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Bologna Beyond Barriers

How can we guarantee equal access to fundamental rights, and in particular the right of every citizen to an independent life?

The Municipality of Bologna’s candidacy to the European Access City Award 2021 reflects the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the City’s own vision for accessibility. It is the fruit of a complex campaign of co-planning and co-responsibility between the City and a multiplicity of subjects that have contributed to its realisation.

This campaign- as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities- aims “to promote actively an environment in which persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in the conduct of public affairs, without discrimination and on an equal basis with others, and encourage their participation in public affairs”.

Following these guidelines, the Municipality of Bologna and the Foundation for Urban Innovation have implemented a shared, co-planned candidacy, involving civil society organisations in the Bologna area that have addressed disability issues for many years.  

The participatory candidacy was launched on 15 December 2019 with an open public event. More than 500 people participated. It then developed in seven stages that structured the co-design process. The first part was dedicated to data gathering, organising information and delving deeper into specific experiences. The second stage looked to the future, focusing mainly on discussion and collaboration between participants in order to identify project trajectories.

STAGE 1. January - February 2020 | Mapping and internal analysis

  • Mapping of strategies, planning instruments, projects and services the Municipality of Bologna has planned or already created to address this topic.
  • Mapping of other Authorities or Institutions’ projects and services.

STAGE 2. February - March 2020 | Activation of local forces

  • Open call to support the candidacy that received a response from 69 subjects (65 organisations and 4 individual citizens), who proposed a total of 108 projects.

 STAGE 3. March - May 2020 | Analysis, interviews and communication

  • Analysis and detailed study of the mapping of services, activities and projects in support of the candidacy
  • Interviews conducted digitally
  • Creation of accessible communication projects regarding coronavirus emergency health measures
  • Completion of an accessible communication guide 

STAGE 4. June 2020 | Digital workshops to co-plan the candidacy

  • Live stream meetings to share the results of the previous stage and open debate with several key players
  • Online form to collect project ideas to present and discuss during workshops
  • Setup of digital workshops to discover the new needs of individuals with disabilities tied to the Covid-19 healthcare emergency, and to collect new ideas and proposals to make Bologna more accessible

STAGE 5. July 2020 | Development and writing of candidacy materials

STAGE 6. September 2020 | Submission of the candidacy

STAGE 7. Next months | Implementation of the selected projects and consolidation of the process results by Municipality of Bologna

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Documents Bologna Beyond Barriers