Promotion of accessibility to train stations earns the city a special mention

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Filipa Brito

Porto, together with Barcelona, Helsinki, Leuven, Luxembourg, and Palma de Mallorca, was part of the list of nominated cities for the City Access Award 2022.

The measures that Porto has been implementing to make train stations accessible to people with reduced mobility were recognized by the European Commission, within the scope of the Access City Award 2022, an award that distinguishes efforts to eliminate barriers and make the public space accessible to people with disabilities.

This work fits in the designation of 2021 as European Year of the Railway by the European Union, a way to promote the use of trains as a safe and sustainable mean of transport.

The Access City Award 2022 delivery ceremony was held online, this Friday. The councilman for Tourism and Trade, Ricardo Valente, in representation of the city of Porto, underscored that “the accessibility is an issue on the agenda, demanding cities to adapt and reinvent themselves to correspond to the needs of their residing population, those who study, work or are visiting here.”

Stressing the commitment on creating a city “of everyone and for everyone”, Ricardo Valente recalled the difficulties that morphology poses: “the winding and steep streets of the historical centre as well as the different elevations, make pedestrian dislocation very difficult, especially for senior citizens and people with reduced mobility.

“The truth is that, as the “Invicta” city that we are, we never surrender and turn our adversities into opportunities. Therefore, those who visit us regularly notice that the transformation of the city is underway. We have sought to implement innovative solutions”, indicated the councilman.

As an example, Ricardo Valente pointed out the expansion and improvement of the public transport network and soft modes (at affordable prices), rehabilitating and building new equipment, restoring public space; but also, at the same time, creating integration programs in the labour market, promoting active aging and social cohesion. “This recognition brings new encouragement to our journey, as it reinforces that we are trailing the way that will make Porto an even friendlier city for its people, concluded.

The city of Luxembourg was the winner of the Access City Award 2022. Helsinki won second place and Barcelona third.