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Healthy Cities CZ

Healthy Cities
of the Czech Republic

How to find out if a city is sustainable? The methodology has been created

In March 2012, after two-year work of experts from universities and other specialist workplaces in the Czech Republic as well as that of practitioners from the cities, the "Methodology for evaluation of Local Agenda category A" has been approved. Local Agenda 21 (LA21) is an international programme that puts emphasis on the level of municipalities and regions on balanced and sustainable development that takes place with active participation of the public. In the CZ, LA21 has a chart of quality of the participating municipalities and regions - from the "applicants" to categories "D", "C", "B" ending with the highest category "A". It is for this very last category that precise guidelines and procedures of how to measure it were missing. For this reason, the Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic in collaboration with Integra Consulting and a number of university experts and other representatives of specialised workplaces tested the proposed Methodology in practice. Four cities – Koprivnice, Litomerice, Chrudim and Vsetin – in the course of 2011 evaluated individual areas of life according to the set of proposed indicators and had these self-assessments evaluated externally. Then, the experts proposed specific improvements for the given areas in question. The evaluated areas included management of public affairs and local development, living environment, sustainable consumption and production, transportation and mobility, health and safety of inhabitants, local economy and business, education and upbringing, culture and local tradition, community life or global responsibility.

Each of the four above mentioned cities did a trial testing of the activity in three areas, Chrudim will launch full version of testing in all above mentioned areas in the next year and will try to become the first CZ city in the category "A", other pilot cities have been deciding and gathering data so far. This procedure is also unique within the European scale. There is a number of evaluations for individual topics or summary indexes of the most advanced cities; however, this procedure of detailed evaluation of individual sustainable development areas is also inspiring to a number of other countries.

Evaluation in the cities or the formulation of methodology as take place within the HCCZ project titled "A-test", supported from the Czech Ministry of Environment Revolving Fund.