Berlin has received the Access City Award 2013
Praise from Brussels - Berlin receives EU Price for Accessibility
Over seven million German people and about 50 million Europeans live with a disability, but from only about 30 percent of the people you recognise their disability. But even if one does not recognise the impairment immediately, ten percent of the population find it as a necessity to live in a barrier-free environment. Thirty to forty percent of the people need a barrier-free environment in everyday life. Not only physically and mentally impaired people need accessibility but also the demographic changes in our society make a barrier-free environment always essential. Berlin set itself a challenging goal: the city should have a 100% barrier-free environment by 2020.
Especially the Berlin Transport Service (BVG) has already done much with regard to service for disabled passengers. The buses are already fully adapted to the specific claims. The trams have adapted most trains (18 of 22 routes). Only the underground train stations are a little behind the target, 98 of a total of 173 stations are barrier-free, have lifts or ramps.
Not only the Berlin Transport Service are committed to a barrier-free city. The Berlin senate hat integrated this goal within their politics. By 2020 all pedestrian ways and crossings should be barrier-free to use and new buildings are designed from the start to be access and disable friendly. This target is not just nice words, many ideas have already been implemented. Up to date are already 176 schools accessible for wheelchair users, as well as 53 museums, three opera houses and four large urban theatres. To reach the goal to be 100% barrier-free is still a long way ahead, and many projects and ideas have to be actioned. For example, wheelchair users still are not able to enjoy the fantastic view from the TV tower, they can't even enter the lobby. The announced accessibility in public buildings such as the Schloss Friedrichsfelde (palace) was simply forgotten.
Nevertheless, Berlin is doing something to be access and disability friendly and was praised on 3rd December 2012 by the European Commission, in cooperation with the European Disability Forum. Berlin won against 99 European cities this competition and received the "Access City Award" 2013. Berlin is in the eyes of the jury the "Access City in 2013."
Please book here your barrier-free room for disabled guests at the relexa hotel Berlin.