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III/2015 (EN)
 

Dear Representatives of Healthy Cities, Municipalities and Regions of the Czech Republic,
Dear Colleagues,

Let me inform you through our regular Newsletter of the events and topical issues of Healthy Cities, Municipalities and Regions in April and May, and of selected activities that will take place in the near future.


Petr Svec
HCCZ Director


  Information and updates from Czech Healthy Cities and Regions
 

Quality Methods and Strategic Management at the Thematic Healthy Cities Section on May 21

The Thematic Healthy Cities Section devoted to strategic management and quality methods in public administration was held in Prague on May 21, 2015. The main issue addressed at the event, which was attended by almost a hundred participants, was strategic planning and management from the perspective of national institutions, including specific municipalities´ experiences and examples of their practices.

The Section was opened by the speeches of various ministries and viewpoints of national institutions concerning this theme were put forward. David Koppitz, head of regional policy department at the Ministry for Regional Development, brought up the question of integrated approaches. He mentioned the efforts that have been made to establish clear and easily comprehensible rules for drawing subsidies, the absence of a high-quality long-term planning process, and the ever increasing suburbanization and related demands on the quality of public services. He drew attention to the danger of dependence on European subsidies as well as to the necessity of readiness of municipalities to co-finance planned projects. Other prominent representatives from the same department, Vladimir Kvaca and David Skorna, talked about the agreed Strategic framework of public administration, the context of preparation concerning individual operational programs, and the importance of implementation and management of strategies that have been already prepared. They also referred to the intentions to interconnect existing methodologies to draw up strategies both at national and local levels and to create relevant tools such as Database of strategies which can be instrumental in its preparation and management. Roman Vrba, head of the eGovernment department, expressed the viewpoint of the Ministry of the Interior. He described the main projects in progress in this area, and he underlined the importance of these efforts by stating the well-known motto “it is not the citizen who is running around but the data”.

The Level of Cities and municipalities was opened by the speeches of Petr Svec, HCCZ director, and Milan Jan Pucek who presented his new publication called “Sustainable financial management of municipalities and regions”. This publication sums up in a concise but intelligible manner basic principles underlying sound financial management such as transparent interconnection of a budget and a strategic plan, need for approval of principles of indebtedness, focus on local self-sufficiency, and the paramount importance of transparency in the preparation and management of the budget (for more information about the publication, see here).

Examples of excellent strategic planning and management of the city council and the city itself with citizens’ participation, and with a focus on sustainable development in practice were presented by the representatives of the following cities and towns: Koprivnice, Litomerice, Steti and the city district of Prague 8. In Koprivnice, key components of the town council management and urban management – from the goals of strategies and policies to particular processes used by the council (especially those taking place in “real-life situations” and concerning the most frequent affairs addressed by the council) – were interconnected thanks to a special information system and a data reference model. Therefore, citizens can now easily understand what course of action to take and at which stage of processing their application is. Furthermore, there has been a significant improvement in efficiency of procedures and mutual awareness of other institutions such as the Employment office. The above-mentioned reference model also includes the methods of benchmarking and evaluation. The town of Koprivnice won an award from the HCCZ director “Good Practice Stamp” for its systematic approach. The representatives of the town of Litomerice described the preparation process of strategies regarding budgeting, and their unique way of selecting municipal projects intended for further financing. Basic sorting and subsequent detailed evaluation of individual project impacts on economy, environment and social sphere will be reflected in its hierarchization which will make the selection of activities to be financed clearer. The Deputy Mayor of the town of Steti mentioned cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague on the preparation of the new zoning plan emphasizing the importance of public involvement. The representatives of Prague 8 talked about launching local Agenda 21 activities and the planned strategy preparation.

The programme, presented papers and a selection of photo documentation of the event can be found HERE.

The event was part of the HCCZ “STRATEG-2”project funded by the European Social Fund trough Operational programme Human Resources and Employment and the state budget of the Czech Republic.

 

A New Publication: Sustainable Financial Management of Municipalities and Regions

The Healthy Cities Network of the Czech Republic published a new publication dealing with a topical issue – sustainable financial management of municipalities and regions. It was written by Milan Jan Pucek, MSc, MBA, PhD., theoretician and practitioner well versed in various fields of public administration.

In his summary, the author refers to two major goals of the publication. The first goal is to gather knowledge and examples of good practice related to the issues of sound financial management in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The second goal is to provide substantial theoretical background and the necessary context, and to define the key concepts related to this issue. The publication provides information, knowledge and new findings in the field of financial management in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. A special focus is placed on municipalities and regions. The author aims to show everything within the relevant and necessary context.

