Presented a few days ago, Milanopertutti is live starting from today. This new web portal is part of a project promoted by Milan Municipality, companioning with various Lombard associations promoting the disabled people needs, with the goal to provide tourists with a disability or specific needs with useful info to enjoy their stay in the city.
The site is very easy to navigate, since it’s been designed complying with all the accessibility standards. There you can find info about accessibility of museums, monuments and churches having an historic and artistic value, in addition to data and links about the accessibility of the urban public transport, the most important railway stations and airports of the city, as well as tips about accessible itineraries and events, to satisfy every kind of tourist’ needs.
The portal pays a lot of attention to the deaf people needs: they can benefit from a video in LIS presenting the project and a dedicated section, with useful contacts and apps to enjoy the city without too many worries.
Milanopertutti represents another step forward in the commitment of the city to actually became “for all”, that led the city to receive the “City Access Award 2016”, appointed by the European Union to the city that stand out for their commitment to improve their accessibility.
So, is everything fine? Not exactly. There’s still a lot of road to walk, so that the city effectively becomes “for all”, both for tourists and people who live here or come daily for business or study reasons and still face too many architectonical and cultural barriers, which are hard to dismantle: services that aren’t widespread yet (for instance, elevators in the subway stations or ramps and lowered platforms on buses and trams) and that, often, even where they are, suffer from an insufficient maintenance (both in terms of functionality and, simply, of cleaning and decency), offices, shops and meeting and leisure places struggling to become really accessible to everyone, etc.
We often think that, so that a city (not just Milan) can really be “accessible”, you simply have to put ramps and elevators here and there (and that’s important, indeed!). But we all might learn to look at the spaces with the users’ eyes, considering that not all the disabled people use wheelchairs. So, for instance, the ramp, that’s fundamental for people using a wheelchair (of course, if it’s designed correctly), for those who walk on their own legs, but need to use crutches (or other similar aids) can represent an even more insuperable obstacle, compared with a simple step.
Milanopertutti has just started its journey, so, for the moment, I just welcome this new tool. But I cannot avoid wishing that, over the years (hopefully, not centuries) it could grow and answer the autonomous mobility needs of all the disabled people, and not just them. Since we can’t forget this: a city (and, broadening our focus with a little bit of ambition, a world) fitting for all isn’t just good for a limited part of the community (disabled and elderly people, children), but represents an advantage for the whole community.