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Richmond wins Accessible Cities Award from Rick Hansen Foundation

By Don Fennell

Published 4:15 PDT, Wed May 31, 2017

Richmond has been recognized as one of the most accessible cities in Canada.

The Rick Hansen Foundation today (May 31) announced Richmond along with Edmonton and Winnipeg as winners of its Accessible Cities Award for their efforts in promoting universal access and improving the lives of people with disabilities.

The Rick Hansen Foundation launched the award in the fall of 2016 to recognize municipalities for creating and building accessible places and spaces for people with disabilities. When physical barriers within the built environment are removed, and people with disabilities can live, work and play to their full potential, the entire community benefits.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the winners of the Accessible Cities Award,” said Rick Hansen, founder and chief executive officer of the foundation. “These cities are demonstrating leadership and determination in creating greater accessibility in our built environments. Congratulations to Winnipeg, Richmond, and Edmonton for their successes in pursuing best practices by expanding universal access and for inspiring others to do the same.”

All three cities are recognized for their progressive vision and policies, wide variety and scope of accessibility improvements, and work on engaging their communities to be more inclusive.

The City of Richmond has a holistic and dedicated approach to access. Since the 1980s it has adopted policies to improve accessibility, and today access and inclusion are themes embedded throughout planning documents emphasizing the need for accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods.

“Richmond has a long commitment to being an accessible city,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, “We work closely with groups like the Richmond Centre for Disability and the Rick Hansen Foundation, and strive to be both leaders and champions in incorporating accessibility into urban design across thecommunity. We’re proud to receive this prestigious honour and pledge to continue to work to promote universal access for all and to improve the lives of people with disabilities.”

As part of the award, five spaces across Canada that exemplify best practices towards universal access were inducted into the award’s circle of excellence: the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, the Richmond Olympic Oval in Richmond, the Walterdale Theatre in Edmonton, Celebration Square in Mississauga, and the François Dupuis Recreation Centre in Ottawa.

Visit to learn more about the cities’ strategies and initiatives, and the five circle of excellence inductees.

The Rick Hansen Foundation was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour. For nearly 30 years, it has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities.

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