The 2019 Access City Award goes to the city of Breda, in the Netherlands, for continuously making improvements to make life easier for people with disabilities. The award was handed out this morning at the Access City Award Ceremony, taking place in Brussels.
Breda is a source of inspiration for cities in Europe and beyond, which encounter similar challenges. At the award ceremony, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen said: “Too often, people with disabilities feel isolated because they cannot access public spaces or transport. In Breda, public places such as parks and stores are accessible to everyone. Digital technologies ensure that all citizens can get around using public transport. And Breda’s investments pay off. Tourism is thriving thanks to the city’s commitment to inclusion. In the near future, the European Accessibility Act will complement Breda’s efforts by setting European accessibility standards for key products and services. Our combined efforts at local and European level are a game changer for the more than 80 million Europeans with disabilities.”
To mark the European Year of Cultural Heritage, awards were also presented to cities that made outstanding efforts to make their cultural heritage accessible.
When handing out the trophies, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “Enabling everyone to discover and enjoy cultural heritage is one of the main goals of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. That is why I am delighted that this year’s edition of the Access City Awards features a special prize for two cities that have made their cultural heritage sites more accessible. I congratulate Viborg in Denmark and Monteverde in Italy for the steps they have taken, and hope that many other cities will follow their example.”