Access city practise guide_en


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Access city practise guide_en

  2. 2. Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union. Freephone number (*): 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 (*) Certain mobile telephone operators do not allow access to 00 800 numbers or these calls may be billed.More information on the European Union is available on the Internet ( data can be found at the end of this publication.Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2011ISBN 978-92-79-19711-6doi:10.2838/34235Pictures: © European Commission© European Union, 2011Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.Printed in BelgiumPRINTED ON WHITE CHLORINE-FREE PAPER
  3. 3. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L LTable of contentsForeword 3The Access • City Award initiative: goals and actions 4Inaugural Award: Access • City 2011 6Ávila, Spain – leading Europe in accessibility 8Three highly commended runners-up 10Barcelona, Spain – a pioneer in urban accessibility 10Cologne, Germany – creating a ‘city for all’ 11Turku, Finland – accessibility even in challenging weather conditions 12Good practice across Europe 13Barnsley, UK – extending the range of city services 13Dublin, Ireland – intelligent use of ICT 14Grenoble, France – an investment in transport infrastructure 14Malmö, Sweden – adapting the built environment for the future 15
  4. 4. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L L Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium and Commissioner Viviane Reding at the award ceremonyFOREWORD 3Most people take it for granted that they can hop the increasing numbers of ageing citizens living inon a bus to go shopping, surf the internet or our cities that also have to cope with numerousenjoy a TV series. For 80 million Europeans with barriers in the urban environment.a disability, there may be numerous obstaclesthat put these activities out of their reach. Accessibility is at the core of the European Disa- bility Strategy 2010-2020 and it means that peopleThe European Union wants to drastically improve with disabilities have access – on an equal footingtheir situation. Accessibility is one of the pillars of with other people – to the physical environment,the European Union’s disability policy. Action is transportation, information, communication tech-being undertaken in the areas of the built envi- nologies and to other facilities and services. It isronment, transport, services, information and a pre-condition for participation in society and incommunication, including new technologies the economy. However, there is still a long way to(ICT) and the internet. go before we fully achieve our goal.In line with the obligations of the United Nations I am delighted to introduce this booklet withConvention on the Rights of Persons with Disa- the results of the first Access • City Award whichbilities, the European Union aims to create a barrier- recognises cities for their efforts to remove bar-free Europe during the course of this decade. The riers in the urban environment. It presents someEuropean Disability Strategy 2010-2020, which interesting examples and inspiration for manythe Commission adopted in November 2010, is more European cities wishing to provide a livingan action programme. and working environment without barriers for everybody.The Strategy outlines how the European Unionand national governments can empower peoplewith disabilities, so that they can enjoy their rights By Viviane Reding,as everybody else does. When mentioning peo- Vice-President of the European Commissionple with disabilities, this does not only mean Commissioner for Justice,those who face obvious difficulties today, but also Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
  5. 5. AC C E SS • C I T Y AWA R D | T H E E U R O P E A N AWA R D F O R A CC E S S I B L E C I T I E S Accessible low platform bus The Access • City Award initiative: goals and actions4 The Access • City Award is an innovative compe- for all. By means of a friendly competition, cities tition between European cities, launched in 2010 across the European Union are invited to become to promote accessibility in the urban environ- role models for one another and be inspired to ment for people with disabilities. take on more accessibility initiatives. It is about ensuring equal access to city life for Accessibility is a cornerstone of inclusion people with disabilities. For a society based on equal rights, a barrier-free The Award is given to the city that has demon- environment is a key to providing its citizens with strably and sustainably improved accessibility in autonomy, freedom of choice and the means to fundamental aspects of city living, and that has pursue an active social and economic life. For peo- concrete plans for further improvements. The ple with disabilities, elderly people, and those with Award covers actions in the areas of: reduced mobility or other types of temporary impairments, environmental barriers result in a high • the built environment and public spaces; risk of marginalization, exclusion and discrimination. • transport and related infrastructures; • information and communication, including Accessibility is therefore essential for them to Information and Communication Technologies exercise their fundamental rights and to fully par- (ICTs); and ticipate in society. The right to education or to • public facilities and services. engage in work, voting rights, access to docu- ments, freedom of movement, access to leisure The Access • City Award aims to encourage cities and cultural facilities such as libraries, theatres, to inspire one another to innovate and to share hotels and restaurants, etc., can only be enjoyed good practices. Many solutions for improving by people with disabilities if their environment – accessibility can be seen in those forward-thinking with its buildings and public spaces, transport cities that demonstrate commitment and innova- services and infrastructure, information services tion in making the urban environment accessible and related technology – is accessible to them.
