The new Annual Access City Award is part of EU’s 2010-2020 strategy to improve access for people with disabilities. The very first city to be bestowed with this honor is Avila, Spain. The city has improved accessibility to public buildings, tourist attractions and jobs and has provided incentives to the private sector to make similar moves. Avila, along with Barcelona, Spain; Cologne, Germany and Turku, Finland were finalists for the award, chosen among the 66 European cities that entered the competition. The award was launched to increase awareness of the difficulties that people with disabilities encounter in urban areas and to celebrate those cities that have removed some of the barriers to their mobility.
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