Introduction to Cities for All Learning Modules

An ever-increasing number of people around the world now live in cities. And cities shape virtually every aspect of global development, including the manner in which fundamental dignities and human rights are recognized, discussed and implemented. This rapid urbanization has provided opportunities for transformational change, moving at an accelerated pace to improve social inclusion, access to services, and livelihoods. Cities also play a vital role in engaging marginalized populations that might otherwise be at risk of exclusion.

But cities are also under immense pressure to make the most of these opportunities by ensuring that urban development is inclusive and responds to the rights of all persons, particularly persons with disabilities and older persons. Social exclusion, discrimination, marginalization, and insurmountable environmental, infrastructural, and attitudinal barriers pose significant challenges for building inclusive cities and providing equal access to all so that everyone can live long and prosperous lives in urban areas. To achieve this, we must seek to fully understand what disability is and how it affects people’s ability to engage and interact fully with the services and environments they need to access.

By the end of this introduction session, you will learn what disability is and isn’t and how the way we view it fundamentally affects the lives of billions of people around the world. You will have an appreciation that all members of society have the same basic human rights, which include civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights.

Essential Questions

When viewing the video, focus on answering the following questions:

  • Why is disability an evolving concept?
  • What is the relationship between disability and human diversity?
  • What are the different types of barriers that persons with disabilities face?