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Places4All: Creating a new inclusive world

Porto, PortugalPorto and Lisbon, Portugal
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

What if every places in the world are designed for all? Places4All is a universal accessibility rating system, connecting inclusive places with people who needs information to make decisions, increasing their choices. In the other hand places will have more visibility, attracting more people.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

1 in 5 people have accessibility challenges and needs places that gives them the most autonomy as possible in their activities (physical, communication, behavoral). In the other hand, the lack of information about accessibility conditions is a barrier to make decisions. As a result, people with accessibility challenges are excluded from activities that others take for granted, companies loose potential customers and the cities are unnactractive.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Places4All is a Universal Accessibility Classification System, connecting places with accessibility with people who needs information to make decisions, increasing their choices. The system can be implemented in several sectors (Tourism, Education, Health, Events, Food, Services, Nature and employment) with a bienal fee, giving them more visibility, attracting more clients. The process begins with a quickly and detailed accessibility evaluation in Physical and Sensorial Accessibility in 6 dimensions on the place. After this, owner receives a report with a classification and suggestions for improvement, in order to provide that information on our online platform and other platforms. Users can also recommend new places and identify barriers.


United Nations - World Summit Award National Nominee 2015 (Inclusion and Empowerment category)
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Hugo Vilela, 33-year-old entrepreneur, born in the city of Porto, suffers from muscular dystrophy, admits that his condition worked as a “lever” for the project. Hugo lost his mobility gradually since 2000, then “fully independent”, passing through the period in which he used the aid of a crutch (2003), until he had to use a manual wheelchair (2007), and finally, an electric wheelchair (2011). The same person, different needs. “The city has remained the same… my challenges increased”, says Hugo. Places4All System provide information about accessibility conditions in order to facilitate decisions about places that gives him autonomy and also promotes environment improvements, promoting and recognizing the most inclusive places.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The Places4All network have are already 52 places that were assessed by Places4all professionalsm including motorways service areas across the country and "Iconic sites" like the new Cruise Terminal of the Port of Leixões, the National Theatre of St. John, the Lisbon Oceanarium and the Museum of Electricity. The mindset change towards disability is a reality, expressed in the willingness of current partners to "ensure full accessibility" and in the fact that are being built spaces "that will be born 100% Places4all", he emphasizes. The Lisbon Oceanarium and the store Me Allegro in Porto, have made continuous improvement to achieve the status of fully inclusive places. There is the interest of some municipalities in order to implement this system in the city, like Porto Town Hall.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The scaling strategy is based on create new business opportunities not only for professionals but also for people with disability through a franchising in order to create new auditors teams in every region of the world, implementing the Places4All System. In the other hand, we promote the creation of users communities in order to identify potential places with the system and make an evaluation based on their autonomy on that place. The second big goal is to decentralize information about accessibility, "so that is another deciding factor". being a universal system.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The main activity is funded by the Places4All System implementation bienal fee on places and renewal. In the future, Places4All will ask a fee for provide database, the auditor software license and the auditor franchising.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The traditional accessibility certificiation and the low detailed and not rigorous accessibility information platforms. The difference is that Places4All system provides detailed physical, sensorial and behavoral environment, connecting onwers and users, promoting more choices and improvements in a sustainable development for companies and cities.

Founding Story

The Places4all began to take shape in 2012 when, as part of Hugo Vilela Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), initiated "the development of various projects related to inclusion and accessibility". One of the embryos arises in 2013, Street 4all, whose goal was to identify and eliminate physical barriers,. In 2014, the Bootcamp of the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, fertilized by the environment of "inspiring projects," is born Places4all, a "solution to address the problem of unequal access and the lack of detailed accessibility information, updated, and sustainable.


Hugo Vilela is the project leader and the IMMENSA Association President. Wheelchair user with a Master in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto. In 2012 it was selected to participate in the Babson Entrepreneurship Program at Babson College in the US, where he began to develop several projects related to inclusion and accessibility. Miguel Costa (Management) Manuel Guedes (Architecture) Catarina Viana (Marketing & Communication)