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A world first initiative to help build a more accessible NZ

A world first initiative to help build a more accessible Aotearoa – now live!

CCS Disability Action is delighted to announce that the pilot of the Access Aware app is now live in Christchurch. And the early signs are that this ground-breaking app is set to prove incredibly popular.

The app, which was developed in partnership with ThunderMaps and has now been launched as a pilot with Christchurch City Council, promises to revolutionise the reporting and enforcement of mobility parking abuse.

The app connects people who encounter mobility parking misuse directly with Christchurch City Council’s Parking Enforcement Teams in real time meaning that people can actually report drivers who are misusing mobility parking spaces to enforcement personnel. It also allows users to view the locations of known mobility park locations so they can find a park when they need it, as well as help map new ones.

The world-first initiative will prove life-changing for Christchurch residents with access issues.

Despite only being officially launched in Christchurch yesterday (1 October 2017), the app has already been downloaded by 135 people. Users from across New Zealand have also jumped at the opportunity to begin mapping mobility parks across the country.

“We are delighted to see the high level of interest in the app. Our research shows that levels of parking abuse have not improved in ten years, with abuse rates still unacceptably high, despite increases in fines and attempts to grow awareness of the problem. Using a mobility parking space without a permit even ‘for just a minute’ can block a disabled person’s opportunity to live life freely. It’s fantastic to be able to contribute to creating a more accessible New Zealand in this way,” explains CCS Disability Action Chief Executive David Matthews.

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The data generated is also shared with Christchurch City Council’s Smart Cities Programme so that their teams can monitor the use and abuse of parks.

Smart Cities Christchurch Programme Manager, Teresa McCallum, says that: “We know that navigating Christchurch during the rebuild has been a significant challenge, and with this initiative, we are signalling to all mobility park users that Christchurch City Council is committed to providing an accessible city for all our citizens.

Using smart technology to understand how the community experiences the city’s mobility parking network, effectively enforcing parking misuse, and assisting CCS Disability Action to solve the problem of mobility parking permit abuse, we intend to make Christchurch a model city for a solution that can ultimately be implemented across New Zealand.”

People interested in taking part in the pilot are invited to download the free app on Google Play or Apple store by searching for 'Access Aware'. The pilot will run until 30 November 2017.

In 2018 CCS Disability Action will rollout this technology across all of Aotearoa.

© Scoop Media

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