Good Practices of Accessible Urban Development: Making Urban Environments Inclusive and Fully Accessible to ALL (86-page PDF)
"Persons with disabilities have a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions can be even greater if we remove barriers to their participation. With more than one billion of persons with disabilities in our world today, this is more important than ever."
Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General, message on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2012
About 6.25 billion people, 15 per cent of them persons with disabilities, are expected to be living in urban centres by 20502. Urbanization has the potential to be an engineer for achieving sustainable and inclusive development for all. The current lack of environmental accessibility3 faced by people with disabilities, in particular in many cities in the world, presents a major challenge. As the international community prepares for the Third Global Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), which will take place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, it is an apt and a strategic opportunity to promote an accessible and inclusive Urban Agenda.
In fulfilling the promise of a sustainable and inclusive New Urban Agenda, the work of Habitat III would be greatly supported by promoting accessibility following universal design approaches and disability inclusion. This requires strong commitments in concrete terms including inclusive urban policy, regulatory norms and standards, universal design4 approached planning, allocation of necessary resources, and a broad-based partnership that involves and engages all community members, including persons with disabilities.
1 The authors would like to extend special appreciation to the many contributors, especially those from the offices of UN-Habitat and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility for their inputs received for this section.
2 The World Urbanization Prospects (2014).United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
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