60% OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES USE APPS TO MAKE EVERYDAY LIFE EASIER

People with visual impairment are the ones who use them the most (77%), followed by those with hearing impairment (73%), physical (65%) and intellectual (50%), according to the report ‘Technology and Disability’ Of Fundación Adecco and Keysight Technologies Spain.

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This past July 15 was the International Day of Appropriate Technologies, ie those whose purpose is to help solve problems, paying special attention to ethical, cultural, social and economic criteria of the community they serve.
In this context, and for the sixth consecutive year, the Adecco Foundation and Keysight Technologies Spain present the report Technology and Disability, with the aim of analyzing the impact that new technologies (NT) are having on quality of life and full inclusion Of people with disabilities.

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Some apps that provide more specific services have become authentic allies for people with disabilities, allowing them to normalize many aspects of their lives.
The report, which bases its findings on a survey of 300 people with different disabilities, found that 60% of these people are users of specific apps, the ones most used by those with visual impairment (77%), followed by (73%), physical (65%) and intellectual (50%).

CE @Compromiso_Empr13 Julio 2017

STRATEGIC PLAN OF COLLSEROLA: REFLECTIONS FROM ECOLOGY

Collserola Park is a jewel that many cities would like. A few kilometers from more than three million people, eight thousand five hundred hectares of forests and other natural or semi-natural systems enjoy protection under the figure of the park’s special plan. The continuity and improvement of the ecological, economic and social functions of Collserola must be objectives that can not be waived for the citizens, park managers and politicians of the many administrations involved.

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1. Collserola has the vocation of a natural park.
2. A natural park is a very different entity from an urban park. The main difference lies in the fact that, in natural parks, human intervention is much lower, and the role of natural processes much greater than in an urban park.
3. Natural spaces, including natural parks, must be large in order to be able to generate the ecological goods and services that they provide for free.
4. The persistence and ecological integrity of a natural space are facilitated when space is bigger, and they are increasingly engaged when the surface of the park is reduced and when more are the anthropogenic pressures on the outer and inner borders (If they exist) of the space.
5. Given its location in the Barcelona metropolis, Collserola Park has an intensive and diversified public use. This public use is one of the reasons for being in the park and contributes to the quality of life of the citizens who enjoy it. However, excessive frequenting in some areas, and certain particularly aggressive activities with the environment or simply illegal, is a threat to the ecosystems of the park.
6. Despite this vocation for public use, it is important to keep in mind that natural spaces are also useful even if they are not used. It is not necessary or desirable that all the places in the park be accessible to the people. Non-accessible areas play an important role in the persistence of species, communities and ecological processes.

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7. Ecological isolation is one of the main threats to the maintenance of ecosystems and the biological richness of Collserola.
8. The ecological isolation of Collserola is growing due to urban expansion and the proliferation of infrastructures. Reducing this isolation must be one of the main objectives of the Strategic Plan.
9. Plants or their genes also move: ecological connectivity is not important only for terrestrial vertebrates but also for plants and invertebrates.
10. To maintain the genetic diversity of semi-isolated populations, like many of those in Collserola, what is important is that organisms coming from outside.
11. Conversely, parks such as Collserola can act as “repoblators” due to the emigration of individuals born within the park to other territories.
12. The reduction of the ecological isolation of Collserola necessarily requires looking beyond the limits of the park. It is necessary especially to implement (and where necessary, restore) a system of ecological connections that guarantees the maintenance or recovery of ecological flows (of organisms, of genes, of matter and of energy) between Collserola and: (1) the pre-coastal mountain range ; And (2) the other massifs of the coastal mountain range.

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13. The most pressing problem for the maintenance of the ecological connections of Collserola is in the contact between the park and the valley plain. There are still important agricultural and agroforestry areas in the valleys that have a key role as a food area, as a habitat, as an ecological connector and as buffer zones.
14. The Collserola Strategic Plan must set as its highest priority objective to conserve (wherever possible and desirable, recover) the agricultural and agroforestry areas of the Vallès plain that are in contact with the park or in its vicinity .
15. The greatest current threat to the maintenance of the ecological connectivity of Collserola is the development of the Direccion Center, in the municipality of Cerdanyola del Vallès. The massive urban development projected in this area will pay 340 hectares of dry land crops that constitute the last large rural window that is left in Collserola and will culminate the ecological isolation of the park with respect to the valley plain and the pre-coastal mountain range.

Ferran Rodà
Catedràtic d’Ecologia de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Investigador del CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)

 

URBAN TOURISM IS NOT WHAT FAILS, BUT THE MODEL DEVELOPED

Starts the war between tourists and local community in urban centers. For now the battle is won by visitors, but the predictions do not point in that direction. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is beginning to surface …
Recently the alarms have been triggered by the appearance of conflicts between local population and floating population, that is to say tourists and hikers and local population, that in many destinies, especially urban, double and triple in number to the residents of those neighborhoods where they are located Accommodation and entertainment activities.

