Pedestrian street in the historic core of San Cristobal de la Laguna, Source: Depositphotos

The 2024 Access City Award goes to San Cristóbal de La Laguna

The 2024 Access City Award goes to San Cristóbal de La Laguna

The Spanish island town gets high marks for creating an urban environment fully inclusive of people with disabilities

Today, the Spanish city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna received the 2024 Access City Award, for its comprehensive approach to accessibility and its dedication to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities. The award was presented this morning at the Access City Award Ceremony by European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli.

San Cristóbal de La Laguna, located on the island of Tenerife, has prioritised the accessibility of persons with disabilities across urban spaces, transportation systems, and social activities. For example, all vehicles and all stations of the city's tram network are fully accessible, and the city centre has acoustic traffic lights and tactile paving to guide visually impaired people.

In 2021, the municipality launched Orange Point, a mobile space with resources for inclusive and accessible events. Orange Point provides sign language interpreters, anti-noise systems, and trained staff, as well as easy-to-read materials. The city's commitment to accessibility is also exemplified by various other initiatives, including the adoption of an institutional declaration for the defence of the rights of persons with disabilities to promote positive actions in this area.

In addition, a disability council and an ombudsman for persons with disabilities have been created. The Disability Council directly involves persons with disabilities in decision-making through their consultative work, while the Ombudsman provides independent advice to the City Council, coordinating and promoting the city's accessibility initiatives in collaboration with the Council.

Other European cities distinguished for accessibility policies

The city of Łódź (Poland) was awarded the second-place prize for implementing comprehensive standards of accessibility to guide all municipal investments, and the city of Saint-Quentin (France) won the third place for improving accessibility of the city's public transport network.

In addition, Tübingen (Germany) received a special mention for its city development aligned with the principles of accessibility and the New European Bauhaus.

South Dublin County (Ireland) was also awarded a special mention for landscape and playground areas, recognising their commitment to ensuring play areas have varied landscapes incorporating natural elements, all while remaining accessible.



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