Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic

III-IV/2019 (EN)

Information and updates

The “Collaboration between Cities and Architects" workshop - views from practice and possibility of grants | May 2019

With the participation of more than a hundred interested parties from all over the Czech Republic, the nationwide Healthy Cities workshop, which took place on 13 May in Prague, drew attention to two highly topical issues that have a profound impact on the future appearance of the places in which we live. The first issue is the collaboration between cities and architects and the second is water management.

The event was held under the aegis of the Minister for Regional Development and the Minister for the Environment. The Ministry for Regional Development was represented by its Deputy Minister David Koppitz delivering a speech on its behalf and the Ministry for the Environment was represented by its Deputy Minister Jan Kriz who also gave a speech at the event.

The ensuing session, focused on collaboration between cities and architects, was moderated by the architect Filip Tittl (Czech Technical University in Prague, UNIT architekti). He pointed out right in the beginning that the role of an architect could be more varied than usual in most cities. All speakers agreed that an urban architect is an important intermediary between a politician who will decide on a particular project and a planner who will implement it. The role of the urban architect should not be restricted only to a mere “overseer” watching over a zoning plan being respected. Conversely, it is highly desirable to involve them actively in the decision-making process on urban development issues (e.g. investment, territorial planning, upkeep of green areas etc.).

The speakers of this session also reflected on the role of an urban architect (Petr Lesek, Projektil architekti) and described concrete approaches and examples of collaboration with architects in the territory as illustrated by the examples of the city of Litomysl (Antonín Dokoupil, Department for Urban Development of Litomysl) and the small South Bohemian municipality of Usilne (Ondrej Synek, re:architektiy). The session was closed by a discussion between speakers and participants highlighting, among other things, the significance of the role that urban architects play in the issue of adaptation to climate change as initiators of concrete solutions.

The session devoted to water management was opened by the moderator – architect Vojtech Lekes (NEXT institute) who introduced a prototype of collecting rainwater installed in the centre of Brno as urban furniture. It is a simple example of how to efficiently collect water in a city and use it to water urban green spaces. Martin Vanecek (Environment Department of Brno) followed up with concrete examples of water management mentioning e. g. the park outlets in the form of drainage piping for irrigation, the use of water collected from tower blocks rooftops to fill up a retention basin in the park called “Park pod plachtami“, the preparation of revitalisation of the Svratka river, green tram tracks and the city´s incentive program to promote the creation of green roofs. Radim Vitek (Office of the Architect of the City of Brno and CzWA – the Czech Water Association) introduced possible approaches to managing rainwater – an investment approach (concrete projects) and an organisational approach (systemic measures). In particular, he stressed that this issue has a huge political potential requiring an interdisciplinary approach and a change of established practices. Cities still have a long way to go with this issue. This session was closed by Vendula Zahumenska (Investor Zahumny), a lawyer with a long-term professional experience in the area of urbanism and adaptation to climate change. She emphasized the legal aspect of the issue at hand and mentioned the importance of careful preparation of contracts with investors (especially the role of planning agreements) and the fundamental principles of the link between adaptation measures and both zoning plans and regulation plans.

Introduced Martin Kubica, director of the OPE Management Section, the final session of the workshop was devoted to the issue of the funds from the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic earmarked for water management. Up-to-date information and numerous successful projects can be found on the website of the State Environmental Fund: The presentations were followed up by individual consultations between the participants of the workshop and the staff of the State Environmental Fund on the projects in the pipeline.

For further information, click HERE.

This event was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund provided from the Operational Employment Programme to implement the project.

Webinar: Online Project Inventory – projects according to priorities and impacts | May 2019

A special Healthy Cities webinar sequel, held on 10 May 2019, was devoted to an online tool called PROJECT INVENTORY.

The online project inventory, provided by Czech Healthy Cities, enables to centralize projects in the pipeline of the whole local authority in one place and make them available online for authorised staff members or committees or visualise them for the public.

Further information and presentations are available HERE.

This event was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund provided from the Operational Employment Programme to implement the project.

