San Cristóbal de La Laguna wins 2024 Access City Award, advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities

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The Spanish city received the 2024 EU Access City Award, for its comprehensive approach to accessibility and its dedication to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

San Cristóbal de La Laguna has prioritised the accessibility of persons with disabilities across urban spaces, transportation systems, and social activities.

For example, all vehicles and all 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.

In 2021, the municipality launched the Orange Point, a mobile space with resources for inclusive and accessible events. Orange Point provides sign language interpreters, anti-noise systems, and trained staff, as well as easy-to-read materials.

The city’s commitment to accessibility is also exemplified by various other initiatives, including the adoption of an institutional declaration for the defence of the rights of persons with disabilities to promote positive actions in this area. In addition, a disability council and an ombudsman for persons with disabilities have been created.

The Disability Council directly involves persons with disabilities in decision making through their consultative work, while the Ombudsman provides independent advice to the City Council, coordinating and promoting the city’s accessibility initiatives in collaboration with the Council.

The city of Łódź (Poland) was awarded the second-place prize for implementing comprehensive standards of accessibility to guide all municipal investments, and the city of Saint-Quentin (France) won the third place for improving accessibility of the city’s public transport network.

In addition, Tübingen (Germany) received a special mention for its city development aligned with the principles of accessibility and the New European Bauhaus.

South Dublin County (Ireland) was also awarded a special mention for landscape and playground areas, recognising their commitment to ensuring play areas have varied landscapes incorporating natural elements, all while remaining accessible.

The award was presented by Helena Dalli, at the Access City Award Ceremony in Brussels on 1st December 2023 before an audience of representives of disabled people's organisations from EU Member States.

Group photo of Access City Award winners. European Commission.

Group photo of the EU Access City Award winners

Accessible spaces, both physical and digital, are a crucial first step towards achieving equality. Around 87 million people in the EU have a disability.

If persons with disabilities cannot access transport, shops, parks, or websites, they cannot make their own choices and take control of their lives.

Since 2010, the Access City Award  celebrates cities that make accessibility their priority.

The Award is also part of the Strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities 2021-2030 to build a Europe without barriers.

The Access City Award was presented at the yearly European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, organised jointly with the European Disability Forum.

Out of 32 applicants, a European jury shortlisted five cities, with San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Spain) chosen as this year's winner.


 2023, Skellefteå (Sweden); 2022, Luxembourg City (Luxembourg); 2021, Jönköping (Sweden); 2020, Warsaw (Poland); 2019, Breda (The Netherlands); 2018, Lyon (France); 2017, Chester (United Kingdom); 2016, Milan (Italy); 2015, Boras (Sweden); 2014, Gothenburg (Sweden); 2013, Berlin (Germany); 2012, Salzburg (Austria); 2011, Avila (Spain)..