In June the European Commission launched the competition for the 2017 Access City Award – the European award for cities that are accessible to disabled and older people. EU cities with over 50,000 inhabitants were invited to submit their applications by the 8 September. This year, awards will be granted to five EU cities at a ceremony taking place during the annual European Day of People with Disabilities Conference in Brussels, on 29 November 2016.
The winning cities will be rewarded for their efforts to make it easier for disabled and older people to gain access to public and private areas such as housing, children’s play areas, work environments, public transport, and communication technologies.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “One in six Europeans live with a disability. Last year the Commission put forward the European Accessibility Act to step up social inclusion and independent living of people with disabilities. Many innovative practices developed by European cities to achieve accessible living and working environments are also important drivers to improve accessibility.
To showcase these best practices and to inspire urban development in Europe, I encourage as many cities as possible to apply for the 2017 Access City Award.” The Access City Award is organised by the European Commission together with the European Disability Forum.