Rita’s project has received incredible national and international attention. Her ramps have been helpful to not only wheelchair users but also people with baby strollers and carts. She is now being asked to build ramps for specific sites and she has even received LEGO brick donations from other countries such as Spain, Italy, and France.
In a phone interview with Pop-Up City, Rita explained that the LEGO ramps draw people’s attention to barriers in urban spaces in a way that is uncomplicated, colorful, and friendly. She believes that is why her project has been so successful, as it does not point fingers but rather adopts a positive approach to raise awareness and address the issue of accessibility.
Rita, who calls herself the “LEGO Grandma,” is active on Instagram, where she regularly provides updates of her project with photos and videos taken by her 13-year-old granddaughter Nora. She is currently looking for more LEGO donations and is excited to share her initiative with more people around the world. However, since it is difficult and unsustainable to ship the built ramps, she has created an instructional manual in five languages (English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French) that teaches people how to build their own LEGO ramps, which can be requested via email at email@example.com.
Given that many cities around the world today have been designed by predominantly male able-bodied planners, Rita’s project bridges a gap in urban planning by making public spaces more accessible for not only people with disabilities but also women, who are typically the primary caretakers of young children in strollers and older family members in wheelchairs. In a creative and positive manner, her initiative highlights the need for urban planning to become more inclusive of multiple perspectives.