Convention Center in Quito, Ecuador Receives Certificate of Universal Accessibility

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Date: 
January 22, 2019

Verónica Sevilla, General Manager of Quito Turismo;  Cristina, Moshenek, General Manager of DK Terra;  Peter Blanck, BBI and GUDC Chairman;  María Teresa Donoso, GUDC Representative in Ecuador
Verónica Sevilla, General Manager of Quito Turismo; Cristina, Moshenek, General Manager of DK Terra; Peter Blanck, BBI and GUDC Chairman; María Teresa Donoso, GUDC Representative in Ecuador

Quito became the first city in the country and in Latin America to have a public building, certified in accessibility and universal design, by the 'Global Universal Desing Commission' (GUDC), a US corporation that develops standards for buildings, products and services. 

During the ceremony, where the certification plate was delivered, Peter Blanck, president of the GUDC, pointed out the importance of these spaces in the cities. "People with disabilities and their families can enjoy this complete structure." 

He also stressed that the Metropolitan Convention Center of Quito (CCMQ) is a sustainable building with physical accessibility with the certification in Infrastructure that is the first one; and with cognitive accessibility, that is, it has information and communication mechanisms for people with mental, auditory and visual disabilities with the certification in equipment that will be delivered in the next months. He reiterated that when cities do not think of spaces for reduced mobility they not only lose the visit of people with disabilities but also that of their families and relatives. 

Marcela Tipantuña, a member of the National Federation of Ecuadorians with Physical Disability (Fenedif), said that by opening centers with universal access, people with reduced mobility are granted a right that has always been restricted. It suggests that these initiatives should be transferred to other sectors. "The transport is not accessible nor the paths," he says.   

THE DATA
15% of the world population has some type of disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Verónica Sevilla, general manager of Quito Turismo, stressed that universal access does not only include disabilities. "It is also so that pregnant women or with children in arms can move easily." 

The official added that by 2050, 20% of the world population will be over 60 years old, which means that spaces with different accesses are needed. The official said that for five years, it is planned to expand the building and that the Bicentennial Center (where the Convention Center is located) has hotels, a theater, a shopping center and parking lots. Everything as planned in the Quito 2040 projection. He  also announced that the CCMQ will also receive LEED certification, aimed at sustainable buildings that meet a set of standards and strategies to achieve energy saving results in their structure (AVV).

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