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Access City Award 2022, Source: European Commission

Finalists competing for Access City Award 2022 announced

Finalists competing for Access City Award 2022 announced

The winners will become known on 3 December

The European Commission has named the shortlisted cities that will compete for the Accessible City Award in their 12th edition at a ceremony to be held online on 3 December. Forty EU cities with over 50 000 inhabitants presented their actions and strategies to become barrier-free and better places for everyone to live and work. Out of these, six made it for final consideration: Barcelona and Palma (Spain), Helsinki (Finland), Leuven (Belgium), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) and Porto (Portugal).

In the Year of the Rail, weight has been assigned to train stations accessibility

Starting last year, the Awards also carry a financial benefit in addition to the bragging rights. Reportedly, this year an endowment of 350,000 euros will be distributed to the winner and the two runners-up. The laureate of a special mention prize, however, will not receive a financial award.

This edition of the Access City Award will capitalize on the European Year of Rail to reward a city that has made outstanding efforts to make its train stations accessible for persons with disabilities, by granting them a special mention.

In general, the Award contest was created with the express purpose of shining the spotlight on the good practices that European local governments implement in ensuring the elimination of barriers in the urban spaces.

In choosing the candidates (who are pre-selected first by a national jury and then by a European one), several fields of action are taken into account. As such, the initiatives developed (or planned) to achieve the objectives of accessibility in four areas are studied. One of these areas is transport, the rest evaluate the accessibility of public spaces, ICT and other forms of information and communication and public establishments and services.

Coherence in the design and application of strategies, the impact on people's lives, the quality and sustainability of the results achieved and the active involvement of people with disabilities and subject matter experts are also used as evaluation criteria.

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