Since its inception one year ago, the League of Historical and Accessible Cities, the EFC’s first operational project, has made significant strides in developing accessible tourist itineraries in five European cities: Avila (Spain), Mulhouse (France), Lucca and Turin (Italy) and Viborg (Denmark).
Established in 2010 within the European Consortium of Foundations on Human Rights and Disability, the League aims to reconcile accessibility with cultural heritage, no easy feat considering how highly prized and protected historic cities and buildings are in Europe. This is one of Europe’s biggest challenges regarding accessibility and an important field for foundations to engage in. However, League participants believe that it is possible to reconcile the rights of stones with the rights of people – it is just a question of being a bit innovative and creative.
In the project’s first phase (ending in 2012), eight foundations have teamed up with local authorities, disability groups, architects and town planning experts to design itineraries of a minimum of 1 kilometre long through which people with all types of disability can visit the city’s shops, restaurants, museums and other tourist attractions. Based on these experiences, the League aims to develop a best practice guide to help other foundations and their partners interested in implementing similar projects in historic cities elsewhere in Europe.
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