Disabilities in Smart Cities: Paris

In the 21st century, cities will account for 90% of the entire global population due to factors such as immigration, increase in human population, urbanization and climate change. Due to this, cities are being pushed to become smarter, more sustainable and inclusive for everyone. 

"More than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability, of whom nearly 200 million experience considerable difficulties in functioning due to aging populations as well as a global increase in chronic health conditions. 

People with disabilities face barriers in accessing services that many of us have taken for granted due to our own advantage. These services include educations, transportation, employment and healthcare. 

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What is a disability?

Disability is an umbrella term covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restriction.​

  • An impairment is a problem in a body function or structure

  • An activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action

  • A participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations

Exploring the similarities between people with disabilities and immigrants

Both groups encounter divisive cultural differences, employment challenges and discrimination in the role of feelings of being silenced. 

Focus Group: Maghreb Immigrants in Paris


1/10th of the French population consists of immigrants with 90,000 immigrants per year.

The Maghreb countries consist of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

Maghreb population is one of the biggest groups of immigrants coming into Paris.

Today 2.4% French population is from these Maghrebi countries.

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have long colonial histories with France which have resulted in the tensions between values of modernity and tradition as well as identity and negation.

How might we adapt the mechanisms used in the integration of immigrants in order to provide social integration for people with disabilities?


The Solution: A Cultural Hub for People with Disabilities

A place specifically for people with disabilities to combat the disparity between the abundance of spaces for the majority culture and the lack thereof for people with disabilities. 

This hub seeks to help the mainstream culture understand the challenges people with disabilities face and helps people with disabilities feel included and capable in Parisian culture.

It will offer workshops and provide immersive experiences to bridge the gap between people with disabilities and the people without.

Offering Cultural Sensitivity Workshops


This workshop aims to help people with disabilities communicate their experiences and teaches the mainstream culture on how to be better citizens and allies

Implementing Experience-Based Learning

Inspired by the 'Dans Le Noir' restaurant (dining in the dark), this cultural hub aims to create empathy and solidify the relationships between mainstream culture and the disabled community through experience based learning.


These experiential learning workshops offer tastings in the dark, braille and sign language classes and more in hopes of helping the mainstream community to be able to empathize and understand the daily challenges faced by the disabled community.  

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Providing Company Training Programs

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Work Environment Training Programs in order train companies on how to integrate people with disabilities into the workspace.

Feel free to contact me for the complete research, ideation and citations document!

In collaboration with Griffin Cece, Ilona Vileyn-Salah, Samantha Zak and Deutsche Telekom