An accessible municipality is a municipality where everyone has equal and independent access to the buildings, public space, services and communication. Everyone can live, learn, work, carry out daily activities, move around and relax in comfort, quality and well into old age. Also those residents with a visible or invisible disability.
The charter provides local authorities with the necessary tools and support to develop and pursue a quality and integral accessibility policy.
What does the quality process involve and what does it lead to?
On the basis of a frame of reference, all participating municipalities conduct an evaluation exercise on the accessibility policy in the municipality. The aim is to map the current policy, but it is also an incentive to set new objectives and actions for the future and to strengthen the accessibility policy. In this way, each municipality will draw up a growth trajectory tailored to its own needs.
The goal of the trajectory is:
- Providing input for a new multi-year plan
- An integral and integrated accessibility policy
- A sustainable embedding of accessibility and Universal Design in the daily policy and management, operation, service and communication of the city.
What are important principles of an integral and integrated accessibility policy?
- At the start of each project, the municipalities think carefully about accessibility for all inhabitants. Accessibility for all should become a matter of course. All services and inhabitants of the municipality can participate in this.
- The inhabitants of a municipality know best what needs to be addressed in terms of accessibility. That is why the municipality will make great efforts to involve them in good time in the elaboration of new projects and accessibility policy.
- The municipalities also want to work closely with partners who in turn can contribute to better accessibility, such as transport companies, utilities, housing companies, local self employed people,
How did the charter and the quality trajectory come about?
The five pilot municipalities of Asse, Beringen, Kortrijk, Maldegem and Sint-Niklaas have been working on their integral accessibility for some time now and have a covenant with Inter. The municipalities and Inter have mapped out what needs to be done to further improve integral accessibility and to achieve a stronger accessibility policy. They worked together on a frame of reference, a self-evaluation and a charter ‘Towards an accessible municipality’. They found out who all play a role in this and what initiatives are needed.
Together with Inter, these cities and municipalities presented the charter during five press moments (September 2017). At the launch, 23 Flemish cities and municipalities had signed the charter.
Cities and towns that signed the charter
Aalter, Antwerpen, As, Asse, Beringen, Blankenberge, Bree, Dilsen-Stokkem, Gent, Hasselt, Hooglede, Ichtegem, Ieper, Jabbeke, Koekelare, Kortrijk, Lummen, Maasmechelen, Maldegem, Mechelen, Middelkerke, Nieuwpoort, Ninove, Roeselare, Sint-Niklaas, Sint-Truiden, Wevelgem, Wielsbeke, Zonnebeke, Zwevegem
Guidelines for municipalities wishing to sign the charter
No covenant yet?
The first step towards guidance in the process ‘Towards an accessible municipality’ can be taken by concluding a covenant with Inter.
Does your board have a covenant with Inter?
If so, please send us the board decision with the confirmation of the signature of the charter and the name of the coordinating officer to firstname.lastname@example.org.