The Guardian UK
28th May 2019
‘People aren’t disabled, their city is’: inside Europe’s most accessible city
From flattened cobbles to threshold ramps, the Dutch city of Breda has much to teach its neighbours
by Emily Yates
When I arrived at Breda station last month to find out why this Dutch city was recently named the winner of the 2019 Access City award, I did something I have not done while travelling in a long time. Instead of taking a taxi, I independently pushed the two kilometres to the hotel, to see whether lack of access for wheelchair users like me is as big a problem here as it is in most other cities.
Usually, a journey like that would be a nightmare, particularly in older European towns like Breda, a city of just under 200,000 people that was an important centre during the Holy Roman Empire. Medieval city centres and cobble-stoned markets are a recipe for broken castor wheels and painful pressure sores for wheelchair users.
The award is about a commitment to improve. We have done a lot, but there is more to do