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About Smart Cities for All
G3ict and World Enabled launched the Smart Cities for All initiative to define the state of ICT accessibility in Smart Cities worldwide. Our focus is to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities around the world. We are partnering with leading organizations and companies to create and deploy the tools and strategies needed to build more inclusive Smart Cities.
Our Mission is to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities programs worldwide.
Smart Cities are inclusive and use innovative technologies to benefit persons with disabilities and older persons.
The toolkit contains four tools to help Smart Cities worldwide include a focus on ICT accessibility and the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons.
The toolkit supports a range of organizations and roles related to Smart Cities, including government managers, policy makers, IT professionals, disability advocates, procurement officials, technology suppliers, and developers who design Smart City apps and solutions.
Each of the tools addresses a priority challenge identified by global experts as a barrier to the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities.
Accessible information and communications technology (ICT) standards are key to designing a more inclusive approach to Smart Cities. This guide provides an inventory of three key standards that define ICT accessibility criteria and presents a step-by-step checklist of impactful actions that leaders can take to ensure their city is familiar with these standards and utilizing them effectively to improve their city’s ICT accessibility.
Smart Cities worldwide are uniquely positioned to use their considerable purchasing power, including of ICT, to advance the rights and digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. This guide helps cities adopt a policy that requires any ICT purchases be accessible to persons with disabilities and older persons. The guide showcases a model procurement policy and provides a step-by-step checklist for adopting it.
One of the biggest challenges to creating more inclusive Smart Cities is raising awareness of disability and ICT accessibility. This tool is designed to help effectively communicate the advantages of incorporating ICT accessibility into a city’s digital services. It provides the business, human rights, and technical arguments for a stronger commitment to the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. It can be used to help communicate to a variety of stakeholders the idea that a Smart City must also be an accessible city.
Smart Cities that incorporate ICT accessibility into their programs and solutions can deliver enormous benefits for citizens with disabilities, older citizens, and the population as a whole. This tool is being designed to showcase existing products and solutions that can be deployed by Smart Cities to positively impact citizens in critical areas, such as independent living, public safety, transportation, employment, and online public services. The database is being launched in Alpha version, including a proof of concept, roadmap for testing, examples of the more than 350 solutions currently in the database, and a call to action to continue growing the database as we move it to Beta version.
New Tools in Development
The Smart Cities for All initiative has begun to develop a new tool; the Smart Cities Digital Inclusion Maturity Model. This tool will help Smart Cities to clearly evaluate progress made towards achieving ICT accessibility and digital inclusion across a broad range of city functions. An Alpha version of this new tool will be available in July, 2017.
The Smart Cities for All initiative confirms through its research that most of today’s Smart Cities, in both the global north and the global south, are not fully accessible. The result is a growing digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons.
The Smart Cities for All initiative engages experts and communities in an ongoing way to generate new data and learnings related to digital inclusion in Smart Cities.
Highlights from the Smart Cities for All Global Survey
In 2016-17, the initiative surveyed more than 400 international experts from city governments, industry, civil society, and academia, and convened a series of expert roundtable discussions with program managers, disabled persons organizations, and technologists in Smart Cities worldwide. Our work is informed by this rigorous research.
DOWNLOAD HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR GLOBAL SURVEY (Powerpoint )
Smart Cities are Leaving Millions of People Behind
of global experts believe that Smart Cities are failing persons with disabilities.
Smart Cities are Not Accessible
of global experts know of a Smart City that uses ICT accessibility standards.
Disability and the Digital Divide
of Americans with disabilities never go online, compared with 8% of the general US population.
SC4A News and Media
- MICROSOFT ANUNCIA SITE EM PORTUGUÊS QUE INCENTIVA ACESSIBILIDADE EM PROJETOS DE SMART CITIES (Startupi)
- MICROSOFT LIBERA CONTEÚDO EM PORTUGUÊS PARA PLATAFORMA SMART CITIES FOR ALL (Bit Magazine)
- SMART CITIES FOR ALL AGORA TEM CONTEÚDO EM PORTUGUÊS PARA INCENTIVAR A ACESSIBILIDADE EM CIDADES INTELIGENTES (Microsoft News Center Brasil)
- HOW TO SOCIALIZE GREAT SMART CITIES STRATEGIES FOR ALL URBAN CENTERS (Readwrite)
- EMPOWERING A MORE ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE WORLD (Microsoft Official Blog)
- OUR SMART CITIES NYC KEY TAKEAWAY (Microsoft CityNext)
- MEET THE WOMEN LEADING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SMART CITIES: TONI TOWNES-WHITLEY (Huffpost)
- FOUR TOOLS TO DESIGN SMART CITIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (Progrss)
- WHY DOES MAINSTREAM INDIAN DISCOURSE ON DIGITAL INCLUSION LEAVE OUT DISABILITY? (The Wire)
- NEW TOOLKIT TO HELP SMART CITIES BE MORE ACCESSIBLE (Cities Today)
- SMART CITIES NYC ’17: MICROSOFT’S DEEP INTO SMART CITY TECH (TechRepublic)
- MICROSOFT LAUNCH SMART CITIES FOR ALL TOOLKIT (TechRepublic)
