Cities of the Future, Cities for All

  • Carmen Anisia de Paz Nieves


The different aspects that this chapter examines set up an analysis framework that can be useful in various ways: in the discussions about the basic elements for the development of an inclusive city; in the diagnosis of the aspects that hinder it in specific cases; or in the prioritization of interventions in order to make progress on this objective. The chapter discusses relevant aspects such as migration, housing and urban segregation, security issues, the role of communities and the different groups to be considered. Based on that discussion, it also offers some potentially useful conclusions in this area.

First, it must be highlighted that the needs (and therefore the priorities) are specific to each context. Because of that, the efforts directed toward the development of the inclusive city require a clear diagnosis of the main existing barriers, for instance through data crossing about the housing stock, services and infrastructure, security problems or socio-economic and demographic profiles. The result of such analysis will indicate the guidelines to follow in each specific case.

Second, we cannot ignore the multidimensional nature of the inclusive city, and the greater effectiveness of integral, or integrated-natured interventions. Integrated approaches entail the consolidation of multiple actions that, together, try to mitigate the obstacles to the achievement of an inclusive city in a sustainable way.

In this way, we must prioritize those interventions that: (1) achieve results in various dimensions and/or for various groups; (2) include measures of different kinds (e.g. building a community center and providing training for its social workers); (3) combine supply-side and demand-side interventions (e.g. ensuring the availability of social housing for vulnerable groups and improving information about the access to these kinds of programs); and (4) promote the shared use of the same resources with several related aims. Programs of integral revitalization are especially interesting, as they cover different sectors including urbanism, housing, safety, social welfare, economic revitalization, mobility, accessibility, equipment and infrastructure.

Third, the effective commitment and willingness of national, regional and (especially) local governments must ultimately be supported by the involvement of social organizations, as well as the beneficiaries of the interventions in the planning, design and implementation phases. The success of an initiative of this kind will largely rest on its acceptance by the community, both from the collectives that benefit from it and the ones that do not, as well as on the alliances with social organizations and, where appropriate, the private sector.

New ways of citizen participation and collaborative government formulas, as well as the development of strong and wide alliances, are therefore key elements in this area. Moreover, social and community leadership and innovation offer a large potential for social inclusion.

Lastly, we must highlight the importance of planning and embedding adequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms since the intervention’s design stage. It is only through monitoring and evaluation that will be possible to learn from experience, introducing adjustments in accordance with results, as well as to inform other new policies and programs, and to offer examples of international best practices in order to advance towards the inclusive city of the future.


Inclusive city Social policies Inclusion Urban wealth 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Anisia de Paz Nieves
    • 1
  1. 1.MadridSpain

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