Cemento Sol, the leading brand in Unacem’s product portfolio, has worked on the “Pathways that Guide” project in conjunction with the Municipality of Miraflores and with the objective of implementing a system of podotactile tiles that complements the current ones, providing accessibility and mobility of people with disabilities.

Currently, there are already cities with podotactile tiles, a system with small signage reliefs that allow people with visual disabilities to orient themselves. However, implementation is still limited and does not allow us to identify the basic services or businesses in the area. Gabriel Barrio, commercial manager of Unacem, spoke with El Comercio and told more about the initiative.

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– How did the idea of ​​working on this project come about?

Within the Sol brand, which is the market leader and the main brand in the portfolio, we defined quite some time ago the lines or axes of communication that we were going to develop with it. A line that we always seek to see how we can develop, which is to create infrastructure for more inclusive cities. One of the campaigns was this. There are already some districts that are developing podotactile tiles well. But investigating what they told us is that although it is true that they help us mobilize, they are not 100% autonomous. They need to ask people. There is a system that works well, but we could intervene and contribute to this system to be able to communicate some things and services to people.

– What did the work consist of?

A lot of co-creation work was done with the National Union of the Blind of Peru and the NGO Yo Soy Sus Ojos. The important thing and how well this project has turned out is that it has been co-created from the beginning. They told us the top services they are always looking for. Then, with that, we close what would be the best way for them to identify. The walking tiles are vertical forward. This tile breaks that verticality: it puts a horizontal one on you and starts counting the lines. We have given each line, from 1 to 10, a meaning. Within the simplicity, it has been so well designed that we have been told that you can even read the tile with your foot.

Podotactile tiles that allow people with visual disabilities to identify businesses and services. (Photo: Diffusion)

– Is it a scalable model?

We are currently in the process of inviting more municipalities that want to join. If I’m not mistaken, two interested municipal officials from here in Lima had already agreed. We make the technology that we have developed available so that they can implement it. Let them take the example of what was done in Miraflores. Our intention is for it to be scalable at the country level. And when they hear that this system complements the basic one – of the podotactile tiles – they begin to implement the most basic. So that cities are more inclusive.

-How would you define the space that sustainability has in the company’s core business?

To achieve inclusive cities, inclusive infrastructure has to be made. There are several cases worldwide that we can take as examples. That’s why we decided that our leading brand must have this communication axis. How can we develop innovative actions that help people with some type of disability become more autonomous. As a brand, we are extremely open to continuing to develop projects like this so that more municipalities can continue to take it as a good alternative to provide facilities to people.

Miraflores Municipality installed tiles in the district.  (Photo: Diffusion)

Miraflores Municipality installed tiles in the district. (Photo: Diffusion)

– In line with this, what other plans do you have in the medium term or in 2024 that are being evaluated?

We have several projects in the pipeline, but still in development. When you take the examples of what is happening abroad, there is definitely a lot to do. Today we are focused on this initiative being taken by more municipalities. There are already municipalities that have implemented the basic tile plan and we want more municipalities to take this innovation as an example.

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