Towards a universally designed city of Oslo in 2025
- Norway – City of Oslo – Department for Health and Social Affairs – Comprehensive Universal Design plan by 2025
- City of Oslo, Department of Primary Health and Social Affairs
- Country of Implementation
- Northern Europe
- The City of Oslo
- Start Year
- First published
Oslo Kommune (the administrative authority of Oslo, Norway) has developed a comprehensive plan for Universal Design (UD) covering transportation, communication, construction, public property, outdoor areas, and information and communication technology (ICT), with the goal that all municipal agencies and companies will implement UD requirements in their areas of responsibilities by 2025. The strategy requires all new government-operated buildings, parks, public spaces, and transport systems to have Universal Design implemented from a project’s inception and for this to be included in the overall building costs. In 2017 the majority of government buildings were already fully accessible.
Persons with disabilities often have less access to public services, information, and ICT than their non-disabled peers, which puts them at a disadvantage when trying to use government websites, travel on public transport, and access public buildings.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The plan continues to be rolled-out as the city aims for the 2025 implementation deadline. Other cities can benefit from the plan, which is available on the WHO website as an example of an “age-friendly city.” City authorities can download the plan, which provides specific objectives (such as “Taxi stands and access to all station platforms will be universally designed”) across eight topics, including ICT, Building and Property, and Transport and Communication. For all new projects the cost of Universal Design is factored into the overall building costs. However, for some smaller accessibility upgrade projects, some of the teams or departments have successfully applied for grant funding from external organizations. The City Council allocates approximately $1.85 million each year to the “Handicap Project” – an initiative to coordinate renovation and city accessibility projects.
THE STORY OF EDIT GRENI, USER OF A PUBLIC COMMUNITY CENTRE IN OSLO
“It does me so much good to join in and be able to move to music.”
My name is Edit Greni and I am 85 years old. I have been a widow for 20 years and retired for 18 years. It is good to have a community centre where others who live in similar situations can meet. I like going there, and I visit the centre several times a week. During the past year I have been participating in a project offering dance activities, where we also learn about ballet productions taking place in the city. It does me so much good to join in and be able to move to music. When we dance we engage with our whole body, regardless of our physical capability. But we are also interacting with each other communally. It is as if we become one when we hold hands. My desire is to dare to do even more. It is important, therefore, that I continue to stay active. When we are old it can seem like it is predetermined that we should just sit there, but I am still playful and want to continue to draw upon what is inside me.