City of Helsinki Accesibility: SuRaKu - planning, constructing and maintaining

How can we plan, construct and maintain our streets, green areas and yards for accessibility? Practical guidelines were established in 2004 through cooperation involving the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Joensuu, Tampere, Turku and Vantaa. Working instructions were completed under the leadership of the Helsinki for All Project with the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The guidelines form the basis for the City of Helsinki Accessibility Plan. They are also freely available for use by other municipalities, corporations and planners. The guidelines contain criteria for evaluating the accessibility of outdoor locations and instruction cards for applying them.

Criteria for accessibility and the instruction cards (SuRaKu)

SuRaKu Instruction Cards:

  • 1 Pedestrian crossings and pavements (pdf) (doc)
  • 2 Pedestrian streets and squares (pdf) (doc)
  • 3 Differences in elevation (pdf) (doc)
  • 4 Public courtyards (pdf) (doc)
  • 5 Park paths and resting places (pdf) (doc)
  • 6 Public playgrounds (pdf) (doc)
  • 7 Public bus stop areas (pdf) (doc)
  • 8 Temporary traffic arrangements (pdf) (doc)

SuRaKu Accessibility Criteria:

  • 1 Kerbstones at pedestrian crossings (pdf)
  • 2 Outdoor staircases (pdf)
  • 3 Ramps (pdf)
  • 4 Guidance paving flags (pdf)
  • 5 Demarcation strips (pdf)
  • 6 Loading islands (pdf)
  • 7 Gutters and gullies (pdf)
  • 8 Walking surfaces (pdf)
  • 9 Pedestrian crossing markings (pdf)
  • 10 Handrails (pdf)
  • 11 Railings (pdf)
  • 12 Pedestrian push-buttons posts (pdf)
  • 13 Pedestrian crossing signs (pdf)
  • 14 Seating (pdf)
  • 15 Bollards in pedestrian zones (pdf)
  • 16 Pedestrian refuge islands (pdf)
  • 17 Tactile maps and information signboards (pdf)
  • 18 Warning areas (pdf)
  • Criteriatabels 1-18 (doc)


Mapping and evaluation guide for accessibility of outdoor locations (pdf, 8.7 Mb), guide cover (pdf, 547 Kb). The illustrated guide explains about pedestrian accessibility. It is suitable both as a check list and as study material (in Finnish).

SuRaKu stands for planning, constructing and maintaining. In Finnish that is suunnitella, rakentaa and kunnostaa.

Recent Entries

ENAT Accessibility Review of European National Tourist Organisations' Websites, 2012
Presentation of a benchmarking study carried out by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). Between between August and October…
Europe: Preparatory Action "Tourism and accessibility for all"
Under the Specific Programme: Preparatory Action "Tourism and accessibility for all", the European Commission has issued an Open Call for projects…
Maybe "Tourism and Water: The Accessibility of our Common Resource?"
Countdown to World Tourism Day 2013With one week left until World Tourism Day (WTD) on 27 September, preparations are on…
The Global Universal Design Commission
Peter Blanck, University Professor and chair of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI), has been named chairman of the…
Carers should travel free, say MPs
From This is Guernsey:Launching the Access To Transport For Disabled People report, committee chair Louise Ellman said: "Changes made ahead…
Recreate Packaging 2014: Call for Entries
Stora Enso has issues the challenge for Recreate Packaging 2014. Can you up the game and submit something that has the…
Disability in the Lifecycle: Investing in Children
The Permanent Mission of Mexico, the Permanent Mission of Australia, the International Disability Alliance and the United Nations Children's…
On Deborah Pierce's The Accessible Home
On Deborah Pierce's The Accessible Home. from The Miami Herald:Conditions such as partial or complete loss of hearing or eyesight, for example,…