Towards Inclusive Cities from the European Disability Forum

EDF just launched its new policy brief titled Towards inclusive cities: Making UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 a reality in Europe”. The presentation of this paper took during a side event to the  High Level Political Forum 2018 on Sustainable Development.

The side event ““Goal 11: inclusion of persons with disabilities in societies” was organised by EDF, in partnership with the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities and other partners including the European Union.

EDF’s Vice-President Ana Peláez Narváez launched the brief during the panel of the side event.

EDF’s new policy brief in brief

Goal 11, part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, encompasses a wide range of urban focused human development issues. This Goal has the ambition to create inclusive, sustainable and resilient communities for all. In fact, the work around SDG Goal 11 has the potential to promote implementation of a wide range of CRPD articles and make important contributions towards increasing participation of persons with disabilities in their communities.

EDF particularly focuses on supporting the development of accessible transport vehicles (for example, regulation on rail accessibility) as well as multi-modal terminals for public transportation. These are spaces in which passengers change between one form of transport and another.

Our recommendations

The recommendations are addressed to policy-makers, city managers, urban planners, designers, disability rights advocates, scholars, and anyone else who is involved in urban development or accessibility.

  • Include accessibility fully in all relevant policies and initiatives. Accessibility is a right (as articulated in the CRPD, the 2030 Agenda and in the Sendai Framework) and is fully incorporated into the aims of SDG 11. It should therefore form the core advocacy focus for any consultation in relation to urban development – from housing, transportation and infrastructure, green areas and public open spaces, road safety and emergency planning to information and communication technology and disaster resilience planning.
  • Ensure that the principles of Design for All are well understood and communicated, particularly in relation to consultations around the design of new goods and services.
  • Promote the use of public procurement standards that use Universal Design principles and ensure that persons with disabilities are able to participate in the setting and monitoring of these standards.
  • Use existing accessibility standards, like for ICT the European Standard EN 301 549 so as not to duplicate the work.
  • Develop an integrated, cross-sectoral, and sustainable strategy on accessibility in cities (such as the EU initiative on “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, which currently doesn’t include accessibility). Currently, the focus is only on specific aspects such as digitization or transport, but a full strategy/vision is needed.
  • Promote the development of Smart Cities that take full account of the needs and participation of persons with disabilities and consider supporting the development of a global policy on accessibility using the current EU Access City Award criteria.
  • Develop a clear concept/vision on how to ensure a multimodal, accessible travel chain and provide the relevant funding, especially to invest in infrastructure.
  • Consult with representatives of the disability movement on the implementation of accessibility on a local level.


Source: Towards Inclusive Cities from the European Disability Forum


Marion Steff
SDGs Coordinator
Marie Denninghaus
Transport and Mobility Officer
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