E-Access to the City? Mapping Applications for People with Disabilities

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Joanna Pankau


The article focuses on the socio-spatial accessibility of the city, taking into account the phenomenon of a digitally expanding urban environment: new-media mobility conditions, intermedia dataflow, hybrid space. Therefore, turning to the problem of access and to urban mobile applications complements the problem of access to the city itself. Particular attention is focused on mapping applications, considering mapping as an expression of active city exploration “from the inside” and the process of cooperative spatial knowledge production, characterized by a critical approach. Urban mapping applications dedicated to people with disabilities can be not only a form of support when they move around the city, but also a kind of tool for co-shaping urban space – exposing inequalities and seeking ways to deconstruct socio-spatial “normalization”. In this perspective, people with disabilities, taking advantage of the new spaces of mobile accessibility, place themselves in the role of political subjects, co-creators of space, “mapping citizens” fighting for their rights as urban citizens.


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Pankau, J. (2019). E-Access to the City? Mapping Applications for People with Disabilities. ETHICS IN PROGRESS, 10(2), 118-134. https://doi.org/10.14746/eip.2019.2.11
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Author Biography

Joanna Pankau, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Joanna Pankau, a Ph.D. candidate in the Chair of Cultural Urban Studies, Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Currently, her research is focused on urban artivism – the role of artistic-activist practices in stimulating urban processes. Previously, she studied the artistic context of counter-hegemonic spaces and the political subjectivity of residents (in The New Media of Public Art in a City's Democratisation Process, in press), as well as the importance of independent artistic circles for maintaining neoliberal discourse and developing the idea of the creative city (The Conflicting Nature of Revitalisation with regard to Extracting the Cultural Specificity of Urban Districts: Examples of Creative Places in Poznań, in press).


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