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European Cities have a major role to play in delivering good access both to their own citizens with disabilities and to tourists of all ages and abilities.
Many European Cities are working to build their reputations as accessible, liveable cities that offer a warm welcome to all visitors.
Here, at the Accessible Cities Home Page, ENAT publishes the profiles of those cities that wish to showcase their achievements and good practices.
These are Europe's Accessible Cities, setting new benchmarks in their continual efforts to improve accessibility.
The European Award for Accessible Cities was launched in May 2010 by the European Commission and has run on an annual basis since then.
The award is given to the city that:
- has demonstrably improved accessibility in fundamental aspects of city living:
- the built environment and public spaces;
- transport and related infrastructure;
- information and communication, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
- public facilities and services.
- is committed to continued improvements in accessibility in a sustainable way;
- can act as a role model and encourage the adoption of best practices in all other European cities.
As such, the competition covers accessibility in the everyday lives of city residents and, to some extent, the accessibility of tourist offers. However, accessible tourism products, services and marketing are not specifically included in the award criteria.
Visit: EU Access City Award Website
Below, ENAT has gathered the results of previous editions of the Access City Award in order to provide a complete record of the awarded and commended cities since 2010.
Access City Award Winner 2020, Warsaw, Poland
The 2020 Access City Award goes to the city of Warsaw, in Poland.
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.
2019 Access City Award Winner: Breda, The Netherlands
The award was given "for continuously making improvements to make life easier for people with disabilities".
For the 2019 Access City Award, the European Commission received 52 applications.
The city of Évreux in France and the city of Gdynia in Poland are the second and third place winners. The jury praised Évreux for its particular focus on invisible disabilities and Gdynia for its initiatives to include people with intellectual disabilities.
Finally, Kaposvár in Hungary and Vigo in Spain both received a special mention. Kaposvár was recognised for its continued improvements and Vigo for its innovative architecture in a challenging topography.
2018 Access City Award Winner: Lyon, France
The city of Lyon was awarded first prize for 2018. At the award ceremony in December 2017, Lyon was praised for its public buses that are 100% accessible, and access to culture for all is also ensured, thanks to the inclusion of accessible equipment in libraries, such as reading machines, audiobook readers and magnifying screens. The city has also developed digital tools for people with disabilities, and in terms of work integration, 7.8% of civil servants are people with a disability. This is significantly higher than the legal minimum quota of 6% required by the French legislation.
The European Commission also rewarded the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the city of Luxembourg with a second and third place respectively. Ljubljana integrated accessibility in its overall policy, appointing a special advisory committee with elderly and people with disabilities so that they are directly involved in the city’s policymaking. The city of Luxembourg has put a lot of effort into raising awareness among citizens to avoid stigma in relation to disability and building a highly inclusive city in which everyone feels comfortable.
Finally, the city of Viborg in Denmark received a special mention for reconciling its historical heritage and hilly landscape with an accessible infrastructure. In 2017, 26 cities across the EU took part in the competition.
2017 Access City Award Winner: Chester, United Kingdom
The city of Chester (UK) was awarded first prize for 2017 for its dedication in ensuring that the city and its beautiful medieval walls can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Other recognised good practices were commended from the cities of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Jūrmala (Latvia), Lugo (Spain), Skellefteå (Sweden), Alessandria (Italy) and Funchal (Portugal).
Download the 2017 Access City Award Brochure in PDF format.
2016 Access City Award Winner: Milan, Italy
- Wiesbaden, Germany – Second Prize
- Toulouse, France – Third Prize and Special Mention as a “Smart City”
- Vaasa, Finland – Special Mention for commitment to improving the working environment for its older and disabled population
- Kaposvár, Hungary – Special Mention for its commitment to improving access for older and disabled people
2015 Access City Award Winner: Borås, Sweden
The Award, presented in Brussels on 3rd December 2014, recognises Borås's comprehensive and strategic approach to creating an accessible city for all; a good example of local action to help removing the many barriers that people with disabilities still face in their daily life.
- Helsinki (Finland) took the second prize.
- Ljubljana (Slovenia) took third prize.
- Logroño, Spain, was awarded a special mention in the field of the built environment and public spaces,
- Budapest, Hungary, received a special mention for its work in the field of transportation.
- Arona, Spain, and Luxembourg got a special mention for public facilities and services.
No special mention was awarded in the category Information and Communication Technologies.
2014 Access City Award Winner: Gothenburg, Sweden
In the fourth edition, 2013-14, the winner was Gothenburg (Sweden) with second place Grenoble (France) and third place Poznan (Poland).
Special mentions went to Belfast (United Kingdom), Dresden (Germany), Burgos (Spain) and Malaga (Spain).
2013 Access City Award Winner: Berlin, Germany
In 2012-13, 99 cities from 20 EU member states took part in the competition. The Award was given to the German City of Berlin.
The two other finalists were: Nantes (France) and Stockholm (Sweden). The jury also assigned special mentions to: Pamplona (Spain) for the built environment and public spaces, Gdynia (Poland) for transport and related infrastructures, Bilbao (Spain) for information and communication, including new technologies and Tallaght (Ireland) for public facilities and services.
