Modelling Access with GIS in Urban Systems (MAGUS): capturing the experiences of wheelchair users

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Access and mobility are important dimensions of quality of life. For wheelchair users, everyday trips are often fraught with problems, with many barriers imperceptible to the able-bodied, hindering or totally restricting movement. This paper describes a project undertaken with wheelchair users, which has developed, tested and applied a Geographic Information System model. This model acts both as a navigational device for wheelchairs users – enabling them to make informed route choices through urban places – and as a decision support and planning tool for urban planners – making visible the ways in which built environments are often distorted and hostile spaces for wheelchair users.

Keywords: GIS; Northamptonshire; access and mobility; disability; urban planning; wheelchair users

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School, Park Campus, University College, Northampton NN2 7AH 2: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London W2 10PG, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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