On the occasion of the European Day for people with disabilities (3 December) the European Commission announced that Gothenburg is the winner of the Access City Award 2014. The dedication of Gothenburg to enhancing access to employment, housing, and transportation is a useful model for other European towns to imitate in the future. When accessible homes become available, people with impairments are given preference.
On the job front, some 300 workplaces receive personal assistance devices each year. The city is also making systematic improvements to public facilities, taking practical steps to increase accessibility to local universities, playgrounds, and amusement parks.
The second prize went to Grenoble (France) and the third to Poznan (Poland) –In terms of accessibility to transportation, education, lodging, retail, culture, sports, tourism, and jobs, both cities have made great strides.
The special mentions are given to:
- Belfast, United Kingdom, for ‘Built Environment and Public Spaces’
- Dresden, Germany, for ‘Information and Communication Technologies’
- Burgos, Spain, for Public Services and Facilities
- Malaga, Spain for Transport and related infrastructures
In order to highlight accessibility projects in European cities with more than 50,000 residents, the Access City Award was established in 2010. 102 cities from 23 Member States applied for the competition in the first round of national selection. National juries, which were made up of professionals in public administration and people with disabilities, were permitted to suggest up to three locations for the European selection round. The winner, the second and third place winners, as well as the four special mentions, were chosen by the European Jury, which was made up of accessibility specialists and representatives of the European Disability Forum and the Age Platform Europe.
Read more about Access City Award at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/events/access-city-award-2014/index_en.htm