Join the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities

01 A Worldwide Commitment to Advance Cities for All

The Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities is a declaration that aligns key commitments to accessibility, universal design and inclusion within The Sustainable Development Goals, The New Urban Agenda, The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the WHO’s Age Friendly Cities Framework. It affirms the rights of 1 billion persons with disabilities and the increasing share of the global population aged 60 or older that experience barriers to their equitable participation in society. Half of all persons with disabilities and older persons around the world now live in towns and cities, and these groups are estimated to number over 2 billion persons in cities worldwide by 2050. This global call for action lies at the core of the #Cities4All campaign.

02 Challenges: Why Sign the Global Compact?

The Global Compact helps cities understand the challenges facing persons with various types of disabilities, older persons, and other key stakeholders. These stakeholders include young people, women, migrants, and indigenous communities, who must all be included in the development and implementation of urban development policies and strategies. However, numerous challenges limit this engagement:

  • Rampant discrimination against persons with disabilities and older persons particularly in physical and digital infrastructure of cities.
    • More thorough consideration of barriers to participation as even within key frameworks and platforms, barriers to participation are still present.
  • Lack of awareness of global standards on accessibility and universal design principles.
    • Need to communicate and share best practices around accessibility and highlight and celebrate examples of successful implementations of universal design principles in urban development.
  • The role of local governments in monitoring, reporting, and enforcement mechanisms that can ensure accessibility in the built and digital environment.
    • Need for greater coordination among all stakeholders involved in urban development to guide policies, implementation, and adoption of accessibility standards and universal design principles.

03 The Cities for All Campaign: Making Cities Inclusive and Accessible

Signatory cities, organizations and individuals of the Global Compact share common commitments to addressing challenges and realizing the opportunities to ensure local governments leave no one behind. They also commit to implementing local actions and policies to advance #Cities4All.

Signatory local and regional governments may further join the global Community of Practice rallying Cities for All. This is a space within the World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) via its Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights. Signatories may also choose to join the Global Network on Disability on Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) to share experiences, exchange policy ideas and successes, and organize joint advocacy actions.

04 The Cities For All Community of Practice Commitments

The Cities for All Community of Practice will serve as a coordination platform for signatory members to put into practice their commitments. The Community of Practice is managed by UCLG and supported by the DIAUD / Cities for All civil society network. The Community will work to:

  • Enhance thought leadership of mayors, showcasing existing practices and new commitments on inclusion and accessibility at global and regional flagship events.
  • Enhance best practice exchange between cities, governments, organizations, institutions, and practitioners using the existing UCLG and DIAUD infrastructure of thematic initiatives and networks. The Community of Practice will be provided a best practice guidebook on inclusive and accessible strategies and policies. In addition, city officials and other members will be able to attend webinars and workshops on inclusion, accessibility, and universal design, and exchange information online and offline.
  • Provide technical assistance to cities and national governments to develop and deliver ambitious projects to implement the New Urban Agenda that are compatible with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the WHO’s Age Friendly Cities initiative, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Cities will have access to customized support, training, and resources focused on stakeholder and citizen engagement, inclusivity, and benefits assessments, inclusive of mitigation and adaptation actions.
  • Provide ground-breaking and innovative research on the links between accessibility and other transversal issues, the wider benefits of inclusion, and accessible urban development policies and strategies.
  • Develop joint advocacy strategies at the global level to advance the global compact commitments in international and national agendas, contributing to the #Cities4All campaign.
  • Disseminate the declaration among signatory cities’ partners and allies (networks, civil society, academia) to raise awareness and promote ownership of its content at the local level.

05 Join the Global Movement for Universal Access

Steps to sign the Global Compact

Diverse and dynamic cities like New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Durban, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, Montreal, Montevideo, Quito, Paris, Singapore, Dubai, and Seoul have expressed interest in joining the campaign – and we need you too!

Local and regional governments

  • Step 1: Please SIGN HERE OR send an email to signup@cities4all.org to express your city’s interest in joining the Global Compact and the #Cities4All Campaign.
  • Step 2: You will then be invited to officially register, agree to the list of principles, and learn more about how you can benefit from participating in the Cities for All Community of Practice.
  • Step 3: You will receive a template formal letter to be signed by the mayor or head of the government you represent.
  • Step 4: Your city will gain visibility and be part of the global movement to advance Cities for All – and your city will appear on the website as a founding city.

Other organizations and institutions

  • Step 1: Please SIGN HERE OR send an email to signup@cities4all.org to express your interest in joining the Global Compact and #Cities4All campaign. The message should include a formal letter from the head of your organization.
  • Step 2: You will then be invited to officially register, agree to the list of principles, and learn more about how you can benefit from participating in the Cities for All Community of Practice.
  • Step 3: Your organization will gain visibility and be part of the global movement to advance Cities for All – and your organization will appear on the website as a founding signatory.

Individuals

  • Step 1: Please SIGN HERE OR send an email to signup@cities4all.org to express your interest in joining the Global Compact and the #Cities4All Campaign, including the name and title of the signatory person.
  • Step 2: You will then be invited to officially register, agree to the list of principles, and learn more about how you can benefit from participating in the Cities for All Community of Practice.
  • Step 3: You will be part of the global movement to advance Cities for All – and will be listed as an ally on the website.

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