City of San Sebastian (Spain)

General informationPhoto: City of Donostia-San Sebastián

Donostia- San Sebastián (Donostia in Basque) is the capital city of the province of Guipúzcoa, in the Basque Country, Spain. It is located in the east of the North Atlantic coast, on the southern coast of the Bay of Biscay. Donostia-San Sebastián is settled between the ideal combination of small mountains, manor buildings, and the sea, covering a surface of 60,89 km². The city is located around the “La Concha” Bay, protected against the tides by the Santa Clara Island, and embraced by Mounts Urgull and Igeldo.  A little more than 180,000 inhabitants make the city a welcoming and friendly destination.

The main economic activities are commerce and tourism, being one of the most famous tourist destinations in Spain. Despite the city’s small size, international events such as the Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival have given it an international dimension.  One can go to most of the interesting places on foot, using the promenades and pedestrian axis. Also, cycling is continuously growing in importance.



Actual state of accessibility-work

In the city of Donostia-San Sebastián, accessibility issues are mainly the responsibility of the Mobility Department, however depending on the nature of the actions, some measures are also planned and implemented by other departments, such as the Maintenance and Urban Services Department, the Wellness Being Department, the Traffic Department of the bus public transport operator, etc...

The city is already quite advanced in the area of accessibility, and the city itself is indeed very user-friendly: although there is not a dedicated department for accessibility issues, many actions have already been implemented in this area. Awareness about the importance of accessibility is also quite high within the different departments responsible for regional public transport, maintenance, and wellness-being; however there are severe budget restrictions and this limits the further implementation of expensive infrastructure construction measures.



ISEMOA implementation

The city of Donostia – San Sebastian has successfully implemented the ISEMOA Quality Management System with a motivation to improve the quality of accessibility work in the city. The ISEMOA team, composed of members from the different relevant departments of the municipality and representatives of people with reduced mobility (PRM), reached a common view and identified weak and strong points of the city in terms of accessibility to public transport and public spaces. An Action Plan was agreed, selecting priority measures collected from the comments and views raised by the team during the working meetings, from the accessibility plan and from conversations and interviews with the user´s associations (PRM). Among the selected measures pre-selected are for example: appointment of a unique leader to manage and coordinate all accessibility actions, agreement to implement actions to facilitate law enforcement, potential renewal and update of the Accessibility Plan. It is expected that this Action Plan will serve to continue the good work on accessibility issues in the city.



Quotes of local stakeholders

“This ISEMOA-process has served to sit together, and learn initiatives of the other municipal departments, that otherwise, we would not know…” (Representative of the Wellness-being Department, participated in the Donostia-San Sebastián ISEMOA-team)

“If this audit serves to help us coordinate among the different municipal departments and appoint a leader it will already be a good a development..." (All representatives of the various departments agreed on this)

“The implementation of the ISEMOA-process in Donostia-San Sebastián has been useful to rethink the situation of accessibility in the city…” (Representative of the Wellness-being Department and the Representative of the Education, Youth, Cooperation & Equality Department of the city)