  6. 6. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L LIn a society where many aspects of daily life depend The selection procedureincreasingly on technology-based products andservices, ranging from emails and the Internet to All EU cities of over 50 000 inhabitants can be can-digital television and e-Government, new technol- didates for the Award. Their applications are firstogies can open up real opportunities for integra- screened by a national jury in their Member State.tion and empowerment. These technologies, National juries are composed of representatives ofhowever, can also – if accessibility is not ensured national Disability Councils, national authorities– cause even further isolation. and accessibility experts. In a first round they select up to three candidates to go forward to the Euro-Making the most of our cities pean Jury and to compete at European level with entries from other EU Member States.With four out of five Europeans living in townsand cities, Europe is now an essentially urban From the national nominees, the European Jurysociety and many of the accessibility challenges draws up a shortlist of four finalists from whichare to be found in urban areas. People with dis- the winner is chosen.abilities represent approximately 16 % of Europe’sworking age population and this percentage Successful applicants should have demonstrablyincreases after retirement age – some 70 % of improved accessibility in fundamental aspects ofthem are 60 years or older. European cities are city living, and have adopted a global approachnow host to a steadily ageing population and, as across the following key areas: the built environ-a consequence, to a growing number of people ment and public spaces; transport and relatedwho have difficulties moving around in the urban infrastructures; information and communication,environment and making full use of the services including Information and Communication Tech-and facilities others take for granted. nologies (ICTs); public facilities and services.Accessibility is therefore becoming increasingly The actions/initiatives implemented or planned 5important for the social and economic sustain- should be integrated in a global strategy or policyability of our society. Our cities need to provide framework, rather than being just ad hoc projects.inclusive environments that enable all citizens toenjoy full participation and to live independently. Cities should be committed to continued improve-Inclusion also generates important social and ments in accessibility in a sustainable way and witheconomic benefits for society as a whole. an adequate allocation of resources. The quality and sustainability of the results should be regularlyFurthermore, improved accessibility makes the checked and monitored with adequate proce-urban environment more liveable and enhances dures for compliance with the city’s regulations,the quality of life for everybody at all levels of abil- notifying and repairing problems, and handlingity and mobility, leading to durable benefits for complaints.the cities themselves. Applications are also expected to demonstrateLocal authorities play an important role in improv- the active involvement of people with disabilities,ing the living conditions of people in urban areas. their representative organisations, and accessibil-The Access • City Award competition sets out to ity experts in the planning, implementation andshowcase and reward a city’s willingness, capabil- maintenance of a city’s accessibility policies andity and efforts to ensure accessibility in order to initiatives.guarantee equal access to fundamental rights, toimprove the quality of life of its population and to Through good examples, cities across the Euro-ensure that everybody – regardless of age, mobil- pean Union can become role models for oneity or ability – has equal access to all the resources another and stimulate a positive expansion ofand pleasures that cities have to offer. accessibility initiatives.
  7. 7. AC C E SS • C I T Y AWA R D | T H E E U R O P E A N AWA R D F O R A CC E S S I B L E C I T I E S Lucille Werner and representatives for finalist cities, Turku, Cologne, Barcelona and Ávila Inaugural Award: Access • City 20116 In the inaugural edition of the Award launched in The other three finalists have similarly developed 2010, some 66 European cities from 19 EU Mem- comprehensive plans to address accessibility in ber States put themselves forward as candidates. the competition’s four areas. The winner was selected by a European Jury chaired by Paralympic champion Mark Ecclestone, The Award ceremony supported by a team of specialists in the main of accessibility areas. The Award ceremony took place in Brussels on 2nd December 2010 within the context of the The four finalists for the first edition of the European Day of People with Disabilities Confer- Access • City Award were Ávila (Spain), Barcelona ence, held in the presence of Her Royal Highness (Spain), Cologne (Germany) and Turku (Finland). Princess Astrid of Belgium, Viviane Reding, Vice- President of the European Commission, Jean- Ávila was selected as the winner on account of Marc Delizée, Belgian Secretary of State for Social its comprehensive plan, the high level of political Affairs, and Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the commitment, the progress achieved so far, and European Disability Forum. the effective involvement of people with disabil- ities in the process. The ceremony was moderated by the well- known Dutch presenter, Lucille Werner, who in It is a medieval city with a challenging environ- past five years has designed and hosted success- ment where accessibility has become a core ful television formats about people with disabili- issue running through all municipal policies ties demonstrating their skills and talents. With and applied to all spheres of society including her entertainment shows, Lucille Werner has con- town planning, building, communication and tributed to give a new dimension to the image transport. of people with disabilities in Holland.
