The 2013 Access City Award went to Berlin. The German capital is the most accessible in Europe.
Berlin is the most accessible city in Europe. The city was awarded this week with the 2013 Access City Award, in recognition of an overall policy and strategic aims to create an environment accessible to all. The initiative was organized by the Commission in cooperation with the European Disability Forum and was presented on the occasion of the European Day of People with Disabilities in Brussels.
Berlin was selected on the basis of its strategic policy and inclusive approach to disability. As a matter of fact massive investments have been made to transform the city into an accessible and barrier-free environment. Among the services which make Berlin disabled friendly is the transport system and the investments made in reconstruction projects to facilitate the access of people with disabilities. "People with disabilities still face too many obstacles in their everyday life, but cities like Berlin are at the forefront to make life easier for everyone," said Vice-President Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice. "The accessibility opens up new business opportunities and can act as a stimulus for innovation and economic growth."
The other finalists were Nantes and Stockolm. As a matter of fact, Nantes has invested in training for architects and designers, while keeping a dialogue with the public to enable people with disabilities to set and reach common goals.
Stockolm on the other hand, has a plan "Vision Stockholm 2030", which aims to transform the city into an environment accessible to all. Among the most interesting projects, there is the development of accessible public toilets and playgrounds, for children and parents with disabilities.
Last year’s award went to Salzburg, Austria. The award aims to encourage cities to share their experiences and to improve accessibility for the benefit of all.