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Themes: Inclusive Design

GDI Hub at World Urban Forum: Inclusive and Resilient Cities for Persons with Disabilities

Colour image of Mikaela Patrick

Mikaela Patrick

Senior Inclusive Design Researcher

On 26th- 30th June 2022 the 11th session of the World Urban Forum is taking place in Katowice, Poland. Organised by UN-Habitat, this year’s theme is ‘Transforming Cities for Better Urban Futures’ with sub-themes including ‘Equitable Urban Futures’ and ‘Sustainable Urban Resilience’. Over 15000 delegates from 166 countries are registered to attend and the Forum promises a week full of innovation for cities.

GDI Hub is delighted to be attending and participating in a number of events throughout the week - as we advocate for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in sustainable urban development and will be sharing how inclusive design is a tool that can deliver inclusive urban development. We will be using evidence collected through our UK Aid funded AT2030 Inclusive Infrastructure programme to contribute to the following dialogues throughout the week.

“One of the keys to AT2030’s success is international partnerships and positive approaches to collaboration”

Anne MacKinnon, FCDO

‘Our hope for the 11th session of the World Urban Forum is that by showcasing our unique research, launching our Inclusive Design Strategy and engaging in so many events, including the Roundtable on Disability, we make a lasting impact that supports more inclusive cities in future, ensuring no one is left behind.’

Iain McKinnon

Dialogue 2: Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures [Tues 28th June, 10am ECT]

According to World Urban Forum Background paper, this Dialogue will explore how urban resilience can be built across various dimensions — economic, social and environmental, including appropriate governance and institutional structures drawing on the lessons and experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provides an opportunity to transform our cities and town for a better urban future.

Iain McKinnon will be participating in the dialogue to share why persons with disabilities must be a central for of the discussion of resilient urban futures, and how they can be included through inclusive urban design processes – drawing on the lessons learned from the AT2030 Inclusive Infrastructure Case Studies.

Dialogue 5: Transforming Cities through Innovative Solutions and Technologies [Thurs 30th June, 10am ECT]

According to World Urban Forum Background paper, this Dialogue will explore role that innovation and technology can play in the transition to more sustainable urban futures as well as the accompanying challenges.

Mikaela Patrick will be participating in this dialogue to share our visions for disability-inclusive cities for 2050 and how disability innovation and assistive technology can facilitate inclusive urban development.

Persons with Disabilities Roundtable [Tues 28th June, 4pm ECT]

The roundtable is a crucial dialogue for disability inclusion at World Urban Forum. The team will be participating with partners to track progress on disability inclusive urban development.

We’ll also be joining World Blind Union, City Space Architecture, UCLG and Kota Kita at the launch of the Special Issue of the Journal of Public Space: “Public Spaces for all: Flipping the Script on universal design, inclusion and accessibility”

“Inclusive cities are cities that have placed disabled persons as actors of development. The key is there, starting from planning, organizing, monitoring to evaluation or feedback.”

AT2030 Research Participant

Launching at the World Urban Forum

We are also launching a number of outputs during the week including:

  • GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design Strategy, a landmark document that gives an insight to our approach and how we delivered on an inclusive built environment in East London.
  • A new academic paper on ‘Co-Creating Inclusive Public Spaces’, as part of a special issue of the Journal of Public Space which is being launched at WUF, led by City Space Architecture and World Blind Union.
  • Our latest AT2030 Inclusive Infrastructure Case Study on Solo, Indonesia is now live and the outputs of these case studies will be showcased in our exhibition at the Urban Expo.

If you are at World Urban Forum and would like to discuss inclusive design and disability-inclusive urban development please do find us in the exhibition space, where we'll be sharing some of images of our global programmes.

Digital Image of WUF agenda
Digital Image of WUF agenda