A new series of seminars on HEALTH in cities has been launched – this time about children´s obesity | Jihlava, April 2019

On 16 April 2019, Jihlava hosted an introductory event to a new series of seminars on health promotion in cities and towns. The event was organised by Czech Healthy Cities (HCCZ) in partnership with the National Institute of Public Health (department of Jihlava) and the Vysocina Healthy Region. The main theme this time was children´s obesity highlighting possibilities which cities, towns and regions have to prevent it, the steps they take in this area, and the help they can offer.

Representatives of regions and professional institutions, doctors and practitioners presented many interesting facts, reflections and inspiration. It is worth noting that the proportion of obese children is steadily increasing, and according to statistics regarding the Czech Republic, 9 percent of children are obese and 25 percent are overweight with 50 to 80 percent of children continuing obese into adulthood. The reason for this is not only a high calorie intake and an unsuitable dietary composition, but above all a lack of physical activity (the WHO recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, which is met only by a minimum of children), even though almost 70 percent of children attend a sports club.

The causes of this issue are largely influenced by the family, however, municipalities and regions can foster positive changes in numerous areas – e.g. suitable planning of space and services (thinking about ways of arranging space and services to make them accessible within walking or cycling distance), encouraging children to walk or cycle to school (“walking bus/bike bus“), active awareness-raising, campaigns, incentive programmes and financial support for appropriate measures. Apart from the family itself, schools and kindergarten, where municipalities can exert significant influence, also play a crucial role (accessibility of playgrounds and sports grounds, possibility of spending school break times actively, school meals and many others).

This event saw numerous interesting presentations delivered. The topics of conceptual health promotion and systemic approach of cities were addressed by the representatives of Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic and the National Health Promotion Network, as well as by the representatives of the Faculty of Physical Culture of the Palacky University Olomouc. Doctors and physiotherapists looked at the influence of lifestyle on the health of children – or the consequences of lack of physical activity for children´s body. The representatives of the Vysocina Region and the city of Jihlava presented concrete examples and inspiration from their practice.

All the presentations from the event can be downloaded HERE.

In the near future, we are preparing other themes such as the promotion of physical activity, planning in healthcare and social areas, mental health etc. The emphasis will invariably be placed mainly on the role of municipalities/regions and what they can actively influence or promote, how to conceptually plan, manage and fund given themes, and how Healthy Cities and their associations can be instrumental in this area.

The event was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund provided from the Operational Employment Programme to implement the project.

The Czech Healthy Cities Spring School provided information on subsidies and good practice | Liberec 20 -22 March

Where /When/Why: Liberec / 20 – 22 March 2019 / sharing, inspiration, experience, partnerships of cities, towns and regions

Participants: > 180

Presentations: 15

Training sessions: 3

The Czech Healthy Cities Spring School introduced a novelty: a discussion meeting for politicians. There they discussed why and how to involve the public, how to launch activities at the level of local authorities and how to build and develop partnerships. The award for exemplary good practice was given to the Liberec Region for its example “ – the regional business incubator and innovation centre.

Furthermore, a number of inspirational presentations were delivered. They can be downloaded together with the photos and other outputs HERE.

For the next two days the participants received training in a number of areas (strategic management, LA21, sustainable development), including communication skills, and tested the online tools offered.

Besides the thought-provoking specialized session, a great complementary entertainment programme was prepared:

… We danced, jumped on trampolines or practiced other sports.
… We explored the world and educated ourselves in IQ Landia.
… We took a ride on a historical tram to the Gallery and the Technical Museum.

The baton of Healthy Cities Schools was passed to Tábor:  5 – 7 June 2019.

...We would like to express our thanks to the speakers, participants and the hosting Liberec Region!

The event was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund provided from the Operational Employment Programme to implement the project.

Healthy Cities webinar: How to save on energy services | April 2019

Do you wonder how to save on energy services in a city or a town?

If you find this issue intriguing, you may want to view the recording of the Czech Healthy Cities webinar, which took place on Friday 12 April, on the Healthy Cities Czech Republic YouTube channel.

