Along the way, we explored accessible and inaccessible routes, pausing to discuss footway barriers – paving the path toward a more inclusive city for different population groups.

Part 2: We delved into the heart of the ZuriACT project, sharing insights on how it can catalyze positive change and enhance accessibility in District 1 of Zurich. Afterward, participants could engage in an open dialogue, asking questions and sharing their valuable concerns and feedback. This inclusive discussion truly encapsulated the spirit of collaboration that fuels our #citizenscience mission.

A heartfelt thank you to our dedicated participants, Scientifica organizers from UZH and Stadt Zurich, especially Theo von Däniken and Aline Amrein, and my exceptional team, François Ruettimann, Robert Weibel, Annina Ardüser,  Alexandra Ioana Georgescu, and Alexandros Sofios, whose passion and hard work transformed this event into a memorable experience.

We're driving change and forging a more accessible future for all. Join us on this incredible journey! 
ZuriACT webpage: 


Barrier-free and inclusive mobility in the city of Zurich


Flyer as PDF (EN) (PDF, 239 KB)  

The University of Zurich, in collaboration with the city of Zurich, is launching the pilot project “ZuriACT: Zurich Accessible CiTy” for barrier-free and inclusive mobility in District 1 of the city of Zurich.

Existing routing services and digital maps fail to provide practical navigation guidance for disabled people in terms of mobility due to the lack of relevant information (e.g., sidewalk inclination, crossings, and ramps) to the needs of these user groups, which results inincomplete routing results or results that may not always reflect real-world conditions.

The ZuriACT pilot project aims to remedy this situation by providing a basis for a systematic collection and enrichment of accessibility features with and for citizens in Zurich. Valuable know-how from the "Digital Society Initiative", the competence center for co-designing the digital transformation of society and science at the University of Zurich, will be incorporated into the project.

  • In workshops and focus group discussions, the initial data collection specifications developed by the project team will be further discussed with citizens in order to collect key information about the relevant accessibility features to be collected, the data collection design, and methodology and make sure that the needs, knowledge, demand, and interests of the involving participants have been taken into account in all the stages of the project.
  • In data crowdsourcing, with the help of digital web tools that allow for virtual inspections and measurements of accessibility features by using street view images, we contribute to collecting and enriching accessibility information of the city of Zurich. The enriched data will serve as a basis for personalized routing services that consider the needs of disabled people in terms of mobility.

We are still looking for participants
For the project described above, we are looking for community-dwelling older adults with agerelated mobility impairments, parents with pushchairs, disabled people in terms of mobility, and their relatives or caregivers who would like to share their know-how and help contribute to the inclusivity of the city of Zurich. Participation will be compensated with a contribution towards expenses.

Register now for our citizen science project and help us lay the groundwork to make the city of Zurich more accessible for everyone.
To participate, you must be at least 18 years old.

Do you have any questions?
Please send us an email:
Hoda Allahbakhshi, Project leader (Language: English)
Annina Ardüser, Research assistant (Language: German)

Flyer as PDF (EN) (PDF, 239 KB)