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Public Spaces for All: Flipping the script on universal design, inclusion and accessibility


Monday, June 27, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 19
World Blind Union (WBU)
Equitable urban futures
NE 39


This networking event will focus and discuss the contents of the Special Issue of the Journal of Public Space on “Universally Accessible Public Spaces for All” being launched at WUF11 following the commitments made in the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions.

The special issue is comprised of research articles, case studies and viewpoints from academia, city professionals, city managers and officials, urban planners, and civil society, including organizations of persons with disabilities (OPD), older persons representatives, self-advocates, and artists. Discussants will elaborate on and share experiences, learnings, and recommendations on how to flip the script on universal design, inclusion, and accessibility in public spaces. The aim is to support sharing of evidence-based practices, innovative solutions and measures taken by cities and urban practitioners to ensure inclusive and accessible public spaces and support realization of the New Urban Agenda in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and other human rights instruments and core development and humanitarian frameworks.

The event, which will take a podcast interview format, will engage speakers from partner institutions and special issue article authors participating in-person at WUF11.


1. Gain deeper understanding and insights into why inclusive and accessible public spaces are key to enable enjoyment of human rights, improving quality of life and access to services, specifically in light of the experiences and barriers evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic which are key to address as we Build Back Better. 2. Share experiences and learnings from examples of evidence-based practices, innovative solutions, and measures taken by cities and urban practitioners to remove accessible barriers in public spaces, including strategies and mechanisms to ensure meaningful participation and engagement of diverse marginalized groups, including all persons with Disabilities, in urban planning and designing processes. 3. Foster collective knowledge and discuss innovative strategies and practices for mainstreaming and integration of accessibility and Universal Design aspects into urban planning and design processes, including with considerations to requirements of intersecting populations in resilience, disaster risk reduction and climate action planning.

Session speakers

Mr. Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius
Program Officer, Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development
World Blind Union
Ms. Luisa Bravo
Founder & President
City Space Architecture, The Journal of Public Space
Mr. Iain McKinnon
Director for Inclusive Design
Global Disability Innovation Hub
Ms. Emilia Saiz
Secretary General
United Cities and Local Governments
Ms. Ombati Elizabeth Nyabiage
PCG member, OPD Engagement Officer
World Network of Users and Survivors of Psyciatry (WNUSP), General Assembly of Partners
Mr Marc Workman
Chief Executive Officer
World Blind Union