Belgian Disability Forum

Access City Award 2012

In Europe, one out of every five persons faces difficulties relating to ageing, disability or reduced mobility. In the future, more and more citizens will be forced to resort to an accessible environment. The real challenge for society is now to give everyone access to public spaces, services and technologies according to his needs.

Therefore it is our obligation to make the principle “Europe without barriers” come true.


The concept

The Access City Award is a friendly competition the purpose of which is to promote accessibility for persons with disabilities in the urban environment.

Thanks to this event, the European Commission wants to encourage cities to improve accessibility in urban areas for the benefit of all.

This prize 2012 will be awarded to a city of more than 50 000 inhabitants, which will have demonstrated, in a sustainable manner, its will to improve the accessibility to the fundamental aspects of life in the city centre, and which develops promising projects in this area.

The successful candidate city at european level will receive its award at the opening of the European Days of Persons with Disabilities (1 – 2 December 2011).

The project is of course supported by the European Disability Forum (EDF) and by the Belgian Disability Forum (BDF).


The candidate cities

Cities of more than 50 000 inhabitants can apply for the Access City Award. Applications must be submitted to the European Commission by 20 September using the following site :


4 key sectors

For this Access City Award 2012, the following 4 accessibility sectors will especially be considered :

  • buit environment and public spaces
  • transportation and infrastructures related to transportation
  • information and communication
  • adjustments and services

The BDF in action

Just as in the case of the Access City Award 2011, the BDF accepted to take over the secretariat of the Belgian jury for the Access City Award. Its first task was to form the jury of Belgian experts responsible for assessing the quality of the projects submitted by Belgian cities. This jury is composed of :

  • Harry Geyskens, member of the National High Council for Persons with Disabilities (NHCPD)
  • Xavier Anciaux, expert in accessibility, member of the “Collectif Wallonie-Bruxelles Accessibilité” (CAWaB)
  • Luc Jansen, President of the Advisory Council of the Pension Sector, President of the Coordinating Body of Seniors’ Associations
  • Annick Ramboux, Attaché to the Federal Public Service Social Security

The 2 succesful Belgian candidate cities will be known on 7 October 2011. They shall have the right to participate in the European competition.