  8. 8. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L LEuropean JuryThe European Jury for the inaugural edition of theAccess • City Award was composed of:• Chairman: Mark Eccleston, Silver Medallist at the 2004 Athens Paralympics in wheelchair tennis and member of the first Great Britain team to win the World Team Cup (the Davis Cup of wheelchair tennis). Mark is also a moti- vational speaker and consultant.• Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, Deputy Head of the Unit ‘Rights of People with Disabilities’ of the European Commission, DG Justice. Yannis Vardakastanis, President• Silvio Sagramola, European Disability Forum European Disability Forum representative, Director of Info-Handicap and EuCAN project coordinator. Regular annual event• Ann Frye, International specialist on the trans- port needs of disabled and older people. Following the success of the first edition of the Access • City Award, it is becoming a regular• Monika Klenovec, Architect, accessibility con- annual competition to encourage progress sultant and business coach. towards making our cities more accessible for all. 7• Jesus Hernandez, Accessibility director at the Please visit ONCE Foundation. and• Klaus Miesenberger, Researcher and teacher of for updated information on the Access • City practical IT support for the integration of peo- Award, the application procedure, the detailed ple with disabilities. selection criteria and the key dates of the compe- tition. Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium with Commissioner Viviane Reding handing price to winner Ávila
  9. 9. AC C E SS • C I T Y AWA R D | T H E E U R O P E A N AWA R D F O R A CC E S S I B L E C I T I E S ‘A medieval city where removing obstacles is obviously difficult’ European Jury Ávila, Spain8 Leading Europe in accessibility Ávila in central Spain is a medieval city of 60 000 Careful planning and solid analysis have been the inhabitants which, in 2002, drew up a ‘Special foundation and starting point of the city’s initiatives, Action Plan for Accessibility in Ávila’, following to which have focused on new technologies as an which the City Council has transformed the old instrument towards modernisation and integration. city, including its medieval walls, to make it acces- sible for people with disabilities. At the practical level, improvements to accessibil- ity have been made in all the municipal facilities, For the City Council, accessibility has become as well in other privately owned historical build- a core issue running through all municipal policies ings, principally through the removal of barriers and is applied to all spheres of society including and the addition of technical aids. town planning, building, communication and transport. In the area of transportation, the city’s railway sta- tion has been adapted to the needs of people with In its approach it has involved local groups in the disabilities and work is underway on a new bus design of a city for all, and has encouraged the station which will meet the requirements of uni- mainstreaming of people with disabilities through versal access. An accessible taxi service is also access to employment, culture and leisure. being extended across the city. New technology Anti-discrimination One of the overriding strategic motivations of the The Ávila City Council has implemented measures city planners has been to promote Ávila as an exam- to guarantee the right to equal opportunities, avoid- ple of a city for all, and to make it widely known as ing discrimination and adopting positive measures an accessible tourist destination. to remove the disadvantages which people with disabilities are confronted with when participating in social, cultural, financial and political life.
