Location: Warsaw
Country: Poland
Contact Information: n/a
Website Address: Link

The “Virtual Warsaw” initiative by the City of Warsaw employs Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with beacon sensors and Bluetooth, to aid the city’s approximately 40,000 visually impaired residents. This project enhances independent navigation via smartphones, offering a “Micro-Navigation System” for realtime information about surroundings, like bus stops and museum entrances, and “Individualized Programs” to boost independence in public spaces and employment. Prior to this, visually impaired residents faced challenges like high unemployment and dependence on others, with traditional navigation training being time-intensive.

Thematic Area – Digitalisation
Thematic Sub-category – Smart city solutions and
Type of Actor/Agent – Local Council
Typology of Green Urban Site – Street and
residential project

Green City Elements:

  • Smart People
  • Smart Governance
  • Smart Mobility
  • Smart Environment
  • Sensorization
  • Artificial Intelligence.

Engagement and Consultation:

Target Groups – Citizens
Public Engagement – Was applied.
Consultation Tools Used – Written reports, proper
public engagement.

Resources and Transferability:
Teaching Materials/Resources: Link
Personal Skills Required: Medium
Non-discriminatory Principles: Yes
Transferability Potential: High

Innovation and Impact:
The infrastructure of the micro-navigation system
comprises micro-transmitters creating a virtual
space accessible via smartphone applications.
This initiative involves partnerships with local
businesses for “beacon” construction, NGOs like
the Polish Blind People Association, universities,
and experts in visual impairment and software
development, ensuring a user-centric approach. .
The project has shown potential benefits in
increasing independence among visually impaired
residents, thereby reducing their need for city
services and promoting a more inclusive society.
The success and lessons of Virtual Warsaw offer a
template for other cities to implement similar
Expected Impact High
Level of Scale of Innovation 5

Budget and Analysis:
Budget Spent, Source of Money: EU fonds and
Local Council fonds
Benefits: Improving physical fitness and reducing
depression, Recreational opportunities, Adjusting
psychological well-being and physical health,
Enhancing social ties.
Challenges: The early stages of Warsaw’s “Virtual
Warsaw” project saw challenges due to a lack of
user input, leading to a shift towards a usercentered design. Involving visually impaired users
for feedback and forming partnerships with local
businesses and NGOs like the Polish Blind People
Association were crucial steps in refining the
project and ensuring its effectiveness.