Jul 11, 2024 | European Focus

The EU’s 2025 Access City Award competition is now open for applications, which will once again recognise and celebrate outstanding work being done by European cities to become more accessible for individuals with disabilities.

The award is organised by the European Commission in partnership with the European Disability Forum. The winner and runners-up will receive the following monetary prizes:

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

In addition, the EU Jury may decide to award up to five ‘special mentions’ if some cities have done exceptional work in specific areas of accessibility. In honour of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the European Commission intends to award a Special Mention on ‘Accessible Sports Infrastructure’ to a city that demonstrates how sport initiatives can bring high-quality and accessible experiences for all.

Cities across the EU with over 50,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply. If a country has fewer than two cities with 50,000 inhabitants, two or more smaller towns with a combined population of 50,000 can apply. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony during the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference on 28 and 29 November. 

Online application forms must be completed before midnight on 10 September. A guidance note for applicants and the participation rules is available in all official EU languages on the Access City Award website.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the award scheme; over the past 14 years, 85 cities have been awarded, including 14 first prize winners among them. The most recent winner of the award has been San Cristóbal de La Laguna in 2024. The Spanish city prioritised the accessibility of individuals with disabilities across urban spaces, transportation systems and social activities. For example, all vehicles and 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.


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