Building the Inclusive City

Front cover of the book.Most academic writing about inclusion, disability and urban design is based on Western culture and traditions. Building the Inclusive City, an open access book, covers a recent history of disability in city planning and the cultural context of a middle eastern approach. It brings together social sciences, politics and disability studies for an integrated approach to policy.

There are three underpinning themes in the book: disability research needs to be placed in context, access and inclusion is both local and global, and planning education should apply a disability lens to the field.

Victor sits casually and smiles at the camera. It looks as if he is sitting in a wheelchair.The book by Victor Santiago Pineda can be downloaded in full or by chapter from the SpringerLink website. It’s good to see this important book has free access. Pineda is based in California.

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Understanding Disability in Theory, Justice and Planning
    3. What makes a City Accessible and Inclusive?
    4. The Evolving Transformations of Disability in Dubai Between 1980 and 2012
    5. Exploring Functionings and Freedoms in Dubai
    6. Laws, Rights, and Norms
    7. Laws are Not Enough: Unlocking Capabilities Through Innovations in Governance
    8. Charting Access and Inclusion in Future Cities 

The full title of the book by by Victor Santiago Pineda is, Building the Inclusive City Governance, Access, and the Urban Transformation of Dubai

The website’s introduction to the book:

“This Open Access book is an anthropological urban study of the Emirate of Dubai, its institutions, and their evolution. It provides a contemporary history of disability in city planning from a non-Western perspective and explores the cultural context for its positioning. Three insights inform the author’s approach. First, disability research, much like other urban or social issues, must be situated in a particular place. Second, access and inclusion forms a key part of both local and global planning issues. Third, a 21st century planning education should take access and inclusion into consideration by applying a disability lens to the empirical, methodological, and theoretical advances of the field. By bridging theory and practice, this book provides new insights on inclusive city planning and comparative urban theory. This book should be read as part of a larger struggle to define and assert access; it’s a story of how equity and justice are central themes in building the cities of the future and of today.”

Picture of towering buildings in the Dubai skyline with river in the foreground
high rise buildings in Dubai

Editor’s note: I travelled to Dubai in 2015 and found much of the new infrastructure very accessible. I was impressed with the air conditioned bus stop shelters.