The themes of the publication include theoretical basis, principles of sound financial management, information regarding budgeting and modern budgeting methods, presentation of relevant analyses and financial benchmarking, municipal expenses and its connection to potential economies, municipal revenues, risk management, transparency of fight against corruption, assessment of socio-economic and environmental benefits of projects, etc.

Free download of the publication is available HERE.

 

The publication was created as part of the HCCZ “STRATEG-2” project funded by the European Social Fund through Operational Programme Human Resources and Employment and the state budget of the Czech Republic.
 

 

Healthy Cities Joined the International Campaign World No Tobacco Day

The World No Tobacco Day is celebrated annually on May 31. The prime focus of the international campaign supported by World Health Organization (WHO) is on the prevention of diseases associated with tobacco use. Members of Czech Healthy Cities (HCCZ) are also taking part in the campaign. This year´s worldwide edition is geared mainly towards illicit trade of tobacco products.

Relevant studies and data provided by Global Customs Community reveal that illicit tobacco trade may account for about one out of every ten cigarettes consumed worldwide. Looked at from different perspectives, the illicit trade of tobacco products is a major global issue involving health, law and economy, public governance and corruption.

Various educational events with anti-smoking topics are held annually in the Czech Republic to mark the World No Tobacco Day. The campaign is supported not only by WHO but also by the National Institute of Public Health. HCCZ holds a wide range of events such as “Walks for Clean Air”, competitions and theatre performances with anti-smoking themes aimed for children, lectures and health advice for adults.

A selection of current programmes of Healthy Cities, Municipalities and Regions listing the relevant events can be found at the following link: www.ZdravaMesta.cz/dbt

 

Inspiration for Newly-Elected Municipal Representatives - Open Healthy Cities Workshop at Prague City Hall

The General Assembly of Healthy Cities held on April 28, 2015, was preceded by an open discussion forum aimed primarily for newly elected representatives of municipalities and cities. The meeting was called “A Healthy City – Way to Success” and its goal was to share particular sources of inspiration and good practices. Politicians from towns and municipalities of the whole of the Czech Republic shared their experience and approaches of how to start and further develop the international project “A Healthy City”. They also explained what proved successful in their practice, what can be recommended and what is to be avoided.

Other topics were addressed as well, including public participation – either through campaigns or planned round tables –and discussing investment and holding open-air public forums. The participants could also learn about procedures and specific benefits of energy management and implementation of austerity measures in this area from Litomerice and Letovice. The Deputy Mayor of Štìtí came up with suggestions for possible mobilization of young people in the town. He also highlighted the issue of social inclusion and the importance of ensuring equal access of all its inhabitants to housing, education, employment and meaningful leisure activities. A special emphasis was placed on long-term and systemic cooperation of the town with local entrepreneurs that brought the town of Koprivnie a great deal of inspiration and plenty of ideas but also won regional awards. The Mayor of Krizanky described the examples of good practice of small municipalities. He also highlighted the importance of maintaining the school in the municipality and necessary cooperation between local residents and cottagers. This topic and other issues prompted the participants to ask numerous questions and stirred up a broad discussion.

The information meeting was followed by the General Assembly of the Healthy Cities Network. One of the major items of the agenda was admission and introduction of new members of the association. A growing number of members indicates that following the municipal elections other municipalities and regions of various sizes are interested in promoting principles of sustainable development at local level, and in networking. To date, the association has 125 members and have regional influence in 2657 towns and municipalities accounting for 57 % of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic.

 

  Coming soon
 

The Regular Conference of European Healthy Cities Will Take Place in Kuopio (Finland) in June

The overarching theme of the conference held in Kuopio (Finland) from 24th to 26th June is “Political Choices for Healthy Cities” which is connected to the ongoing Phase VI of the Healthy City Project. The relevant thematic blocks of the conference will be devoted to health promotion reaching out to related areas such as equity, resilience and life-course with a special focus on health of women and the elderly, healthy urban planning and urban innovation and technology promoting physical activity and active living in general. The conference is intended for representatives of Healthy Cities and their networks.

For further information about the conference including the registration form and accommodation, see the following website: www.healthycitieskuopio2015

 

The Newsletter is published by Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic, contact: HCCZ Office.
HCCZ Newsletter is available at https://www.healthycities.cz/newsletter
The photographs used come from the HCCZ and its members archives.
© HCCZ, 2015

  WHO Healthy Cities Project