IBM Access My CityIBM Access My City


Today's urban municipal leaders need new and cost effective channels to drive economic growth, attract tourism, and improve quality of life for city residents. Metropolitan transit authorities too, are looking for budget-friendly ways to meet rising consumer demand for faster, easier and more personalized transportation experiences.

IBM Access My City, a prototype mobile web application for accessible city navigation, helps address these and other challenges while creating more inclusive and satisfying Smarter Cities’ experiences for people of all ages and abilities.


A smarter, more inclusive approach to mobile-enabled route planning

The Access My City solution brings together real-time transit data, geo-location and mapping technologies and publicly available accessibility information and delivers it to a range of mobile devices to help city residents and visitors:

Social components of the app also allow users to rate and Tweet® about the accessibility of city transportation systems and points of interest.

Developed with the unique needs of people with disabilities in mind, Access My City is interoperable with most commonly used assistive technologies and meets best practice standards for accessibility. It is especially helpful for people with mobility challenges, such as people who use wheelchairs and senior citizens who use walkers or scooters.

However, Access My City also benefits families with small children in strollers, travelers with luggage, and delivery personnel who need ready access to information about ramps, elevators and escalators in and around public transit stations and city points of interest.

An "Ability Filter" in the app allows users to indicate their preference for filtering information based on a type of physical impairment. For example, a person who is mobility impaired can set a preference so mobility access information is foregrounded in points of interests, etc.

Users can save favorite locales and transit stations to quickly re-access information the next time they need it.

A research technology designed to help IBM and municipal leaders better define requirements for more inclusive Smarter Cities and Smarter Transportation, Access My City demonstrates some possible benefits of collecting and aggregating existing city accessibility information and real-time transportation data to better serve urban populations.

Key components

Access My City was developed using the following IBM software and services components:

The technology is currently optimized for iPhones®, Android® phones, iPads®, and desktop web browsers. But all features, functions and capabilities of the Access My City app can be customized to meet the needs of any size city.

A prototype of this solution was piloted in New York City as a complement to IBM’s Centennial THINK exhibit at Lincoln Center.

Partner with IBM to make your city Smarter and more inclusive

To continue expanding and refining the functionality of Access My City, IBM is actively identifying city leaders and metropolitan transportation authorities who want to partner with us to pilot the technology.

For more information, contact the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center at

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IBM Design Gallery: Access My N.Y.C.