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The New Urban Agenda: Implementing Sustainable Urban Development in an Accessible and Inclusive Way

Documentation of the symposium from 26th May 2017.

The meeting took place at the GIZ-Haus in Berlin and provided information on the New Urban Agenda (NUA), which was adopted in the course of the United Nations HABITAT III Conference. The NUA is intended to contribute to sustainable and inclusive urban development at the global level. The aim of the conference was to inform about the NUA, to create awareness for its implementation and to present good examples of inclusive urban development projects from all over the world and Germany. At the end, the participants discussed in a panel the question of how Germany can contribute internationally to an inclusive implementation of the NUA.

'Our Struggle for Global Sustainability Will Be Won or Lost in Cities'.
Ban Ki Moon

Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Climate Change Conference in Paris, the United Nations HABITAT III Conference on Sustainable Urban Development took place in October 2016. At this conference, the New Urban Agenda was adopted, which is intended to contribute to sustainable and inclusive urban development at the global level.

Cities play a decisive role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals - currently, about half of the world's population already lives in them. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, about 75% of the world's population will live in cities. In addition to the challenges of making urbanisation environmentally friendly and sustainable, it is also about reducing poverty, creating liveable cities that offer decent working, housing and living conditions for the people who live there, and contribute to the social participation of all.

Like the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda follows the guiding principle of 'leaving no one behind'. The topics of accessibility and inclusion are explicitly anchored in it. It therefore offers an important prerequisite for urban development that includes all people.

The design of barrier-free infrastructure, mobility, communication and information, is not only beneficial for people with disabilities, but benefits everyone - especially the elderly. Accessibility is a future topic in view of the increasing ageing of the world's population.

Kumaresh Misra, Deputy Secretary General for Habitat III

Kumaresh Misra, Deputy Secretary General for Habitat III

Victor Pineda, activist for the rights of people with disabilities and president of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environment (GAATES)

Victor Pineda, activist for the rights of people with disabilities and president of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environment (GAATES)

Presentations by the Speakers

Following the introduction to the New Urban Agenda, speakers from Ecuador, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico presented good practice examples from their home countries. 

On the German side, too, there are already cities and projects that are taking an inclusive approach. In addition to good practice examples, city networks such as Connective Cities or the Cities Alliance were also shown, which include the topic of inclusion in their planning.

Below you will find the presentations of the speakers:

The Inclusion Imperative (pdf, 729,8 KB)
Dr. Victor Pineda, World Enabled, Berkeley/USA

Towards an Inclusive Implementation of the New Urban Agenda (pdf, 1,6 MB)
Fernando Jácome, SETEDIS, Quito/Ecuador

Combining Architecure Universal Design and Social Work (pdf, 1 MB)
Isabel Cristina Pessoa Gimenes, RIOinclui, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil

Strategy for Law Enforcement In Creating Accessibility of Public Transportation, Information, and Communication for PWDs in Solo City (pdf, 1,5 MB)
Sunarman Sukamto, CBR DTC Solo, City of Solo (Surakarta)/Indonesia

Reclaiming Unused Land into an Inclusive Public Space (pdf, 1,2 MB)
Janett Jimenez, Can Lah S.C., Mexico City/Mexiko

Inclusion in Urban Development - Design for All (pdf, 3,5 MB)
Barbara Berninger, Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Verkehr und Klimaschutz & Ingeborg Stude, Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen, Berlin 
oder: Vortragstext Inclusion in Development (pdf, 131,5 KB)

Partizipation von Menschen mit Behinderung in der barrierefreien Stadtentwicklung Wiesbaden (pdf, 761,2 KB)
Joachim Mast, Behindertenbeauftragter/Arbeitskreis der Wiesbadener Behindertenorganisationen und Interessensgemeinschaften, Wiesbaden & Jürgen Bischoff, Stadt Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden

Integration und Inklusion in einer Smart Living Community (pdf, 520,2 KB)
Wolfgang Frey, FREY GRUPPE, Nachhaltige Architektur, Freiburg

Connective Cities (pdf, 2,9 MB)
Ingrid Rösner, GIZ, Bonn

Sunarman Sukamto from Solo City, Indonesia

Sunarman Sukamto from Solo City, Indonesia

Poster Exhibition

During the conference, it was possible to find out about other good examples of inclusive and accessible urban development in the framework of a poster exhibition. International and national examples presented their projects in a visual way.

Participating projects in the poster exhibition were:

  • the Social Heroes with Wheelmap 
  • PPRBM Solo City (Indonesia)
  • Accessibility Index Ecuador
  • Arbeitskreis Wiesbadener Behindertenorganisationen und Interessengemeinschaften Behinderter
  • Can Lah S.C., Mexico City
  • Architekturbüro Frey mit Heidelberg Village
  • Stiftung Liebenau mit Inklusionsprojekten in Dusslingen und Lindau
  • Bochumer Claudius Höfe

The poster exhibition can be borrowed from the bezev office (

Have a look at the posters of the exhibition here!


The event was organised jointly with Caritas international/Germany and Misereor and in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The approximately 80 participants came from governmental and non-governmental development cooperation, universities and science, municipal and local administrations, politics and urbanism.