2012 Access City Award Winner: Salzburg, Austria
In 2011-12, 114 applications were received from cities in 23 EU Member States. The Austrian city of Salzburg was proclaimed as the overall winner.
The three finalist “runners-up” were (in alphabetical order): Kraków (Poland), Marburg (Germany) and Santander (Spain). Special mentions for notable achievements were given to: Terrassa (Spain) for the built environment and public spaces, Ljubljana (Slovenia) for transport and related infrastructures, Olomouc (Czech Republic) for information and communication, including new technologies and Grenoble (France) for public facilities and services.
2011 Access City Award Winner: Ávila, Spain
In the 2010-11 inaugural edition, 66 European cities from 19 EU Member States participated in the competition. The winning city was Ávila in Spain.
The three other finalists were Barcelona (Spain), Cologne (Germany) and Turku (Finland).
ENAT applauds the Commission's European Access City Award and encourages ENAT Members (and cities everywhere) to take an active part in the competition, especially highlighting the importance of good access as a component of their city's performance as an inclusive tourism destination - for visitors and citizens alike.
These ENAT pages are not officially connected with the European Commission's Access Cities Award. City profiles shown here should not be construed as representing the views, opinions or recommendations of the European Commission.
ENAT is not connected with or responsible for the European Access City Award.
While ENAT endeavours to verify the correctness of all information submitted to these pages by its members, ENAT does not guarantee and cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage caused by the use of such information.
ENAT members can add their city profiles here.
Tourism Information Offices and Municipal authorities are invited to create their own profile page describing their good practices in accessibility. The target audience of the profile page can include residents, visitors, disability organisations, businesses, educators, researchers and other public authorities.
Profile pages can include text, links to municipal and tourist websites and a rich variety of content such as photos, Google maps, videos, file downloads, etc.
A city authority can create its own Accessible City profile page using a simple template and the easy-to use Content Management System. For more complex pages, authors can send material by email to the web editor.
For further details or if you have any questions, please contact the ENAT Secretariat.
Before you start you may like to view the Demo Page at the bottom of the following list of cities.
Results 1 to 12 out of 17.
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01/12/2017 Madrid, Spain
Madrid is a top tourist destination, offering everything from art and culture to leisure and sports, as well as restaurants, shops and green spaces. There are so many places to go, so many things to do… And the city continues to improve its accessibility provisions so that all visitors can make the most of their trip to the Spanish capital. 0 comments
09/12/2015 City of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Over the past 25 years Barcelona has steadily gained a reputation as one of the world’s most attractive and visited cities. It has become the fourth most popular city destination in Europe by visitor numbers, having 7.5 million visitors in 2013. 0 comments
06/12/2015 Paris - Ile de France, France
The regional tourism board of Paris Ile-de-France has worked with accessible tourism since 2002. The initial objective was to render accessible the world’s number one tourist destination. As part of this strategy, the regional board was involved in the work on the “tourism and handicap label”. 0 comments
06/12/2015 Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm has carried out extensive works on improving accessibility for people with disabilities and continues to do so to this day. 0 comments
06/12/2015 Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt am Main is recognised nationally and internationally as a global city located in the heart of Germany and Europe. It is a major air, rail and highway transport hub as well as the largest financial centre in continental Europe, ranking among the world's leading financial centres. Tourism plays a key role in Frankfurt. 0 comments
06/12/2015 London, United Kingdom
London is a world tourist destination. The city has a mix of old and new infrastructure. This presents a challenge that all historic cities face when addressing accessibility, investing in changes while maintaining a ‘sense of place’ and identity. 0 comments
05/12/2015 Lousã, Portugal
Lousã, a small country town in the north of Portugal, is included here as an "Accessible Tourism Destination” due to the project conducted in this town and region in 2008-2011. 0 comments
05/12/2015 Arona, Tenerife, Spain
Arona one of the first and best examples of Accessible Tourism in Spain. 0 comments
05/12/2015 City of Sozopol, Bulgaria
Sozopol is a town in south-eastern Bulgaria located on the Black Sea coast, situated on a few small peninsulas in the southern part of the Burgas Bay. With a population of 4,767 people, it is within the Burgas Province and is the administrative centre of the Municipality of Sozopol, which has a population of 14,833 people. It is a member of the League of Historical Accessible Cities. 0 comments
30/11/2015 Athens, Greece
Athens' historical centre was developed and renovated in preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to the Greek Accessibility Guidelines and urban planning requirements. Today, the legacy of the 2004 Games can be seen in the accessible pedestrian environment and public transport network of the city centre. 0 comments
17/01/2012 City of Salzburg, Austria
The City of Salzburg is located on the banks of the Salzach River, at the northern boundary of the Alps. In December 2011 the city won the EU Access City Award for 2012. 0 comments
17/01/2012 City of Ávila, Spain
The City of Ávila, Spain, won the first EU Access City Award in 2010. As a tourist attraction it is especially known for its well-preserved medieval city walls and many heritage sites. Ávila is a member of the "League of Historical and Accessible Cities", a project established by the European Foundation Centre. 0 comments