  10. 10. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L LWith this objective in mind, the city’s Accessibility Practical implementationDepartment was set up in 2007, building on thepolitical willingness and the recognition of the The city’s Accessibility Department helps to bringneed to coordinate all actions concerning this political commitment and practical expertiseissue in the municipal sphere. together. It has prioritised accessible public trans- port and personal mobility. For example, in additionThe Accessibility Department became the Munic- to accessible vehicles and infrastructure, the city hasipal Office for Accessibility, with the job of focus- also guaranteed the continuation of an accessibleing on the needs of business owners and private taxi service by issuing a free licence for it.individuals. It produces analyses and technicalreports relating to the level of accessibility of the The European judges were impressed by the strongcity’s various establishments. evidence of engagement with people with disabil- ities at both local and national levels, for instance inReflecting the importance the City Council gives the design of the ‘city for all programme’.to participation, consultation and evaluation, it hasestablished the Municipal Council for the Disabled, Active public support for the employment of peo-where all the Ávila associations for people with dis- ple with disabilities has been demonstrated by theabilities are represented. award of grants for dedicated programmes.The city’s Department of Accessible and Social The work of disability organisations themselvesTourism, which was set up in 2007, is working to has also been supported through grants and theturn the city of Ávila into an accessible place for assignment of facilities.visitors. Its actions help promote, for example, theprovision of restaurant menus in Braille, the loan ‘Our motivation to take part in the competitionof wheelchairs, the organisation of guided visits was to show the solutions that Ávila had found tofor the disabled, and accessible points for tourist improve accessibility and to give visibility of the 9information. work that it had done in this field. All the projects we develop are based on a mainstreaming ap-Ávila presides over and holds the position of Sec- proach, and the actions that are launched by dif-retary of the Accessibility Commission of the World ferent municipal departments (social services,Heritage Cities Group in Spain, which was created tourism, heritage, urban, youth) are projectedon 25 February 2008 in Ávila, at the behest of the from the viewpoint of universal design,’ said Noe-city’s Mayor. lia Cuenca, Ávila’s representative for accessibility. ‘This project symbolises the unity of all peopleChallenges and shows that with creativity, it is possible to allow all people to benefit from the goods andAs an historic city in a mountainous region, Ávila services of a city.’has had to overcome particular cultural and geo-graphical challenges to achieve good levels of The city is particularly proud of the adaptation ofaccessibility. In spite of the difficulties, the City parts of the city wall to make it accessible to allCouncil has set a clear and comprehensive long- persons.term policy for improving accessibility which isfocused on both residents and visitors and encom- Accessibility on the web:passes cultural events, guided tours, restaurants tourist information. AVIL/index.html city of Ávila was a pioneer in introducing the paginas/MENU/ORGA/SSSSAC/ACCE/ACCE.htmlanalysis and diagnosis of accessibility in artistic andmonumental heritage. This led to a series of recom- Contact for more information:mendations which helped guide city proprietors accesibilidad@ayuntavila.comthrough the different stages of the adaptation oftheir buildings. Ávila’s most recent refurbishment ofthe ancient city walls included points of access forpeople with reduced mobility.
  11. 11. AC C E SS • C I T Y AWA R D | T H E E U R O P E A N AWA R D F O R A CC E S S I B L E C I T I E S European cities are engaging in accessibility measures Three highly commended runners-up10 Barcelona, Spain – a pioneer in urban accessibility Barcelona, on the north east coast of Spain, is the Coordinating with disabilities groups country’s second largest city (population 1.5 mil- lion). For more than 30 years it has been actively In the late 1970s, the City Council created the engaged in implementing accessibility, beginning Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities (IMD). back in 1978 with its Plan for Autonomous Mobility. Its role is to keep the City Council and its various departments (especially urban planning, transport It has progressively implemented a ‘design for all’ and communication) in sync with the associations approach, with a strong focus on the built envi- of people with disabilities. The overriding aim is to ronment and transport facilities. work together to ensure that accessibility, equal