Effortless City: Mapping Accessible Sidewalks and More

Effortless CityWhat would it take to effortlessly navigate a major city you’ve never visited, to confidently cruise down the most accessible sidewalks and patronize welcoming, accessible businesses?

These are questions being asked by the new start-up, Effortless City, which seeks to completely map out San Francisco with access and ease-of-travel in mind, and then make that map available as an app.

“We will save people precious energy and time because we’ll have already done the work for them,” says Joana Cardoso, co-founder of Effortless City. “Our app will very literally let them know what lies ahead block-by-block.”

Usually projects of this scale are crowdsourced and depend upon reviews and input from many, many people. This project has a few elements of that model — you may take a very short survey of what you look for in a city, any city, when it comes to access. But mostly, this app is being built the hard way: Cardoso and fellow co-founder Shannon Moore, a wheelchair user, live in the San Francisco Bay region and are checking out access details in person.

While perfecting their app, the two are planning publications to highlight typical tourist destinations as well as info that’s more relevant to native San Franciscans. Their website will have a portal where printable maps and other info can be downloaded, and there will be places where users can share info back with the project. “Specifically, people can make note of specific detours or sidewalk alerts,” says Moore. “We’ll continually update information we garner from reliable online resources to keep our app users continually in real time navigation.”

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