Avila, Spain wins the title: The most accessible city in Europe!

3 December 2010 - The Spanish city of Avila was chosen by a jury panel, in cooperation with the Disability Movement, as Europe’s most accessible city yesterday. The ceremony took place at the European Day of People with Disabilities. It is necessary that urban society includes persons with disabilities. EDF President wants inclusion for all in urban landscapeEDF President Yannis Vardakastanis with Avila representativeEDF President with Avila representative

This first Access City Award aims to promote accessibility initiatives in European cities. It recognises efforts and achievements in improving accessibility in four main areas: the built environment and public spaces; transport and related infrastructures; information and communication (including information and communication technologies); and public facilities and services. Avila beat the other four finalists, Barcelona, Cologne and Turku to receive the award.

"I would like to congratulate Avila and the other finalist cities for their commitment to a barrier-free urban environment," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. "People with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else, but accessibility is a precondition for them to enjoy those rights. That is why we have placed it at the centre of our strategy for building a barrier-free Europe. The Access City Award gives recognition to those cities which have shown the most effort to improving accessibility. This honour should inspire and motivate cities that still have more progress to make."

The European jury selected Avila because of its wide-ranging plan, the high level of political commitment, the progress achieved so far, and the effective involvement of people with disabilities in the process.

EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis noted the importance of acknowledging the effort made by the cities: “Accessibility of cities is crucial to improve the lives of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. The collaboration between local authorities and organisations of persons with disabilities is a necessity to ensure their inclusivity.”

Read the European Commission’s press release here.