The project started the summer of 2021 where two students travelled around Ålesund with a tablet and a map, they found out how easy - or difficult it is wa get around in Ålesund - in the city of Ålesund, the villages around and the outdoor area. Are the areas universally designed?

The main purpose with universal design is that everyone is able to get around in the local environment without being stopped by unnecessary obstacles. This applies to those who are children, those who have a stroller, those with impaired vision, hearing or mobility and everyone else. Universal design is absolutely necessary for some, but useful for everyone.

United Future Lab Norway started the project through an application to the Mapping Authority (Kartverket), which financed the data collection. The project group has a broad composition and has also had contact with various user groups who have provided advice and input. In addition, the project group is in dialogue with the Council for People with Disabilities, the Association of the Blind, the Council of the Elderly, the Youth Council, the Outdoor Council, the Disability Association and community service centres in Brattvåg, Steinshamn, Sjøholt and Skodje.

The project applies to outdoor mapping of communities and outdoor areas, the project will get an overview of every single hiking area that is accessible to everyone and map areas that with a little facilitation can be accessible to more people. 

The mapping is registered directly into the Mapping Authority's map database. 

The project goal

Through this data collection, one can get answers to questions such as how many kilometres of walking/walking path that is accessible for people with disabilities, or how many outdoor areas have parking spaces for those who use wheel chairs. The goal is to enable the municipality of Ålesund to develop and manage the work with universal design in a good and forward-looking way.

  • Contribute to better public health and more inclusion and participation.
  • Contribute to employment and work training.
  • Contribute to practice relevance for students, which is one of the goals of the university municipality collaboration.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration across the municipal organization.

 Data collected can be used for:

  • Concrete measures such as cutting down hedges/fences, marking them in the roadway, putting up signs and lights, removing edges and holes, ensuring safe transition fields and so on.
  • Prepare action plans for universal design
  • Traffic insurance plan
  • Information to the public
  • Establish parking for those using wheel chairs
  • accessible toilets
  • Student assignments
  • Geographic information system
  • Area plan tool in the municipality
  • Statistics production on the development of condition over time 


United Future Lab Norway, the municipality of Ålesund, Kartverket, Agument city.

Current Sustainable Development goals:

3-  good health and well being

4- quality education

10- reduced inequalities

17- partnerships for the goals