Contact: Udita Singh, G3ict, [email protected]

Smart Cities for All names Chicago as first city for Digital Inclusion pilot project

Chicago is first of 5 cities worldwide to pilot Smart City Digital Inclusion assessment tool created by G3ict and World Enabled with Microsoft’s support


CHICAGO – Today, the Smart Cities for All global initiative, a collaboration of G3ict and World Enabled, two nonprofits with a history of leadership in inclusive, accessible design, announced that the city of Chicago will be the first city in the world to use its tool to track progress and measure commitment to digital inclusion in a smart city.

The Smart City Digital Inclusion Maturity Model tool helps cities evaluate the current state of ICT accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities in city digital and smart services. Focused on a broad range of functions important to all cities, such as communications, procurement, training, and technology standards, it defines key performance indicators and metrics to support advancing accessibility and digital inclusion in a smart city context. The tool’s five levels of maturity for digital inclusion guide cities in assessing and tracking their progress across multiple smart city dimensions, e.g. technology, data, culture, and strategy.

James Thurston, co-founder of Smart Cities for All and G3ict Vice President and Dr. Victor Pineda, Smart Cities for All co-founder and President of World Enabled praised Chicago’s innovative use of technology to benefit all people in the city, including persons with disabilities and older persons.

“Today we are taking steps to expand the digital inclusion toolkit we make available to cities across the United States and the world,” said James Thurston. “The leadership in Chicago and its commitment to being both smarter and more inclusive make it the perfect first city to pilot our new tool and set the stage for other cities to follow.”

“People with disabilities and older persons have the most to benefit from a more inclusive digital future. Our Maturity Model for Digital Inclusion helps smart city leaders leverage their unique capabilities and assess their progress towards digital inclusion.” Dr. Pineda said.

Chicago has a vision to be a city where technology fuels opportunity, inclusion, engagement, and innovation for all. The City’s Department of Information Technology is working to enhance delivery of City services through easy, reliable, cost-effective and secure access to information and to promote Chicago’s advancement through technology.

“We are excited to partner with G3ict, its partner World Enabled, and Smart Cities for All to pilot their new maturity model,” said Danielle DuMerer, CIO & Commissioner of the Department of Innovation & Technology at the City of Chicago. “The tool promises to provide a framework that will guide our technology planning efforts with the goal of ensuring that we are developing equitable and inclusive products and services.”

“As cities evolve and integrate new technologies, we can help them define what it means to be both smart and accessible,” said Adam Hecktman, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Microsoft in Chicago.  “Microsoft believes accessibility and inclusion are essential to delivering on our mission to empower everyone, everywhere.  We are delighted to be partnering with G3ict, World Enabled, and the City of Chicago to benchmark and track the inclusivity of Smart Cities.  Together we can support cities in using innovative technology to advance opportunities for everyone”

As a pilot city for the Smart Cities for All digital inclusion assessment tool, Chicago will work with an expert team convened by G3ict, World Enabled, Microsoft, and their partners to understand how effectively the city coordinates its digital inclusion and smart city efforts to create inclusive experiences for everyone. The pilot will be scheduled before the end of 2018. The result of the pilot will be an assessment of Chicago’s progress on digital inclusion and a roadmap for making more progress.

About G3ict

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

About World Enabled

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

About Chicago MOPD

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) works to meet the diverse needs of the more than 600,000 individuals with disabilities who live and work in Chicago. MOPD’s goal is to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation. MOPD promotes total access, full participation and equal opportunity for people with disabilities of all ages in all aspects of life. It seeks to accomplish this mission through a multi-faceted approach that includes systemic change, education and training, advocacy and direct services. More information can be found at