Warsaw wins 2020 Access City Award for making the city more accessible to citizens with disabilities

wheelchair

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The 2020 Access City Award goes to the city of Warsaw, in Poland. By involving people with disabilities and accessibility needs in its endeavour to make the city more accessible, Warsaw was able to make a substantial overall improvement to the city’s ease of access in a short space of time.

At the award ceremony, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen said: “With the Access City Award, winning cities can be an inspiration for other EU cities and beyond that encounter similar challenges. Warsaw, winner of the 10th edition, is a model for others, showing that a lot can be done in a very short amount of time and that commitment can be key to success.”

The European Commission received 47 applications for the 2020 edition. The city of Castellóde la Plana in Spain and the city of Skellefteå in Sweden are the second and third place winners. Chania in Greece, Tartu in Estonia and Evreux in France all received a special mention. Chania was recognised for its use of technology to provide accessible parking, Tartu for its grassroots approach to accessibility and finally Evreux for its work on hidden disabilities.

Background

The Access City Award, organised by the European Commission together with the European Disability Forum, is one of the actions of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020.

The Award was launched in 2010 to raise awareness of the challenges faces by disabled persons, and to promote accessibility initiatives in European cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. In doing so, the goal of this yearly event is to ensure equal access to city life for people with disabilities across the EU. The Award is given to the city that has demonstrably improved accessibility in fundamental aspects of city living, and that has concrete plans for further improvements.

The Access City Award is presented at the yearly European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, taking place this year on 29 November 2019 in Brussels.

Winners of the previous awards: 2011, Avila (Spain); 2012, Salzburg (Austria); 2013, Berlin (Germany); 2014, Gothenburg (Sweden); 2015, Boras (Sweden); 2016, Milan (Italy); 2017, Chester (United Kingdom) 2018, Lyon (France) and 2019, Breda (The Netherlands).

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