opportunities and the integration of people with The Olympic Games in 1992 were an important disabilities are part of the political agenda. opportunity for the authorities to improve the physical accessibility of the city and to make it The IMD has a unique organisational structure with barrier free. an Executive Committee made up of 20 members: 10 representatives of the City Council and 10 rep- These principles were applied to the preparations resentatives of people with disabilities. for the Olympic Games themselves when, for the first time in history, the Olympic and Paralympic Since 1979 the city has carried out a variety of games shared the same facilities, housing and areas. projects ranging from improvements in housing, integration of people with disabilities in the labour Since then the city has striven to make it possible market, inclusion of people with disabilities in civic for everybody to enjoy an independent lifestyle activities, among others. by focusing extensively on accessibility, commu- nications, inclusive education, the labour market, The Access • City Award Judges put particular social services, and personalised systems. emphasis on Barcelona’s strong and long-standing
  12. 12. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L Lcommitment to accessibility following the princi- local authorities with the social movements ofples of universal design, and the involvement of people with disabilities,’ said a city spokesperson.people with disabilities at all stages of the designand delivery of accessibility improvements. Accessibility on the web:‘Following the extensive work we undertook for,4022,290652867_the Olympic games in 1992, we have worked very 291374213_3,00.htmlhard on accessibility communication, inclusiveeducation, better social services, giving people Contact for more information:the right to choose and to personalise the sys- imd_informacio@bcn.cattems. Importantly we have brought together theCologne, Germany – creating a ‘city for all’Cologne, in Germany, is a city of nearly one million The European Award Jury especially praised theinhabitants. It has shown a strong political com- city’s systematic approach towards accessibility,mitment to improving accessibility since 2004, based on the thorough application of consistentinvolving a wide range of city departments with standards.clear responsibilities and extensive coordination.Special training programmes for designers, as well An ambitious plan over the next 2-3 years furtheras other professionals employed by the city such illustrates the city’s commitment to building supervision employees, have been Measures encompass the development of stand-introduced to improve their understanding of ards, in particular a design handbook for accessibleaccessibility. buildings and construction, and a design handbook 11 for the city centre. The programme also includes theThe City of Cologne is currently implementing establishment of a new Centre for Accessible Build-a global disability strategy, entitled ‘Cologne over- ings and the expansion of further education oncomes barriers – a city for all’. Its main goals are: accessibility issues in order to develop personaltackling issues such as accessibility, equitable par- resources. Work will also be continued in the areasticipation, encouragement of free decisions, and the of inclusive schools and youth work.human right of self-determination. The strategyencompasses 170 goals and measures for the city’s ‘We still have a lot to do on the way towards12 municipal districts with clear plans and commit- accessibility and inclusion,’ said the city’s repre-ments for the monitoring of their implementation. sentative for accessibility, Marita Reinecke. ‘The EU’s Access • City Award has been a wonderfulSince 2004, the city has operated an 80-strong opportunity to give these topics centre-stage andinternal working committee on ‘Disability Policy’, ensure extended visibility across our districts asbringing together 32 municipal departments and a sign of quality. In Cologne we are very proud toall relevant civil society groups. The committee have been a finalist in the first Award. We see thisdecides on all relevant issues relating to disabil- Award especially as an incentive not to relax ourity and gives recommendations to administrative efforts and continue to work towards implement-bodies and policy-makers. Representatives of ing our ambitious action plan for those with disa-disability organisations are also to be found on bilities in Cologne.’11 committees of the City Council. Accessibility on the web:The city’s accessibility programme extends to spaces, streets, parks, playgrounds, etc. The infrastructure is being progressively mit-behinderung/adapted in consultation with user groups to ret-rofit bus stops and railway stations. Municipal and Contact for more information:cultural buildings are also being refurbished to marita.reinecke@stadt-koeln.demeet agreed accessibility criteria.
