Victor Pineda is an urbanist and innovation specialist. But above all, he is an inclusion activist and expert: he leads the work of World Enabled, a non-profit organization which conducts research to inspire political action towards the full inclusion of persons with disabilities. To him, cities are still leaving people with disabilities out. And this is not just when it comes to infrastructure, but also to economic opportunities, participation or institutional representation. As he makes clear, «inclusion it’s not just looking at ramps, but looking about the broad spectrum of human conditions».
Digital innovation is one of the areas which reflect this deficit. According to a research conducted by Dr. Victor Pineda’s organization World Enabled and the University of California at Berkeley, 96% of ongoing digital development projects worldwide do not even mention people with disabilities. At the same time, G3ict’s Smart Cities for All global initiative partnered with World Enabled to find that only 18% of smart city experts can identify one city that is using a ICT accessibility standard. “Everything that comes out of a city is shaped by society’s beliefs”, Pineda claims. And adds: “So, if cities are systems that continue to leave people out, we have to reshape these systems”.
However, we have the solutions and knowledge to move forward towards an effectively inclusive future, according to Victor Pineda. Moreover, momentum is building. The Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda and the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are for him a “unique opportunity to make a substantial impact in this global transformation”, he concludes. So let’s take the right path.
Text and Edition by Sergio García Rodríguez, Communications Coordinator – anteverti
Video by Eloy Calvo
About the authors
Dr. Victor Pineda is the President of World ENABLED, Chancellor’s Research Fellow, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley.
He is a leading global expert on disability rights, policy, planning and design and has worked closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, World Bank, United Nations, UNESCO, UNICEF, and cabinet level officials in the UAE, Qatar, Venezuela, and Serbia among others to develop policies and programs that include persons with disabilities as equal stakeholders in development.
Dr. Pineda is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) innovative research grant, a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the Thomas Jefferson Award, the Tom Clausen Fellowship for Business and Policy, and the Paul G. Hearne Award.