Whether it's for everyday living or while travelling, there are many ways of improving travel and access to buildings and tourist attractions for people with reduced mobility. Luxembourg City has understood how important this is, and recently earned the title of Europe's most accessible city.
Accessible accommodation and tourist attractions
According to the comparative study carried out in June by the British website comparemarket.com, Luxembourg City is the most accessible city in Europe. It's followed by Berlin (2nd place), Stockholm (3rd place), Oslo (4th place), and Bern (5th place).
For the indicators used for the ranking, Luxembourg City was out ahead of the other cities for the percentage of rooms accessible for a wheelchair (18.56%). The percentage of tourist attractions accessible for wheelchairs, at 33.33%, is also one of the highest. The airport website also provides detailed information about special assistance and assistance for people with reduced mobility, so travellers can organise their travel better.
Awareness of specific needs and design for all
The web site also emphasises the approach adopted by the Grand Duchy's public authorities, concentrating more on people's specific needs than on their weaknesses. This is reflected not only in the use of inclusive language, making it easier for people and tourist companies to be aware, but also in a philosophy of 'inclusive design', ensuring that it's possible for everyone to live in the city and visit it in comfort.
In this context, the Ministry of the Economy and the national info-handicap centre have launched the EureWelcome label, awarded to establishments, services and events that guarantee accessibility for all visitors by eliminating barriers. It's not only about visitors with a handicap - it also includes the elderly and visitors bringing a pushchair with them. 160 infrastructures have already been awarded the label.
A commitment that has been rewarded several times
Luxembourg City's commitment to accessibility goes back a number of years already. Under the European Commission's Access City Award scheme, Luxembourg City earned a special mention in 2015 and won third prize in 2018. The prize recognises and celebrates the determination, ability and effort of a city wanting to be more accessible so that it can guarantee equality of access for fundamental rights and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.
Luxembourg City has also received an award from the Design for All Foundation. The Foundation brings together public and private initiatives offering better accessibility for all; it rewarded the cityapp project in 2018. In this case, iBeacon technology is used to help the visually impaired.
Action is increasingly being taken to promote accessibility because it's all about making sure that everyone - regardless of age, mobility or capacities - has access to all the resources and enjoyment that cities have to offer.
(Article written by the editorial team of the 'www.luxembourg.lu' portal)