ACCESSIBLE CITIES OF EUROPEAN REGIONS
Start date: Dec 31, 2003,
End date: Mar 30, 2006
The project would like to underline that accessibility is a primary aspect for determining the whole pleasantness of a city and an important aspect for enhancing the quality of life of all citizenships, also the temporary residents like tourists and is also an important factor for the promotion and qualitative development of urban areas. The logic of city accessibility is always related to a complete fruition of a series of structures by citizens and tourists, but above all services devoted to persons with "special" needs. The project aims to create accessible urban thematic routes (i.e. from the railroad - to the hotel and restaurants - to the tourist information centre, to the monuments or to the exibitions and the buildings which contain them). The project starts from the redefinition and adaptation to a larger number of urban ambit of the Igv-vae methodology at the moment applying only for the buildings, and aims to point out all the other parameters that identify accessibility in the remaining part of the city territory. The project will focus on the creation of a common protocol of communication for supporting an informative network made of local networks, data collection and implementation of pilot actions. As underlined in ESDP, the emergence of urban networks can be advantageous for regional development because it improves the range of services offered specifically, in the framework in the field of accessibility and the economic conditions of the region and thereby increasing its competitiveness. Achievements: The C.A.R.E. project defined accessible urban tourist routes describing the accessibility features of the venues: the 13 routes have been published in the tourist guides "Travelling in Europe: a guide to welcoming and accessible cities". All partners used the same CARE methodology to survey and communicate accessibility to a tourist service (i.e. a hotel, museum, restaurant, tourist attraction, etc.) with the aim of offering only objective information as regards the characteristics of accessibility to people with special needs (i.e. measures instead of symbols or evaluations). CARE thus created a network of cities that recognise accessibility as a central element in the quality of life, share the same tools and philosophy and work toward attracting new members. A fundamental result of C.A.R.E. is the analysis of the demands which residents and tourists with special needs make on a city. It is the most current and exhaustive European study of this kind ever made, including 6,545 interviews with residents and tourists with special needs. Also a shared manual on how to correctly communicate disability and accessibility has been produced. It can be of use to any operator dealing with matters of accessibility. A lot of work has been devoted to create a unified image of the project in order to make C.A.R.E. a brand: identifying a network of tourist cities in Europe sharing the principles and commitment listed in the Charter of the Hospitable City and using the same methodology to describe accessibility.
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