Argentina’s Cities — Tools for Getting Smarter and More Inclusive

September 28, 2017

Today the Smart Cities for All global initiative, a collaboration led by G3ict and World Enabled, is pleased to announce the Argentina launch of our Smart Cities for All Toolkit.

Wismar Medina, Industry Lead for Local and Regional Government for Microsoft, one of our key corporate partners, made the announcement in an address at the Smart City Expo — Buenos Aires. Medina said:

“as cities like Buenos Aires progress in their digital transformations, they must be inclusive and ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, benefit from advanced technologies”.

It is fitting that our announcement came at the Smart City Expo in Buenos Aires. The event is affiliated with Smart City Expo World Congress which, held each November in Barcelona, is the international meeting point where cities and companies bring together ideas and innovative solutions to address a range of urban challenges. The Buenos Aires event includes a focus on equity, innovation, and development concepts at the core of the Smart Cities for All global initiative.

We are confident that the Smart City for All toolkit will be particularly useful in Argentina. The country ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008 and so has committed to the digital inclusion of all its citizens and the innovation and deployment of accessible information and communications technologies (ICT). Buenos Aires is recognized as one of Latin America’s leading smart cities. The city recently made the University of Navarra IESE Cities in Motion list along with Cordoba and Rosario. Both Buenos Aires and Santa Fe have been chosen to be part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, which is helping cities to address shocks and stresses, including those that result from adverse socio-economic trends.

The Smart Cities for All toolkit contains four tools to help Smart Cities worldwide include a focus on ICT accessibility and the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. Working with experts worldwide, we designed the toolkit to support a range of organizations and roles related to Smart Cities, including government managers, policy makers, IT professionals, disability advocates, procurement officials, technology suppliers, and developers who design Smart City apps and solutions. Each of the four tools addresses a priority challenge identified as a barrier to the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities. The toolkit includes:

  • A tool to help effectively communicate the advantages of incorporating ICT accessibility into a city’s digital services by providing the business, human rights, and technical arguments for stronger commitment to digital inclusion of persons with disabilities.
  • A tool for implementing the three priority ICT accessibility standards that are key to designing a more inclusive approach to Smart Cities.
  • A guide for adopting an ICT accessibility procurement policy allowing cities to use their considerable purchasing power, including of technology, to advance the rights and digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons.
  • A database of solutions (Alpha version) that is being designed to showcase existing products and solutions that can be deployed by Smart Cities to positively impact citizens in critical areas, such as independent living, public safety, transportation, employment, and online public services, etc.

We are eager to see cities across Argentina use the Smart Cities for All tools to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities.