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Inclusive Cities

Cities providing equal opportunities, including environmental justice, for all citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, age and origin, without leaving anyone behind.

According to the New Leipzig Charter, all social groups, including the most vulnerable ones, should have equal access to services of general interest, including education, social services, health care and culture. Adequate, accessible, safe and affordable housing and energy supply should meet the needs of different groups in society, including an ageing and more diverse population, persons with disabilities, young people and families.  Inclusive cities are intended to offer their new and existing residents opportunities for self-determination in urban areas that can be culturally and socially diverse, ie urban areas with persistent minority problems also need a comprehensive integration and anti-segregation strategy.

All citizens should be empowered to acquire new skills and education. This requires affordable and accessible high-quality pre-school and school education, qualification and training for young people, as well as lifelong learning opportunities, in particular for digitalisation and technology.

Fair and inclusive growth of EU

Current and future environmental and climate change have serious negative consequences for the more vulnerable sections of the urban population. That is why the future economic growth of EU should not be only sustainable but also just and inclusive. Therefore, EU policies such as the “New Leipzig Charter – The transformative power of cities for the common good” or the new EU Territorial Agenda 2030 will be concentrated on achieving a sustainable balance of relationsbetween environmental, financial and social inequalities and “leaving no one behind”. Moreover, these inclusivity principles will be integrated into the EU financing instruments for 2021-2027.

This relates in particular the following principles (for details, see New Leipzig Charter):

  • Social inclusion, innovation & partnerships. Cities must develop a more innovative and inclusive narrative and drive related practice that would foster a problem-solving industry through establishment of close partnerships with both private and public sectors that are interested in the achievement of common objectives related to inclusion. Cities and even more its neighbourhoods will become the “living-labs” for the social innovation.
  • Equal access to employment and public services. A clear strategy on generating employment and fostering the labour markets through re-skilling programmes and jobs creation in new sectors should be adopted. Moreover, they should address the inequalities through services that are benefiting the people to achieve their social outcomes. This includes a more inclusive healthcare, transportation and mobility, municipal e-services and especially education. It is critical to concentrate the efforts on the younger population.
  • Decreasing most prominent social handicaps. Citizens of deprived neighbourhoods and the most excluded citizens should be addressed directly through people-based solutions. A set of actions, dealing with incoming migrants and their inclusion, women suffering from the gender pay gap or the poorest parts of the population exposed to long-term unemployment, should be developed.
  • Public space, housing and energy poverty. Cities should action the provision of public spaces and affordable living for all its citizens, particularly through renovation and construction of social housing, student accommodation, start-up houses, schools, hospitals etc. Cities also have to offer tools for the most vulnerable citizens that are unable to afford keeping their home adequately warm.

Security in public spaces. Security is a basic right for citizens that must be protected and a shared responsibility among public and private actors within the urban environment.

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Filip Kučera

Filip Kučera

Area Lead on “Inclusive Cities“

Social Specialist at Advisory Section of Mott MacDonald Prague office

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