On 1 December, within the European Day of Persons with Disabilities, the winner of the 11th edition of the Access City Award was announced. The Swedish city of Jönköping won the 1st prize out of unprecedented number of 50 applications this year. Over time the city has made continuous improvements in both the new and old areas of the city, in collaboration with disability organisations. It has also created a local ‘Access City Award’, for businesses or organisations that worked with their customers to improve accessibility.
The city of Bremerhaven in Germany took the 2nd prize and Gdynia in Poland was in 3rd place.
There were also special mentions. Poznań in Poland was acknowledged for accessibility of public services in times of the pandemic and Florence in Italy for the “built environment”.
EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis presented the award to another special mention – the city of Komotini in Greece for “accessibility as an opportunity for the whole city”. He noted that “COVID-19 has put extra challenges on cities around Europe for ensuring that all members of their communities have equal access to services, such as healthcare, commerce, transport, as well as to important public information and prevention measures. We are pleased to observe that some cities have turned challenges into opportunities of becoming more accessible and more inclusive environments for all members of their communities.”
More information about the award and past winners can be found on the European Commission’s website.