Berlin is one of Europe’s most accessible cities

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People with disabilities face a variety of challenges when trying to access various types of services in cities. Not all European cities are demonstrating the same level of accessibility and much more must be done to make them more disability-friendly. The German capital Berlin, however, has managed to establish a reputation as one of the most accessible cities in Europe to people with disabilities.

Berlin, one of Europe’s largest cities, is an important business and economic center, as well as a highly attractive tourist destination. Millions of tourists head to the German capital every year in order to enjoy the city’s creative scene, vibrant cultural life, and world-class museums. However, the amazing news is that a large number of Berlin’s most iconic attractions are accessible to people with disabilities.

The German Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, Berlin Wall, and other attractions are wheelchair accessible. Since 2020, the German capital has been served by Berlin Brandenburg Airport. All terminals include several allocated parking places for passengers with disabilities. By train, passengers with mobility impairments can get to Terminals 1-2 without difficulty.

Additionally, the German city is particularly known for its extremely accessible public transportation system. In Berlin, the majority of U-Bahn (tube) stations, the entire S-Bahn (city railway) network, and the BVG bus and ferry fleets are all wheelchair accessible. The BVG buses are all equipped with extendable wheelchair ramps, allowing drivers to assist passengers in boarding if necessary.

According to Visit Berlin, around 200 restrooms are provided by the Wall company in the German capital, all of which are handicapped accessible. Furthermore, wheelchair taxis are also available from a variety of companies in order to make getting around the city easier. Moreover, there are approximately 1300 public disabled parking spaces.

The city’s hard work in this regard was officially recognized by the European Commission back in 2013. Berlin was the winner of the 2013 Access City award for disabled-friendly cities organized by the European Commission together with the European Disability Forum. According to the European Commission, Berlin was selected as the winner based on its proactive and inclusive disability strategy. It was explained that the city invested considerably in becoming barrier-free.

The jury praised Berlin’s public transportation system as well as investments in disabled accessibility in reconstruction projects. It was also stated at the time that Berlin’s comprehensive approach to accessibility had been thoroughly integrated into the city’s policies and widely endorsed by city officials. In recent years, the city has continued to boost accessibility and make sure that public life remains accessible to everyone.

Many measures to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities can be undertaken at the local level, therefore cities play an important role in becoming more socially responsible and inclusive. Many cities are now adopting new design standards to make public spaces more accessible to residents with disabilities.

Berlin, which has a long-standing reputation as one of Europe’s most open cities, does an excellent job in boosting the accessibility and constantly makes sure that everyone can enjoy the city’s remarkable history and top-tier landmarks and attractions. (photo credit: Hansuan Fabregas/Pixabay)