14 January 2016
"Friendly Cities for All" is a citizen science project in which Secondary Education (ESO) students get involved in the reporting of urban accessibility of their environment. To this end, a space for collaboration between ESO students, professional users and functional diversity associations, teachers, researchers and representatives of the municipal administration will be generated; where the scientific role will rely on ESO teachers while the other agents act as educational companions in the process of the scientific action.
The ultimate goal is that ESO students complete all the phases of a scientific project which promotes civic awareness on urban accessibility: with the formulation of hypotheses; data collection, interpretation and analysis and presentation of findings to stakeholders. For this it is indispensable to train students "technologically" (open data sources, tools for visualization and analysis of geospatial data, etc.) and "socially" (concepts of accessibility). Thus, from different areas, knowledge and community experts, they learn how to do science while making a real contribution to their environment (Service-Learning methodology) with specific products (such as making accessibility reports or friendly routing).
In fact, the foundation of the project from the perspective of the functional diversity, allows a broader conception of disability and / or aging; not only in terms of age groups and barriers, but from a global perception of the rights, opportunities / bias settings, surpassing the model that highlights the difficulties in and from the people.
Interdisciplinary and cooperative learning are essential in this proposal. Thus, the relationship between the scientific process, technological development and civic engagement of students in dialogue with society is consolidated.
The project, supported by the City Council of Portugalete, has received funding by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).