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When talking about tourist capacity, it is no longer just the environmental or cultural issue, but the social one, which even affects the health of the population, since it is very likely causing stressful situations that can lead to total rejection To visitors who invade that minimum space of intimacy that exist in the cities in which tourism explorer has arrived and conquered all those neighborhoods and corners, that previously were to the margin of these tourist flows.
The phenomenon of low-cost as well as collaborative economy has allowed in record time that millions of tourists who did not have access to the existing supply, can already and that implies that the demand has grown and will continue to grow exponentially.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg that is starting to surface and if you do not know how to manage, unsustainability will end up emerging altogether, which will of course achieve that tourist competitiveness is lost.
There is a certain fact that there are tourist segments that are not compatible neither in time nor in space and therefore it is essential to define towards which demand one wants to direct. Because the motivations and expectations of each market segment are very different, but coincide in the same physical environment.

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It would be good to remember that cities are not designed or prepared to be a tourist destination and respond to the expectations of visitors, but to give satisfaction to its inhabitants, where they also open to receive a tourist arrival, but in a sustainable way, Without substantially altering the social, environmental and cultural balance.

arturo CROSBY 12 de Julio del 2017, HOSTELTUR

BARCELONA, ​​A SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION GOAL

Tourism does not stop growing in many places around the world, including Barcelona. The city council has set out to carry out a series of measures to reduce its negative impacts and maximize its return to the citizens as a whole.
If you ask someone to tell you ten words that define Barcelona, ​​surely one of the first places is the tourist word. Barcelona has many things, including a tourist city, which is ranked in the most attractive cities in the world for those who like to travel, along with New York, Paris or London. The factors that made it a tourist for many years, and especially since 1992: the great cultural heritage that it contains, gastronomy, sports – Barça is the main claim, but There are many more – the beaches, the climate and a way of being of its inhabitants … But the tourism activity also has negative impacts, especially in environments such as the Parc Güell, the Sagrada Família, the heart of the Neighborhood Gothic, which every day receives thousands of visitors. These visits need not hinder the daily lives of residents. On the other hand, Barcelona needs to be a destination where all visitors, regardless of their age and condition, can enjoy and participate in the experience of the visit.

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Xavier Font, professor of sustainable marketing at the University of Surrey (Great Britain), warns that “cities often begin to manage the impact of tourism only when it is too late”, and that “unlike visitors to beach destinations And natural parks, city tourists use the same infrastructure as the locals. ” Xavier Font points out some of the proposals to make Barcelona embrace more sustainable tourism, which does not hinder daily life in the city and that it benefits the citizens: “It is convenient to attract tourists for out-of-city escapes, which mean less burden for To the urban infrastructure. It is also important to attract customers that behave more like locals. Those who visit Barcelona for the first time go to the Sagrada Familia, but those who repeat – among which the French stand out, for example – are already divided into lesser known areas of the city. It is also necessary to reduce seasonality, with special emphasis on activities that can be done in winter or in lesser times, and also to offer products and services produced locally and ethically. “

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Tourists give a high score (8.7) to the city and highlight the architecture, culture, entertainment and restoration. As a negative aspect, they show that the prices are too high in relation to the quality and the massification of tourist zones and monuments. This is indicated by the 2016 Tourist Activity Report.

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Overnight stays in the hotels of the city of Barcelona rose 5.5% last year, reaching 19.5 million. Significantly increased airport passengers, 11.2% (44.1 million), and cruise ships arriving in the port of Barcelona, ​​5.6% (2.6 million). On the other hand, 86.7% of Barcelonans consider that tourism is beneficial for the city. According to the 2016 Tourism Activity Report, the percentage of those claiming to set limits on the arrival of tourists (48.9%) for the first time exceed those of supporters who attracted more (47.5%).

AJUNTAMENT DE BARCELONA, ARA.CAT

TECHNOLOGY UNVEILS WHAT PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES FEEL

The project is born of the will to want to know in an objective way the mental state of people who can not express it by themselves or who are not even aware of it because it is valuable information to improve their well-being and quality of life, To improve their therapies and customize them to make them like them and more effective, “explains IRD research director Joan Oliver.

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The problem is that these people not only can not express their emotions but they do not use the help tools that are used with others, such as face recognition software, so we thought the solution was to look in your mind and in your Body physiological signals emitted by its state of mind, because we know from the literature that each emotion is associated with physiological patterns, “said Jainendra Shukla, a robotic researcher involved in the project.

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The handicap was that these patterns did not exist in people with intellectual disabilities, so the first task of IRD researchers was to develop them by combining external information-facial expression, eye tracking, subjective information from therapists who know the person- With internal information – heart rate, electrodermal and cerebral activity – of some of the residents of the Ave Maria Foundation while provoking different intense, positive and negative emotions.

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With all that information, and obtained in other experiments mediated by therapists who interpreted their mood, researchers have developed MuDERI, a multimodal database for the recognition of emotions among people with intellectual disabilities, in which it has been systematized and Labeling each mood state from the physiological signal patterns found in the experiments.

MAYTE RIUS, Barcelona, LA VANGUARDIA