What do New York, London, and Dubai have in common? They have all publicly stated that they seek to be the “world’s most accessible” city. The rights of an estimated 1 billion people - or 15% of the world’s population - are increasingly being discussed by policy makers, urban planners and city officials thanks in part to the work of World Enabled and its global network of partners. It’s also fitting that World Enabled has now officially joined the World Urban Campaign. Dr. Pineda, it’s founder is a 37 year old social entrepreneur and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California Berkeley.
He’s has an unassuming, but influential presence. As a globally recognized urban studies scholar and practitioner he has helped advance laws, and policies that further a more equitable approach to the way cities are built. He noted, "we are pushing the envelope and working to eliminate unnecessary barriers that keep people from realizing their potential." The World Urban Campaign is mobilizing efforts towards a New Urban Agenda, an agenda Dr. Pineda hopes will incorporate a disability inclusive human and civil rights approach to urban programs and policies.
The principles of the World Urban Campaign revolve around taking actions that will make our cities more sustainable. This includes making cities more accessible and pro-poor land, infrastructure, services, mobility and housing. It also includes making cities more inclusive, gender sensitive, more carbon-efficient and safer. A major effort is being made to broaden participation by marginalized groups and ensure that vibrant and competitive local economies can benefit everyone without discrimination while planning for and managing adversity and change.
Dr. Pineda hopes to further practical knowledge of universal design and thus help build more inclusive societies where people with disabilities can develop their talents, skills and abilities and reach their full potential. He envisions the work helping to make explicit the value of universal and inclusive design.
Last year with partners such as GAATES, the Institute on Disability and Public Policy, and the Harvard Project on Disability, he launched the Inclusive Cities Lab (ICL) to conduct collaborative research and offering technical assistance, and capacity building initiatives in cities that seek to be a model for inclusion. Since January, he’s met with with a number of city officials, research institutions, government agencies, and multilateral organizations in an effort to mobilize collective action and align various efforts that seek to promote inclusive and sustainable cities. The main goals of these partnerships are TO UNITE, TO ENABLE, TO MEASURE and TO CONNECT.
World Enabled will also endeavor to connect the WUC’s six thematic clusters to broader discussions in disability inclusive development, and international disability rights. World Enabled aims to accomplish this through the development and management of the Inclusive Cities Lab (ICL).
WE ICL’s organizational goals are focused on accessibility of cities and carried out through strategic activities to create a coalition of partners promoting social inclusion through disability inclusive urban planning across various sectors. Inclusive Cities Lab will foment interdisciplinary collaboration amongst various strands of the WUC six thematic clusters. ICL-grounded activities abide by this intersect across these clusters.
Some questions that the Inclusive Cities Lab will explore include:
What strategies and tactics are used to identify and remove barriers for people with disabilities in the transportation system in urban centers?
How can leadership and sustainable budgetary allocations support inclusive urban development?
How can different agencies work horizontally across silos and functions?
How can we improve collaboration between the local, national, regional, and international scales?
What are the responsibilities of key stakeholders towards ensuring access and social inclusion of PWD?
Through the Inclusive Cities Lab, work to ensure that Habitat III, and its preparatory process includes the perspectives of people with disabilities and is aligned to the principles enumerated in the United Nations Conventions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. WE will also participate in all World Urban Campaign Events and will be a key partner at the World Urban Forum, the World Premier Conference on Cities, organised by UN-Habitat every two years.
In addition, World enabled will promote the topic of inclusion and bridge disability community with the Habitat III process, particularly paying attention to the relevance of disability. Activities, events, and public information efforts will be organized through our Inclusive Cities Lab (ICL). The ICL is a collaborative initiative that brings together various partners interested in ensuring equitable outcomes for persons with disabilities. The inclusive cities lab situates disability and access within other forms of urban exclusion/inclusion including access to healthcare, education, transportation, social services, and participation among others.