Mapping Norway’s Status of Accessibility

long view down a cobbled street to the Norwegian palace buildingHow do you know if your action plan for accessibility and universal design is actually being implemented? The Norwegian Government’s action plan to be universally designed by 2025 now has a tool to monitor progress to see how it is working. A standardised method to collect and measure data nationally has been trialled. 

The first results show that Norway still “faces many challenges to meet the government’s goals for Universal Design”. Data were collected on buildings and major facilities such as transport hubs, walkways, cycleways and car parks. Different techniques were used and discussed in the article, “Mapping Norway – a Method to Register and Survey the Status of Accessibility“. The authors conclude that while their system is not perfect due to the need to fully standardise and simplify complex data, they believe it will be valuable to municipal and recreational planners and developers. The article and others can be found in the Proceedings of the International Cartographic Association

The WHO posted an article in 2014 about Oslo’s Common Principles of Universal Design 2014 based on Norway’s 2025 action plan.

2021 Update:

Mapping accessibility in Norway – a Method to Register and Survey the Status of Accessibility in urban areas and recreational areas. You will need institutional access for a free read. 

Abstract :

The Norwegian mapping authority has developed a standard method for mapping accessibility mostly for people with limited or no walking abilities in urban and recreational areas. We choose an object-orientated approach where points, lines and polygons represents objects in the environment. All data are stored in a geospatial database, so they can be presented as web map and analysed using GIS software.

By the end of 2020, more than 230 out of 356 municipalities are mapped using that method. The aim of this project is to establish a national standard for mapping of accessibility and to provide a geodatabase that shows the status of accessibility throughout Norway. The data provide a useful tool for national statistics, local planning authorities and private users. The results show that accessibility is still low and Norway still faces many challenges to meet the government’s goals for Universal Design.