  13. 13. AC C E SS • C I T Y AWA R D | T H E E U R O P E A N AWA R D F O R A CC E S S I B L E C I T I E S Turku, Finland – accessibility even in challenging weather conditions Turku is a historic city on the south-west coast of ‘mission impossible’, given the nature of the old Finland. With a current population of 180 000, town and its buildings. The city authorities have Turku is a notable commercial and passenger sea- succeeded, however, in developing with the port, as well as being a regional capital. close involvement of people with disabilities an effective strategy for a small historical city such The city has been active in the field of accessibil- as Turku confronted with challenging conditions ity since the 1980s and has a coherent on-going for accessibility, particularly in the built environ- plan for further improvements. The accessibility ment. There are even plans for the city’s Castle to initiatives encompass public transport, the built be made more accessible. environment, personal mobility and cultural and historic venues. All bus routes in the city centre are served by accessible low-floor buses. Some routes stop near The city is in the process of implementing the the homes for the elderly on their way to and Accessibility Programme of Turku 2005-2012, which from the city centre. School transportation for demands that all the schemes and plans in the city children with disabilities is provided by so-called take the issue of accessibility into consideration. ‘inva taxis’ – special taxis boasting a lift and com- petent personnel to assist passengers. The aim of the Programme is to make Turku a sig- nificantly more accessible city by 2012, through Accessible beach its administration, mapping, development and renovations as well as construction work. Turku is proud of its accessibility ‘innovation’ in12 creating the Ekvalla Accessible Beach. The beach Ancient buildings and harsh weather has been praised for its accessibility for people with reduced mobility, visual and hearing impair- Turku is a former capital of Finland which has ments. Among other features on the beach, is risen to the challenge of achieving accessibility a concrete ramp which runs right down to the without compromising its heritage. seashore and three different sound signals in dif- ferent places for the visually impaired. Transforming the 781 year old city to better serve people with disabilities was initially regarded as ‘So far, our main focus has been placed on the accessibility of pathways, buildings and services. Perhaps it is now time to put more focus on the development of aid instruments that people with disabilities need in their lives,’ said Heikki O. Hau- listo, Architect, Accessibility Representative of Turku City. ‘The Access • City Award proves that accessibility is considered fundamental in the goals shared by Europeans.’ Accessibility on the web: aspx?culture=en-US&contentlan=2&nodeid=23 aspx?contentid=52354 Contact for more information: Part of the accessible beach of Turku
  14. 14. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L LAccessible parking places Good practice across Europe 13 Some 30 European cities were nominated by On the basis of the European Jury’s assessment, the national juries to be chosen as the EU’s first the four examples below were identified to Access • City Award winner. The European Jury illustrate the good work done in each of the four established that ‘Every city nominated has given thematic areas of the competition. These cities good examples for Europe’. are from different geographical areas and have different cultural and historical backgrounds reflected in their characteristics. Barnsley, UK – extending the range of city services Barnsley is a metropolitan borough (population The Council believes that access to goods, serv- 226 000) in the Yorkshire and Humber region of ices and facilities is important to all people with England which particularly impressed the judges disabilities if they are to enjoy independence, for its initiatives in the area of services to people choice and equality. The borough has therefore with disabilities. been implementing a three year plan (ending March 2012) to provide a range of services to The borough is unique in the UK context in that people with disabilities that are located in places it has a much higher incidence of disability than that are easy to get to. the national average. One quarter of the popula- tion of Barnsley is disabled, with 13 % of the work- Involving people with disabilities ing age population claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance, compared to The ‘Remaking Barnsley’ initiative, a comprehen- an average 7 % in England. sive programme for the transformation of the urban centre adopted in 2009, involves local peo- ple with disabilities at all stages in the design and
  15. 15. AC C E SS • C I T Y AWA R D | T H E E U R O P E A N AWA R D F O R A CC E S S I B L E C I T I E S development of new buildings and public spaces public spaces. This provides even greater oppor- to ensure the highest possible standards of tunities to achieve Barnsley’s long-term ambition accessibility. to become ‘the most accessible market town in Britain’. The process has already delivered the new transport Interchange – formerly Barnsley Exchange Station Accessibility on the web: – a fully enclosed passenger environment that has greatly improved access for disabled people. The next phase of Remaking Barnsley covers the Contact for more information: rebuilding of large parts of the town centre and Dublin, Ireland – intelligent use of ICT Dublin City Council is currently putting into effect The key to the successful implementation of the a 2005-2015 Accessibility Implementation Plan city’s Plan is the integration of ongoing initiatives (AIP) for its 500 000-strong population. with other service providers, particularly in the area of transport, tourism and employment. The Plan makes great use of ICTs (information and communications technologies) to improve facil- Other