Inclusive cities: towards an urban and social development for all

Connective Cities Dialogue Event in Bonn, Germany


Urbanisation is one of the 21st century’s most transformative trends: it is estimated that the proportion of urban population worldwide will almost double by 2050. This development poses great potential for sustainable and inclusive development but also various challenges, especially for persons with disabilities and elderly persons. Around one billion people, 15 % of the world's population, live with a disability. About 80 percent of them live in developing countries. Persons with disabilities still face a lot of disadvantages and discrimination. People living with disabilities have to deal with various barriers in social, economic and political life. This is why an inclusive urban development is necessary for giving all people equal opportunities to participate in public life. A successful inclusion exists, if every person - with or without disabilities - can afford an equal participation everywhere: at school, at work, in residential areas as well as in recreational activities.

To highlight good practices, challenges and solutions, the international urban platform Connective Cities organised the dialogue event "Inclusive cities: towards an urban and social development for all". The event was organised in cooperation with the City of Bonn and was held in Bonn from 7 to 9 May 2018.

The aim of the dialogue event was to exchange experiences, discuss challenges and generate ideas for an inclusive city in order to provide equal access to all areas of living for all people.

The dialogue event was attended by 48 German and international municipal practitioners who gained first-hand experience with inclusive urban development. Local actors from Germany, Bolivia, Ecuador, Ghana, the Palestinian Territories, Ukraine, Moldova and South Africa presented their good practices, discussed their challenges and developed practical solutions.


Event Programme

Background Paper


Welcome address by the host city

Reinhard Limbach, Mayor of the City of Bonn



Prof. Dr. Johannes Schädler, University Siegen
From ceremony to practice - the challenges of local implementation of UN CRPD


Helle Deertz und Alexander Hobinka,  Sector Project Inclusion of People with disabilites, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Making Urban Development more inclusive for persons with disabilities: Experiences and challenges for German Development Cooperation



Silvia Boehmsdorff, Connective Cities
Connective Cities: follow up acitivities and examples of joint projects

Dr. Britta Milimo, Service Agency Communities in One World
Financial and HR Instruments to support municipal development cooperation



Alexander Wagner, Connective Cities
Action Planning Tools



Working Group 1

Bonn, Germany
Disability Policy Participation Plan

Bethlehem, Palestine Territories
Political and Community Participation through Strategic Development and Investment Plan

Suhum, Ghana
Inclusive Design and of local communities through new forms of social planning

Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe, Germany
The LWL-Action plan for inclusion


Working Group 2

La Paz, Bolivia
Incorporating the topic of inclusion on the public agenda

Salz & Suppe - a new urban dialogue method

One Philosophy Group, Kiev, Ukraine
Changing attitudes, changing lives: Disability from Image to practice in Ukraine

Leipzig, Germany
Culture and Education for all


Working Group 3

Ramallah, Palestine Territories
Ramallah - A City for all

Bezev e.V., Germany
Making Urban Public Transport Accessible

Berlin, Germany
Round Table ´Barrier-free City´

Durban, South Africa
Communities gaining Access to ist natural resources


The participating cities took advantage of the several exchange opportunities provided within the event methodology to present their challenges and get peer advice as well as to elaborate draft project plans with concrete activities to take back to their municipalities. In the framework of the action planning session specific project ideas emerged including a project for barrier-free access to basic education for children with disabilities; the design of an inclusive exhibition that makes physical disabilities tangible for non-disabled persons; a project for barrier-free access to historical and religious buildings and the design of an inclusive "Garden of the Senses".


Below you can find the full report on this event as a download link.



Categories: Connective Cities Integrated urban development
Regions: Europe Germany Bonn