Park Güell: innovation applied to accessibility

15th March 2024

Good practices

Park Güell: innovation applied to accessibility

How can we use technology to make a Barcelona landmark accessible to tourists with different needs? That is the challenge Park Güell took on with the goal of making visits as convenient as possible for the thousands of visitors this attraction welcomes each year.

It all started with an innovation challenge Barcelona City Council posed to various organisations. The winner of the contest was a functional diversity app for Park Güell, which has launched the App Accessible pilot project.

This tool helps make the park’s various attractions accessible to all visitors. Everyone can use the app but it is especially geared towards people with special needs, including physical disabilities, with tools for those with visual or auditory challenges and information to facilitate mobility, as well as cognitive disabilities, with easy-read content.

The technology was developed in collaboration with the Xarxa d’accessibilitat i Vida Independent (Accessibility and Independent Living Network, or XAVI). This collaboration made it possible to define the needs of these individuals, creating up to 12 different visitor profiles so that the app can be useful in several different situations.

Technology at the service of diversity

In just seven months since it was launched, the app has been downloaded over 30,000 times. The most popular version of the app has been the generic version, though the options with features including easy-read content, an adapted map, audio recordings and a mobility route have also been widely used.

Park Güell is studying the data to determine the use frequency of the different categories so that they can improve the tool and possibly add elements that set them apart from other organisations.

The goal is to learn from this pilot project and incorporate any features and improvements needed to make this technology part of Park Güell’s identity.

They see accessibility as one of the keys to enjoying the attraction, given the need for accessible paths not only as part of guided tours but also in a digital format that gives everyone autonomy.

They are extremely proud of this initiative, because its innovative nature opens up a new range of possibilities and also because it helps them reach many different groups. 

Biosphere has played a key role in the process, as earning this certification inspires trust in Park Güell and makes it part of a social sustainability network. The certification has also helped promote these projects, making for good publicity.

New initiatives are already being developed for the future. In the medium and long term, they want to incorporate more ways to facilitate visits for people with special needs.

One of them is the Casa Museu Gaudí house/museum, which Park Güell will now manage as well, and where it intends to include immersive sensory experiences focusing on improving the experience for all visitors. 

Once progress in accessibility has been made, there is no going back.

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