Wednesday, 6. 12. 2017

Access City Award 2018

For its broad approach to accessibility encompassing the whole population Ljubljana has won the silver prize at the European Commission competition Access City Award 2018.

It is already our third recognition in this competition (in 2012 we received a special mention and in 2015 a bronze prize) further strengthening Ljubljana’s position at the very top of European cities in the area of accessibility for people with disabilities.

For a number of years the City of Ljubljana has been conducting activities ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities. Our activities extend over many areas, from education, sports, culture, social security and health to transport infrastructure, as ensuring accessibility is one of our priority tasks.

Among other things the expert jury wrote in its justification of this year’s award that Ljubljana held the title European Green Capital in 2016 and that accessibility in our city is integrated in the general city policy and work with a special city advisory body dedicated to this field, namely, the Council for the Elimination of Architectural and Communication Barriers. And so the elderly and the disabled people can directly participate in the creation of city policies.

They have added that circumstances in the field of accessibility have greatly improved in the past years and underscored that Ljubljana has a joint approach for improving accessibility and sustainability. Among other things they have highlighted that non-profit apartments adapted to people with disabilities are provided, the website is fully tailored to people with disabilities (according to the standard of the World Wide Web Consortium it meets the conformance level AA), in schools and kindergartens measures for the inclusion of children with disabilities are implemented, and teachers participate in trainings to attain appropriate qualifications. Ljubljana has also made protected buildings and historical heritage fully accessible. And the green and accessible city centre has a positive influence on the general quality of life and social inclusion of all residents.

The competition this year included 26 cities from around Europe with four cities making it into the final selection: in addition to Ljubljana, Lyon, which we congratulate on the victory, Luxembourg and Viborg.

Access City Award is a European Commission initiative for promoting the implementation of fundamental goals of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. Its aim is to point out and award cities with over 50,000 residents which are systematically planning and carrying out measures for improving accessibility of the urban environment for people with disabilities in four key areas: built environment and public space in the city, public transport and infrastructure, information and communication, facilities in public use and public services.