Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Access City Award

The Access City Award has been created by the European Commission to reward cities that have prioritised accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Accessible spaces – both physical and virtual – are the first step to equality. If persons with disabilities cannot access transportation, shops, parks, websites and so on, they cannot make their own choices and take control of their lives. A city is accessible when persons with disabilities can, for instance:

  • get information
  • use buses, trams and metros
  • enjoy parks and playgrounds
  • get in and around buildings like the library, sports hall and city hall

Access City Award 2024

Applications for the Access City Award 2024 opened on 17 July 2023 and closed on 18 September 2023 at 12:00 CEST.

The winner and runners-up will receive a monetary prize:

  • 1st place: EUR 150 000
  • 2nd place: EUR 120 000
  • 3rd place: EUR 80 000

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony during the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference on 30 November and 1 December 2023. Up to five special mentions will also be awarded.

In this edition the European Commission intends to award a special mention for cities whose work on accessibility is aligned with the values of the New European Bauhaus: sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusiveness.

Who can apply?

The Access City Award is open to

  • all EU cities of over 50 000 inhabitants
  • urban areas composed of two or more towns with a combined population of over 50 000 inhabitants, if they are in EU countries with fewer than 2 cities with over 50 000 inhabitants

Selection process

The selection process is divided into two phases: pre-selection at national level and final selection at European level. The national juries in each country shortlist a maximum of three cities. Out of the pre-selected candidates, the European Jury selects the winners.

The juries consider measures taken and planned in the following areas:

  • the built environment and public spaces
  • transport and related infrastructure
  • information and communication, including new information and communication technologies
  • public facilities and services

The successful applicant has to demonstrate a coherent approach to accessibility across all four areas and an ambitious vision.

Why an Access City Award?

Around 87 million people have some forms of disability in the EU. They encounter difficulties using transport, accessing buildings and enjoying our shared spaces such as beaches and sport centres. The virtual environment can be equally challenging.

This can stop them from working, getting to medical appointments, socialising, shopping online, using social media and getting hold of the vital information they need for independent living. They may not be able to enjoy the basic things in life that many of us take for granted.

Additionally, Europe is now essentially an urban society, with seven out of ten EU citizens living in towns and cities. Accessible spaces help make cities welcoming spaces to all and ensure everyone can participate.

The Access City Award is part of the EU’s wider efforts to make life better for persons with disabilities: the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The Access City Award is an EU initiative that

  • recognises efforts by cities to become more accessible
  • promotes equal access to urban life for people with disabilities
  • allows local authorities to promote and share their best practices


Previous winners of the Access City Award

Alternatively, find the previous winners in this list.

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