- MICROSOFT HELPS LAUNCH NEW SMART CITIES FOR ALL INITIATIVE AND TOOLKIT (TheRecord)
- FOUR TOOLS TO ENSURE ‘SMART CITIES’ DON’T LEAVE BEHIND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES (Citiscope)
- BOOSTING SMART CITY INCLUSION, MICROSOFT AND PARTNERS LAUNCH ACCESSIBILITY TOOLKIT (StateScoop)
- MICROSOFT’S NEW SMART CITY TOOLKIT GUIDES GOVERNMENT TO HELP DISABLED (21st Century State and Local)
- MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES SMART CITIES FOR ALL INVOLVEMENT (On MSFT)
- DIGITAL LEADERSHIP EMPOWERMENT BY DESIGN (Microsoft Empowering the Public Sector)
- SMART CITIES FOR ALL TOOLKIT: G3ICT, WORLD ENABLED AND MICROSOFT LOOK TO EMPOWER ACCESSIBLE CITIES (Microsoft Accessibility Blog)
- NEW SMART CITIES FOR ALL TOOLKIT CAN HELP CITIES BECOME MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL (Microsoft Firehose-Microsoft Official Blog)
- NEW SMART CITIES FOR ALL TOOLKIT CAN HELP CITIES BECOME MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL (Military Technology.net)
- DESIGNING CITIES THAT CONNECT FOR EVERYONE (Next City)
- MEET TWO GUYS ON A MISSION TO MAKE SMART CITIES ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL (Microsoft Empowering Countries)
- SMART CITIES BUY ACCESSIBLE TECHNOLOGY (G3ict Newsletter)
- NOW IS THE TIME TO CREATE SMART CITIES FOR ALL (G3ict Newsletter)
- SMART CITIES’ DIGITAL DIVIDE: CALL FOR FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY (The Indian Express)
- DIGITAL PUSH MUST BE DISABILITY INCLUSIVE (The Hindu)
- ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE DIFFERENTLY ABLED DISCUSSED (The Sentinel, Assam)
- SMART CITIES FOR ALL PAVES THE WAY TO DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY IN CITIES (Medium)
- MAKING SMART CITIES ACESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IS IMPORTANT (THE ECLETCTIC NORTHEAST)
- EFFORTS TO MAKE SMART CITIES DISABLED FRIENDLY (THE TELEGRAPH, CALCUTTA, INDIA)
- ACCESSIBILITY PHYSICAL INFRA DIGITAL INCLUSIN AGENDA (THE RISSADIARY)
- SMART CITIES’ DIGITAL DIVIDE: CALL FOR FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY
- ODISHA: ACCESSIBILITY: PHYSICAL INFRA, DIGITAL INCLUSION ON AGENDA FOR BHUBANESWAR SMART CITY (THE INDIAN EXPRESS)
- BHUBANESWAR GOVERNMENT TO DO EVERYTHING TO MAKE CITIES ACCESSIBLE (THE PIONEER)
- ACCESSIBILITY A BASIC RIGHT OF PWD (THE WIRE)
- URBAN INFASTRUCTURE SHOULD BE VISUALLY-IMPAIRED-FRIENDLY (PORT-TO-PORT)
- SMART CITIES MUST NOT ABANDON THE DISABLED (Khoahocphattrien)
What People Are Saying
G3ict and World Enabled’s Smart Cities for All initiative exposes a stark problem and describes the growing risk for persons with disabilities in today’s Smart Cities - a growing digital divide.
- Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director, International Disability Alliance
New York City has increased its commitment to digital inclusion and the tools that G3ict and World Enabled are building are the exact steps that Smart Cities need to follow.
- Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NY
The Smart Cities for All Toolkit empowers city leaders and urban planners to make their programs truly ‘smart’ by being inclusive and accessible by design.
- Toni Townes-Whitley, Vice President, Microsoft
Moving Forward: Six Strategies Towards More Inclusive Smart Cities Worldwide
G3ict and World Enabled believe that six interrelated strategies can help address the barriers to digital inclusion in today’s global Smart Cities. The six strategies described in this document will help ensure that Smart Cities worldwide, their policies, programs, and growing technology investments, will not leave behind persons with disabilities and older persons.
The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 by the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to support and help implement the goals of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. More information can be found at G3ict
World Enabled is a global education, communications, and strategic consulting group. It supports companies and governments with the full implementation of legal mandates that promote the rights of persons with disabilities. Its work and research initiatives focus on urban planning and inclusive urban development. With its international partners, it helps build inclusive societies where people with disabilities can fully develop their talents and reach their full potential. More information can be found at World Enabled
James Thurston is an internationally recognized technology policy leader. As G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development, he leads the design and implementation of new programs and has advised high-ranking government leaders in the US and abroad on technology policy, human rights, and digital inclusion.
Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda
Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda is the President of World Enabled and President of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES). He is a recognized leader in international disability rights and was appointed by US President Barak Obama to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
Microsoft is pleased to support the SC4A initiative and shares the belief that technology empowers persons with disabilities to achieve more in the places where they live and work. For more on MSFT's commitment to cities and its commitment to accessibility visit:
Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. These limitations are in part shaped by environmental barriers that hinder a person’s full participation in society on an equal basis with others. Older persons can acquire such impairments as part of the aging process.
The Smart Cities Council defines a Smart City as one that “uses information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance its livability, workability, and sustainability.”
ICT accessibility is generally accepted as being the quality of a mainstream technology such as a computer, mobile phone, self-service kiosk, or piece of software, to be used by the widest range of users possible regardless of their abilities or disabilities.