Mapping key features and dimensions of the inclusive city: A systematic bibliometric analysis and literature study

Danni Liang, Martin De Jong, Daan Schraven*, Lili Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Many local governments engaging in sustainable urban development also have a growing interest in becoming inclusive too, brand themselves as such and develop policies to become inclusive cities. However, knowing what exactly this entails and how it can be achieved is not always quite straightforward and requires thorough theoretical and empirical exploration. Consequently, we present a systematic deconstruction of the inclusive city concept in order to develop a better understanding of the main features and dimensions; this is done by means of both a bibliometric analysis and qualitative literature review. The results indicate that inclusiveness is multidimensional and comprised of spatial, social, environmental, economic, and political dimensions in which the characteristics of participation, equity, accessibility and sustainability are sometimes interwoven. Overall, the inclusive city is not merely a precondition for the creation of just space, well-being, and environmental responsibility, but also an opportunity to take stock of interests of stakeholders in cities and to create local public value. The findings have implications for urban policy and practice, more specifically, the clarification of the inclusive city concept and conceptual dimensions will provide significant reference for policymakers and practitioners to make prudent decisions in the process of creating an inclusive city.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding information:
This research is supported by a joint project funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and the Dutch Research Council (NWO): ‘Towards Inclusive Circular Economy: Transnational Network for Wise-waste Cities (IWWCs)’ (NSFC project number: 72061137071; NWO project number: 482.19.608).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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