Inclusive Design and Accessibility of the Built Environment in Solo, Indonesia

Global Disability Innovation Hub, Kota Kita, UK Aid
March 11, 2022
Indonesia

GDI Hub and Kota Kita are pleased to publish the third case study as part of the Inclusive Infrastructure programme on Solo, Indonesia. It is the third of six case studies analysing the state of accessibility and inclusive design in low-resource contexts around the world. The six independent case studies will then be analysed to develop a comparison report and finally a global action report that will offer evidence and recommendations that support making infrastructure, the built environment and urban development in low-resource settings more accessible and inclusive.

This case study builds a picture of the current state of inclusion and accessibility in the built environment and infrastructure in Solo through engaging local stakeholders and communities and exploring the understanding of and potential for inclusive design to address some of the current barriers to inclusion.

Surakarta (known as Solo) is a city in Central Java, Indonesia, with a population of 557,606 people. The city has a strong history of inclusion, recognised as a great place for persons with disabilities in Indonesia to live. Solo city is a leader for inclusion in Indonesia, demonstrated through city regulations on disability inclusion that pre-date the ratification of the UNCRPD. There is great progress in implementing inclusive environments in Solo with numerous accessible infrastructures, but the city would benefit from a more holistic approach, support by a robust inclusive design strategy that integrates inclusion, sustainable and resilience to ensure long-term progress. One of the aspects that makes Solo unique is its strong community relationships, community-led approaches and leadership from the community is active and valued. This is also supported within urban governance, facilitating opportunities from grassroots leadership and inclusive participation for persons with disabilities.

The research identified that to create more inclusive environments, the physical infrastructure, planning and design is crucial, but equally important are the processes of inclusion and participation. Creating robust mechanisms of community participation and leadership is fundamental to ensure long term sustainable and continued progress to being a more inclusive city.

Across Indonesia, action towards inclusive cities is supported through the work of the Inclusive Mayor’s Network in Indonesia[1] demonstrating country-wide leadership. The findings of this case study will serve Solo as a city but also have relevance for other cities across Indonesia and support the implementation of best practices found in Solo.  

For any additional information about the case study, please contact Mikaela Patrick (mikaela.patrick@ucl.ac.uk)