Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Access City Award 2024: applications to be evaluated

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Applications for the Access City Award 2024 competition opened on July 17 2023 and closed on 18 September 2023. They will now be evaluated by the National Juries who will shortlist the top three cities in each country. The shortlist will then be evaluated by the European Jury. This European award recognises cities which have undertaken outstanding work to become more accessible for persons with disabilities.









The 2024 Access City Award is organised by the European Commission in partnership with the European Disability Forum.


Who can apply?


The Access City Award is open to


  • all EU cities of over 50 000 inhabitants
  • urban areas composed of two or more towns with a combined population of over 50 000 inhabitants, if they are in EU countries with fewer than 2 cities with over 50 000 inhabitants



Why an Access City Award?


Accessible spaces – both physical and virtual – are the first vital step to equality. If persons with disabilities cannot access transportation, shops, parks, websites and so on, they cannot make their own choices and take control of their lives.


Millions of persons with disabilities have difficulties using transport, accessing buildings and enjoying shared spaces such as beaches and sport centres. The virtual environment can be equally challenging.


This can stop them from working, getting to medical appointments, socialising, shopping online, using social media and getting hold of vital information needed to manage their lives. They may not be able to enjoy the basic things in life that many take for granted.


Additionally, Europe is now essentially an urban society, with seven out of ten EU citizens living in towns and cities. Accessible spaces help make cities welcoming spaces to all and ensure everyone can participate..


The Access City Award is part of the EU’s wider efforts to make life better for persons with disabilities: the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Pillar of Social Rights.


The Access City Award is an EU initiative that:


  • recognises efforts made by cities to become more accessible
  • promotes equal access to urban life for people with disabilities
  • allows local authorities to promote and share their best practices


Awards


Winning cities receive a financial prize:


  • 1st prize:  €150 000
  • 2nd prize: €120 000
  • 3rd prize:  €80 000


Special award


This year, the European Commission also intends to award a ‘New European Bauhaus’ special mention to a city whose work on accessibility is aligned with the values of the New European Bauhaus: sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusiveness. Up to five special mentions can be awarded in total.


Selection


The juries will consider measures taken and planned in the following areas:


  • built environment and public spaces
  • transport and related infrastructure
  • information and communication, including new technologies (ICTs)
  • public facilities and services


Application phase


Applications were open from July 17 2023 and closed on 18 September 2023 at 12:00 CEST (noon).


Timeline


  • 17 July 2023 : Launch of the competition
  • 18 September 2023 noon (12:00 CEST): Application deadline
  • Beginning of November 2023: Announcement of finalists
  • 30 November – 1 December 2023: Announcement of winner and runners-up at the award ceremony


Award Ceremony


The winners will be announced at an award ceremony during the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference taking place on 30 November and 1 December 2023.


Previous winner: Skellefteå (Sweden)


You can find examples of best practice by the 2023 winner and finalists in the Access City Award 2023 brochure


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