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Universally Accessible Public Spaces for All

Abstract

At the occasion of the 10th session of the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi (2020), the World Blind Union (WBU) and City Space Architecture committed to develop and publish a special issue of The Journal of Public Space with a specific focus on universally accessible public spaces. This voluntary commitment was included in the Forum’s outcome declaration, the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions (2021), intended to support accelerating the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and urban dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the Decade of Action. In particular this Special Issue is contributing to Goal 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, and its outcomes are focusing on Goal 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Today, more than half of the world’s population live in cities, 15 per cent of them being persons with disabilities. By 2050, 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban communities including over two billion persons with disabilities and older persons requiring inclusive and accessible infrastructure and services to live independently and participate on an equal basis in all aspects of society. Local and regional governments, and other key urban stakeholders, face immense pressure to adapt strategies, policies, and urban planning and design practices to fully respond to the rights and needs of all persons with disabilities and intersecting social groups.

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Published:
Pages:1 to 4
Section: Editorial
How to Cite
Lagrelius, H. and Bravo, L. (2022) “Universally Accessible Public Spaces for All”, The Journal of Public Space, 7(2), pp. 1-4. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v7i2.1610.

Author Biographies

World Blind Union
Canada Canada

Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius manages the World Blind Union’s (WBU) Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development, is co-chair of the Partner Constituent Group of Persons with Disabilities within the General Assembly of Partners, an advisor in the G3ICT Smart Cities 4 All program and serves as the WBU’s focal point with UN-Habitat, UCLG, and Cities 4 All network. He has worked across Sweden’s bilateral development cooperation, international cooperation in the disability rights sector, and held numerous CSO board positions. He is on a young professionals secondment by the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Sida.

Luisa Bravo is a global academic scholar and educator, cultural entrepreneur and public space activist. She has more than 20-year experience in the professional field as urban planner and designer with a specific focus on public space. Her expertise is grounded in extensive academic postdoctoral research and teaching in Italy and Europe, the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Throughout her academic career, she held different academic positions, in Italy and abroad, and she has been the recipient of prestigious grants and awards.
She is Founding Member and President of City Space Architecture,a non-profit cultural association based in Italy with a mission to studying, making, spreading and sharing public space culture, through an interdisciplinary approach, involving art and architecture. She is the Founder, Editor in chief and Journal Manager of ‘The Journal of Public Space’, established by City Space Architecture in partnership with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. 
Luisa is a renowned speaker at major UN-Habitat global summits, such as Habitat III, the UN conference on Sustainable Development, held in Quito (Ecuador, 2016) and the World Urban Forum (2018 in Kuala Lumpur; 2020 in Abu Dhabi; 2022 in Katowice), where she organized networking and training events and curated exhibitions in cooperation with global stakeholders.  She was also selected to attend two High-level meetings on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (2017 / 2022), held at the UN headquarters in New York and convened by the General Assembly.
Luisa’s lecture ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ - www.standupforpublicspace.org - has been included in the UN Habitat Global Urban Lectures series (season 4 - 2017), one of the UN-Habitat’s most publicly shared online outreach initiatives. 

References

Al Jubeh, K., Dard, B., Zayed, Y. (2020) Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action, Delivering on 7 accessibility commitments, World Blind Union and CBM Global Disability Inclusion. Available at: https://worldblindunion.org/programs/accessibility/

Bravo, L. (2022), Cities and Human Settlements with Quality Public Spaces [thematic paper], Global Platform for the Right to the City. Available at: https://www.right2city.org/document/thematic-paper-cities-and-human-settlements-with-quality-public-spaces/

CBM and World Enabled (2016) The Inclusion Imperative: Towards Disability-inclusive and Accessible Urban Development. Available at: https://www.cbm.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/The-Inclusion-Imperative-Towards-Disability-Inclusive-and-Accessible-Urb....pdf

Pineda, V., Meyer, S. and Cruz, J. (2017) “The Inclusion Imperative. Forging an Inclusive New Urban Agenda”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(4), pp. 1-20. doi: https://doi.org/10.5204/jps.v2i4.138.

UN-Habitat (2021) The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions: One year of implementation. Available at: https://unhabitat.org/sites/default/files/2021/05/abu_dhabi_declared_actions_report.pdf

UCLG - United Cities and Local Governments (2019) Policy Paper on Inclusive and Accessible Cities. Available at: https://www.uclg.org/sites/default/files/inclusive_accessible_cities_policypaper.pdf

United Nations, CRPD (2006) Article 9, Accessibility. Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/article-9-accessibility.html

United Nations, CRPD (2006) Article 3, General Principles. Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/article-3-general-principles.html

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