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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.
Read the latest white paper: Smart Cities for All: A Vision for an Inclusive, Accessible Urban Future
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
Co-founder and Managing Director
James Thurston is the Managing Director of Smart Cities for All. He 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 advises 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, Chancellor’s Research Fellow and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a leading global expert on disability rights, policy, planning, and design and has worked closely with the governments and international organizations to develop policies and programs that include persons with disabilities as equal stakeholders in development.
Senior Project Manager
Yulia Sarviro is an experienced specialist in philanthropy and CSR, building the capacity of non-profit and educational organizations using different instruments, including marketing, communications, and social media. As Senior Project Manager at Smart Cities for All, she is responsible for successful implementation of multiple projects focusing on raising awareness among cities regarding digital inclusion and ICT accessibility when developing and introducing smart city solutions.
Udita Singh is a communications professional with a keen interest in the ever-changing digital realm and a multidisciplinary academic background. At G3ict and Smart Cities for All, her work incorporates the creation and management of diverse digital content.
Webmaster and Project Support Manager
Mahtab Irani is a policy and communications professional and is interested in the impact of new age media on the development sector. She was Senior Project Coordinator at the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) on the Promoting Easy Access for Persons with Disabilities project. Mahtab has also been Coordinator and Researcher at the UNESCO Parzor Foundation for their exhibition Threads of Continuity: Zoroastrian Life and Culture, that has been showcased at New Delhi and Kolkata.
Country Representative Program
Smart Cities for All benefits from a global network of expert country representatives. These Country Representatives collaborate with local and national governments, civil society, and private sector stakeholders in making global cities more inclusive in the context of the UN SDGs (#11), the UN Habitat III New Urban Agenda, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Country Representatives bring to their countries the global work of Smart Cities for All, a broad understanding of accessibility and universal design for technologies and environments, the UN CRPD, and the perspectives of a variety of disabilities. Meet our country representatives
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.
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.
All News and Views
What People Are Saying
- Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director, International Disability Alliance
- Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NY
- Toni Townes-Whitley, Vice President, Microsoft
- Mike Zeto, Vice President and General Manager of Smart Cities, AT&T
- Mayor Mauricio Rodas of Quito, Ecuador
- Elkin Velasquez, Regional Director of UN-Habitat ROLAC
- Yuval Wagner, President and Founder of Access Israel
- Danielle DuMerer Commissioner and Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Chicago
- Geraldo Nogueira, Undersecretary in the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities, City of Rio de Janeiro
- Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft
- Tim Springer, CEO of Level Access
- Joshua Fouts, Executive Director of Bioneers
- Mrs. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN
- Trudy Norris-Grey, Managing Director, Microsoft CityNext
- Prashant Ranjan Verma, General Secretary of the India National Association for the Blind
- Charlotte McClain Nhlapo, Global Disability Advisor at the World Bank
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.
Smart Cities for All: A Vision for an Inclusive, Accessible Urban Future
AT&T and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) have created this report to help cities identify ways that smart city technologies can adopt a people-first approach to benefit people with disabilities and older citizens. The paper takes its name from the G3ict and World Enabled Smart Cities for All global initiative.
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.