Brussels, Belgium —- Breda, Netherlands have won this year’s Access City Awards. This award is given to the city in celebration of the European Day of Persons with Disabilities in Brussels, Belgium.
Breda,a city in the southern part of Netherlands, was honored for their use of digital technology to help ensure universal accessibility. The French city of Évreux came in second. Gydnia in Poland placed third.
Special awards were also given to Kaposvár, Hungary, for continuous accessibility improvement. Vigo, Spain was also given award for architectural innovations. There were 52 applications for this year’s award.
European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said: “Too often, people with disabilities feel isolated because they cannot access public spaces or transport. In Breda, public places are very much accessible to all. Technologies ensure that everyone can use public transport. And Breda’s investments pay off. Tourism is doing better thanks to the city’s commitment. In the future, the European Accessibility Act will enhance Breda’s efforts by setting standards for products and services. Our combined efforts are a great help for more than 80 million Europeans with disabilities.”
Access City Award
The Access City Award is part of the plan of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020. It gives recognition to cities that help the Commission’s vision of a barrier-free Europe. The Award is given to European cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. These European cities are expected to demonstrate an extensive approach to accessibility across four key areas:
- built environment and public spaces;
- transportation and related infrastructure;
- information and communication including new technologies (ICT);
- public facilities and services.
The Access City Award is presented at the every year European Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference. It was held at Brussels, Belgium this year.
The previous winners of the Award are the following: Lyon,France; Chester, United Kingdom;Milan, Italy; Boras, Sweden; Gothenburg, Sweden; Berlin, Germany; Salzburg, Austria; Avila, Spain.