Global dimension

The European Commission’s Access City awards are annually granted to European cities that are improving their accessibility and everyone’s equal opportunity to participate in urban life in an exemplary way. Helsinki came second in this competition in 2015 and 2022.

In 2022, the grounds for awarding a prize to Helsinki emphasised the city’s strong commitment, the considerable changes it had made and the mainstreaming of accessibility. The concrete examples mentioned included the accessibility of trams, and the city divisions’ commitment to developing accessible spaces and services.

The Access City awards were first given out in 2010. The purpose of the competition is to increase awareness of disability and promote accessibility initiatives in European cities of over 50,000 inhabitants. It aims to provide persons with disabilities with the same opportunities as the rest of the population to participate in life in a city. Furthermore, the competition encourages cities to follow each others’ example and share their best practices.

The award is granted to a city that is able to demonstrate significant improvements made to the key elements of urban accessibility and that has tangible plans for further improvements. The first prize is 150,000 euros, the second 120,000 euros and the third 80,000 euros.