The road to inclusive cities


The World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9), to be held in Kuala Lumpur from 7-13 February 2018 will mobilize urban actors in national governments, sub-national and local governments, civil society, private sector and academia to share knowledge and solutions for sustainable urban development; facilitate stakeholders’ inputs to monitoring and reporting on the New Urban Agenda and facilitate strong multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda provided a critical opportunity for the disability community to help shape a more accessible and inclusive urban future for all. The New Urban Agenda was adopted in October 2016 and sets out a common vision and global standards for urban development in the coming decades.

CBM together with World Enabled and the Global Network on Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) have been key actors in advocating for the inclusion of women, men, girls and boys with disabilities in the New Urban Agenda and the UN Habitat III process.

As a result of these efforts, the New Urban Agenda successfully includes a stand-alone paragraph on disability inclusion and 15 mentions of persons with disabilities throughout every aspect of the document, from non-discrimination, to affordable housing, to public services, to accessibility in the built environment, to access to information and communication technologies. In addition, a publication ‘The Inclusion Imperative: towards Disability-inclusive and Accessible Urban Development’ was developed to provide recommendations on how to ensure Disability Inclusion and Accessible urban development.

The World Urban Forum 9 provides a critical opportunity to examine implementation and monitoring of the Urban Agenda as a tool and accelerator for achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Theme of the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda” placing inclusion as a key to accessible, safe, sustainable and resilient cities. 

Read more about our recommendations for an inclusive urban agenda

CBM along with World Enabled has drafted a document titled 'The Inclusive Imperative: Towards Disability-Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development'. This document lists out the key recommendations for an Inclusive Urban Agenda. You can also access the 'easy read' version.


What CBM does to promote Cities for All?

The New Urban Agenda comes in at a critical moment, when the first time in history over half of the world’s population is residing in cities. Cities, if planned and managed well, will become the main tool for sustainable development and has a potential to be a solution to many of the challenges our planet is facing today. The New Urban Agenda lays out the vision for future cities based on the science of urban development providing tools in crucial areas of inclusion and participation.

In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), CBM and its partners are actively engaged in promoting the Urban Agenda both at global, regional and local levels by encouraging implementation of accessibility standards and universal design principles and ensuring participation of persons with disabilities including DPOs. Many countries, with the support from CBM and its partners, including HaitiPhilippinesIndiaNepal and Indonesia have taken significant steps towards inclusion of persons with disabilities and implementation of accessibility in communities. CBM has also been working closely with the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) and the Government of Ecuador to promote inclusive and sustainable urban development and housing public policy in line with the New Urban Agenda’s implementation framework.

CBM at the WUF9: “there are no Cities for all without the participation of all”

CBM will be participating the World Urban Forum 9 supporting participation of DPO representatives and members of the DIAUD Network. This event will be a unique opportunity to convene key stakeholders from national and local governments, with leading civil society organizations and networks to advance the practice of Accessibility and Universal design:

  • discussing different contexts on participative approach in urban practice;
  • highlighting the challenges and opportunities in implementing key provisions of the new urban agenda; and
  • focusing on the tools and resources that can support more effective implementation at the local level

Through the different side events and meetings, CBM and DIAUD network will aim to encourage effective participation and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders, including local governments, the private sector, civil society, women and youth organizations, older persons, as well as those representing persons with disabilities, ascertaining the opportunities for urban economic development as well as in identifying and addressing existing and emerging challenges.

Moreover, the dialogue will explore how cities and human settlements can facilitate access for persons with disabilities and older persons on an equal basis with others, to the physical and digital environments of cities (public spaces, public transport, housing, education and health facilities, information and communications technologies and systems, etc).

Our goal is to encourage stakeholders to influence their sub-national and local governments, as appropriate, in fulfilling their key role in strengthening the interface among all relevant stakeholders, offering opportunities for dialogue.