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Author: Torsten Belter Rate this Case Study:
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Contact: CORVEST Hoƫlle
Views:1417 Posted:March 2008
User rating: Last update:November 2011

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Tactile Relief Models and the Touch and Sound Atlas in Paris (France)

With new relief models and the touch and sound atlas, the City of Paris has made a big step forward to an accessible public transport system for visually impaired.

Background & Objectives

The public transport network of Paris consisting of metro lines, buses and trams is one of the largest systems in the world. With the new relief models and the touch and sound atlas the city has made a big step forward to an accessible public transport system for visually impaired. After a design and production process of two years IVM (Institut pour la Ville en Mouvement) puts public transport into relief and large print. A similar service exists in Mannheim (Germany).


The first result was a touch and sound atlas of the Ile-de-France Region’s public transport networks. It includes relief and large-print maps of the regional metro, railway and tram lines; the main bus lines in Paris; and bus services to the forty regional centres around Paris. Recorded information, which describes the routes and provides tourist information on the areas around the main stations, are available on CD.

As a second result touch-based orientation relief models were installed in three metro stations. With both projects, Paris was the first big city worldwide to provide a system that enabled visually impaired persons to enjoy the mobility and access that everyone else takes for granted to Paris’s great cultural sites.


These systems, including hundreds of lines, thousands of stations, and relief and large-print maps, make route planning easier and help people visualise the areas they are intending to visit.

Link for further information:
Institut pour la ville en mouvement


relief_model_a-z.pdf (81 kByte)
orientation_models.pdf (80 kByte)
design_production_team.pdf (65 kByte)

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This Case Study is part of the European urban mobility and transport best practice collection from Eltis - www.eltis.org.