city initiatives include Braille and tactile sig- ities and services for people with disabilities. nage; and library services, including eBooks, iBooks, Audio Books, home delivery, and Internet access.14 A significant feature of the Plan is the city’s dedi- cated website: aims to In the area of public transportation, 2 600 bus provide people with disabilities with relevant stops now offer real-time information and audible information on access to the built environment, messages when entering the bus stop number in and gives them the opportunity to participate in a mobile phone. Bus stops offer a large print font decision-making through online consultation. and Braille to help identify the stop number. The website hosts an ‘Access Business Directory’ Accessibility on the web: providing information about the level of access in over 1 000 venues, permitting users to choose mainpage.htm before leaving their homes which facilities and services best suit their needs. It also identifies default.aspx?g=landing accessible car parking spaces in Dublin and includes an online discussion forum, where peo- Contact for more information: ple with disabilities can consult directly with the Local Authority. Grenoble, France – an investment in transport infrastructure Grenoble in south-eastern France at the foot of the since the 1970s it has been a pioneer in the area Alps has a population of some 157 000 located on of transportation accessibility. a land area of just 1 900 hectares, making it one of the most densely-populated areas of the country. All of the tramway network (light rail) and 80 % of buses are now accessible to people with disabili- Since 1995, the city has been implementing ties and others with reduced mobility. The city is a policy to make the city accessible for all. Indeed, currently introducing its second generation of
  16. 16. M A K I N G E U R O P E ’ S U R B A N E N V I R O N M E N T A CC E S S I B L E F O R A L Laccessible tramway network, boasting raised plat- Its programme has already made the town cen-forms and automatic doors. tre 80 % accessible. Some 62 % of pavements are accessible, with the city having removed awk-By 2012 it expects to be the first municipality in ward steps on junctions and pedestrian crossingsFrance to offer a fully accessible public transport and having added audible signals at traffic which has been adjusted for all types of In addition, 40 % of public buildings are nowimpairments (visual, hearing, physical, mental, accessible, with audio facilities provided at theetc.). The aim is to allow all people to be mobile Grenoble museum. Special facilities now makewithin the Grenoble agglomeration. some 40 % of the famous Bastille site accessible to those with disabilities.Facilities are also being improved and adaptedfor tourists with disabilities. Ski lifts have been Accessibility on the web:adapted to provide higher capacity with two-seat carrying 1 000 kg instead of 630 kg, which are to permit mixed usage. accessibilite.htm Contact for more information: herve.buissier@ville-grenoble.frMalmö, Sweden – adapting the builtenvironment for the futureThe city of Malmö in southern Sweden (popula- not only on crossings but also when accessing pub- 15tion 300 000) has since 2008 been implementing lic transport. In 2010 the city also inaugurated a golfan Accessibility Programme heavily focused on course providing total access.improving the built environment – in particularstreets and parks – for people with disabilities. Most of the city’s 1 100 bus stops have been mod- ified with seating areas and protection for peopleThe city’s objective is that all public spaces, new with disabilities. All leisure facilities, cultural build-and old, should have an integrated access plan ings, and the city’s 10 libraries have been inspectedallowing for everyone to have an equal access and adjusted for people with hearing, visual orand use of the public space. This is linked to all other physical disabilities. In addition, all schools,renovation work or construction of new spaces from pre-schools to high schools, are currentlyand buildings. being inspected.The work includes elevators in buildings, entrances The city has published an accessibility guide thatto buildings, and indicators on pavements, for peo- gives an easy overview to access in public build-ple with visual impairments. Pavements will have ings, culture, hotels, restaurants, banks, leisure, aswalking direction indicators to make it easier to well as healthcare and medical facilities.follow the right path, while buildings will haveindicators for access regardless of disability type. Accessibility on the web:Parking places are allocated and specifically in the city. Street crossings will havesound and light indicators to assist disabled people Contact for more information:when crossing. Pavements are all being lowered, katarina.lindberg@malmo.seFor more information on the Access • City Award and application guidelines for the annual competition,please visit
  17. 17. European CommissionACCESS•CITY The European Award for Accessible CitiesMaking Europe’s urban environment accessible for allLuxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union2011 — 16 pp. — 25.0 × 17.6 cmISBN 978-92-79-19711-6doi:10.2838/34235 HOW TO OBTAIN EU PUBLICATIONS Free publications: • via EU Bookshop (; • at the European Commission’s representations or delegations. You can obtain their contact details on the Internet ( or by sending a fax to +352 2929-42758. Priced publications: • via EU Bookshop (; Priced subscriptions (e.g. annual series of the Official Journal of the European Union and reports of cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union): • via one of the sales agents of the Publications Office of the European Union (
  18. 18. DS-32-11-693-EN-C T H E A C C E S S • C I T Y AWA R D is an annual competition for European cities,organised by the European Commission to promote accessibility in the urban environment for people with disabilities. For updated information please visit