Each year over 60 million people move into (and establish their lives) in urban environments. The COVID-19 pandemic may slow this down but it won’t stop the unrelenting rate of urbanization.
The most at-risk should have a strong voice in how we choose to reshape our cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic is taking a terrible toll on the world’s economy, with full or partial lockdown measures now affecting the livelihood of almost 2.7 billion people — more than 4 out of 5 workers in the global workforce of 3.3 billion, according to the International Labour Organisation.
“The challenges of the new society are the challenges of the city. The majority of the world’s population already lives in cities and this proportion only continues to rise. Therefore, cities are places where all the challenges and contradictions of the social human system emerge. Cities are where we witness everything in its most exaggerated manner — all the different conflicts of society. Whether we are talking about the future of work or the future of the social contract, all of the big issues are perfectly represented in the new urban reality.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed nearly 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide in an untenable situation. Policies such as social distancing, mobility restrictions through lock-downs, and the subsequent loss of incomes and livelihood are threatening to undo the real progress we have made.
Since the passage of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we have worked with Mayors and city leaders around the world to advance the principles of equity, access, and inclusion.
The Covid-19 outbreak has the potential to undo this progress or advance it, but it is up to us to act now. Reduced access to routine medical care and poorly conceived policies can amount to a full-scale assault on the lives of people with disabilities who live in cities. …