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UNESCO and Vulog to develop a “Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool”

blurred movement disabled man on a city street

UNESCO and Vulog will develop a “Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool,” a project to focus on mobility, technology and inclusivity.

Transportation, fuelled by the onslaught of new information technologies, has a significant impact on the sustainability and inclusiveness of the world’s cities. UN estimates suggest that cities are responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions, with transportation being among the largest contributors.

Transportation also makes up the second-highest cost on the average family’s budget and can affect an individual’s ability to be employed – the combination of which places a disproportionate burden on communities that are already marginalized.

The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way we think about transportation and mobility, altering the frequencies, distances, and ways in which we move. It has also underscored the importance of transportation and personal mobility in the development of cities, especially when it comes to safety and efficiency. Women are, in this respect, especially vulnerable, since they have a higher chance of facing harassment and assault during their daily commutes. People with disabilities also face greater challenges than their non-disabled counterparts: the few transportation and mobility options available are often inconvenient and inefficient.

The Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool is a collaborative project that addresses these issues by examining the effect of new urban mobility technologies and identifying best practices to build awareness and strengthen cities’ capacities to create smart and inclusive ecosystems.

“Our choice of transportation and personal mobility affects not just the air we breathe – it also affects how and where we are able to move, a decision which often has a disproportionate impact on marginalized groups. By integrating connected mobility technologies into its transportation infrastructure, a city increases not just its degree of sustainability, but also inclusivity. Vulog shares UNESCO’s vision of global solidarity to promote inclusive urban development which is why we are honoured to be partnering to deliver a concrete tool that will helps cities worldwide tackle two major issues affecting the well-being of city dwellers today – pollution and inequality.” said Greg Ducongé, CEO of Vulog

In addition to Gender, the project will focus on four other aspects of inclusion: Age, Ethnic Identity, Socio-economic Status and Disability. It will be carried out in three phases over the coming months via interviews with national delegations, city leaders, and transportation officials representing cities, dispersed across UNESCO’s five regions.

Vulog’s “Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool” Project’s partnership with UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR is an important opportunity to bring together policy expertise and cutting-edge data to promote smart and inclusive urban development in cities across the world.

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