The main theme of the webinar: Financing energy savings – EPC projects – specific experience with guaranteed savings

The webinar provided answers to the following questions:

  • Is it possible to prepare energy savings projects with guaranteed savings?
  • Are these projects common and feasible in the Czech Republic?
  • What can the energy service providers offer you?
  • How to prepare a good EPC project?

The webinar was moderated by:

  • Petr Svec – Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic
  • Jaroslav Klusak – the city of Litomerice/Association of Energy Managers of Towns and Municipalities
  • Radim Kohoutek – DS ENERGYConsulting/Association of Energy Service Providers

For more information, click HERE.

The webinar was held in partnership with Healthy Cities Czech Republic and the Association of Energy Managers of Towns and Municipalities, with the support of Energy Cities and the European Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy program.

Healthy Cities, Towns and Regions of the Czech Republic have elected new management for the two coming years.

The Healthy Cities General Assembly approved new management for the next two years at its meeting of 20 March 2019 in Liberec. The Healthy Cities Board is a body responsible for fulfilling the association´s mission and its general direction and development.

For further information please click HERE.

The Czech Healthy Cities Spring School announced the second edition of the "Healthy Cities BEST PRACTICE"

Every city, town or region is often faced with various problems and challenges in its development process which require novel, original and, most importantly, efficient solutions. Towns, regions as well as non-profit organizations, schools, local businesses and other entities come up with new projects and implement activities aimed at improving their services, saving funds and raising awareness on specific topics – to put it simply, they enhance the quality of life. They come up with a range of innovative, remarkable and practical solutions to various issues. These actions are collected by Czech Healthy Cities to be placed in the Good Practice Database.

Information about the first edition of the BEST PRACTICE is available HERE (in Czech).

A webinar on social housing - rules, funds, practice

A special Healthy Cities webinar sequel focused on the topic of social housing and featuring representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry for Regional Development took place on 8 March 2019 from 10 a.m.

The webinar answered the following questions:

  • What is the situation in the area of social housing and what is in the pipeline?
  • What has proved useful in specific terms? Good practice examples from Czech municipalities
  • What use is good social work in relation to social housing?
  • What are the possibilities of funding?
  • What are the latest developments in the area of construction and reconstruction of social housing from the Integrated Regional Operational Programme?

Expert information was provided by representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry for Regional Development.

The webinar PRESENTATIONS and further information can be found HERE.

The event was supported from the funds of the European Social Fund provided from the Operational Employment Programme to implement the project.

The international conference "Energy in the hands of cities" about sharing experience and financial resources | Litoměřice, February 2019

Over 150 specialists from the Czech Republic and abroad were brought together in Litoměřice, 27 – 28 February 2019, to take part in the international conference “Energy in the hands of cities”. The conference was held by Healthy Cities Czech Republic and the Association of Energy Managers of Towns and Municipalities in partnership with Energy Cities and the city of Litoměřice.

The conference was held under the aegis of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Regional Development. Its underlying topic was: Energy self-sufficiency of cities and own resources – a real possibility or an unrealistic idea?

A large number of guests were present including René Neděla, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, and Jan Kříž, Deputy Minister for the Environment.

The event was primarily intended for the representatives of cities, towns and regions and their partners interested in promoting innovative practices in the area of energy savings and the use of renewable sources and sustainable transport at local level. Additionally, the speakers also presented innovative projects of sustainable municipal energy coming from other cities – e.g. dynamic public lighting from Sušice. In this context, Andreas Piontek, representative of the European Investment Bank, drew the attention of cities and towns to the possibilities of obtaining methodological assistance with the preparation of innovative projects and their funding.

One of the aims of the conference was also a discussion on energy self-sufficiency and ownership of energy and water resources by cities and towns. „It proved worthwhile for us to concentrate energy resources in the ownership of the city and its citizens,“ said Jan Johansson, energy manager of the Swedish city of Växjö boasting the prestigious European Green Leaf 2018 award.

The conference outputs in Czech are available HERE.

The event is organized with the support of the European Commission, the Energy Cities association and the Covenant of Mayors.

The Newsletter is published by Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic, contact: HCCZ Office.
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The photographs used come from the HCCZ and its members archives.
© HCCZ, 2019

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