Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic

XI-XII/2016 (EN)

Dear colleagues and friends,

with the ending of this year we want to thank you very much for your continued support and fruitful cooperation.
And for the upcoming one we wish you many Healthy, sustainable, smart, resilient and cooperating cities open to its citizens.

We wish you a happy new year 2017.

Petr Svec
Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic

Information and updates

How to Evaluate Culture? Culture Planning in Healthy Cities

Despite being an important factor in urban development, culture is a frequently underrated issue having little impact on strategic or territorial documentation. Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic jointly with expert partners from Culture Matters and Kvas were seeking solutions to this situation. As a result, two new methodologies are being prepared and will be tested as a pilot project in Litomerice and Jihlava Healthy Cities. The testing of both methodologies will be financed from a Healthy Cities project supported by the Operational Programme “Employment”. Once the testing finished, they will be offered for use to all Healthy Cities interested in this theme.

The first of the mentioned documents, which will be tested in Jihlava, is a methodology for mapping cultural and social facilities in cities in connection with territorial analytical documentation. The analysis will provide cities with a comprehensive overview of available cultural facilities by means of GIS data. In addition, it will furnish important materials to update territorial and strategic city plans. The other document tested in Healthy city of Litomerice will be the Methodology for evaluation of cultural organisations in cities with a focus on aspects of cultural organisations which have not been evaluated yet, such as geographic reach of a cultural organisation, the level of artistic quality etc.


Nowadays, what happens very often is that cultural organisations have well-designed financial and administrative processes to comply with all existing laws and regulations. However, because of the administrative burden, they forget their original purpose and role and they do not have enough time for strategic planning and setting targets,” says the expert on culture and local traditions from Culture Matters, Tereza Raabová.  

The Mayor of Litomerice, Ladislav Chlupac expects that the new methodology for evaluation will make the management of cultural organizations more effective with regard to maximum satisfaction of the users of their services. The methodology should enable to find out the expectations of the citizens and visitors to a city and to adapt cultural programs accordingly. As a result, the funds for culture will be invested in a more efficient way, which will be regarded positively also by the citizens themselves. “The prime goal is not to curtail the amount of funds cities put into culture but to use them in the most efficient way,” said Ladislav Chlupac.

The results of the pilot project tested in Litomerice should be known in mid-2017. Afterwards, the new methodology will be offered not only to other members of Czech Healthy Cities National Network.

The Title of the Family-Friendly Municipality Was Awarded to Three Healthy Cities and Municipalities

Municipalities, cities and municipal districts from all over the Czech Republic competed for the title of the Family-Friendly Municipality for the 8th time. This year´s edition was attended by 37 municipalities divided into five categories according to the number of their inhabitants. The winning municipalities will share six million Czech crowns in the form of non-investment grants to implement activities for families at the local level.  

Three out of six winning municipalities are members of the Czech Healthy Cities National Network, namely Veznice, Valasske Mezirici and Prague 8 Municipal District. The Healthy Cities of Kourim and Litomerice ranked second.

From the perspective of family policies, municipalities have a crucial role because the needs of families can be assessed only at the level of municipalities. Local representatives have the best understanding of local conditions and have a wide range of competencies that enable them to implement a number of actions for families. These measures should place an emphasis on the concept of multigenerational families and thus include not only needs of children and parents but also those of grandparents.

The importance of regional family policies is growing both in the Czech Republic and in Europe. One of the purposes of this competition is to convince more municipalities to support families and improve the conditions of their lives in the long-term. It is very important because municipalities are closest to families,” said the minister for labour and social affairs Michaela Marksova.

Adaptation to Climate Changes, Projects and Funds, Sustainable Development Audits at the Healthy Cities Autumn School

Between 2 -4 November, Krnov Healthy City held the Czech Healthy Cities Autumn School, an annual meeting of representatives of municipalities from all over the country. The event was attended by more than 110 representatives of cities, municipalities and regions and cooperating organisations.

The main topics of the opening seminar covered EU funds, the quality of local authorities, sustainable development, adaptation to climate changes, corporate social responsibility in cities and municipalities and performance monitoring of organisations formed by the city.

The participants were welcomed by the chairman of the association, Petr Hermann who wished them many opportunities to exchange good practice. In the following presentation, the Healthy Cities director, Petr Svec presented the activities of the association and the interconnectedness of its activities with the goals of sustainable development. Furthermore, he invited the participants to attend the Sustainable City Conference, held in December, where many cities and municipalities will present their inspirational approaches and procedures.

The topic of support of quality management in public administration was further explored by Lenka Svejdarova from the Ministry of Interior. She stressed primarily the importance of sharing good practice examples and introduced the emerging methodological guidelines of the Ministry of Interior related to quality.

The morning session was devoted to highly topical theme of adaptation to climate changes. The highlights were e.g. that one of the key factors of the creation of climate adaptation strategy at local level is the linkage with other local strategies and also the transferability of best practice examples to other cities. Read more in article below.

Yvonna Gailly from the Ecological Institute Veronica and Jiri Krist from the National Network of Local Action Groups (LAGs) addressed the climate adaptation in rural areas. Their presentation dealt with the notion of resilience defined as the capacity of a system to cope with a change and continue to function. By taking an example of LAGs’ involvement, they illustrated the procedure of integrating climate change adaptation into local strategies.

The section devoted to the exchange of ideas featured the representatives of the Healthy South Moravian Region and Vsetín Healthy City with contributions concerning corporate social responsibility in cities and municipalities, more particularly performance monitoring of organisation founded by the city. The partner organisations offered Healthy Cities the possibilities of joining the programs such as Bikes for Africa – an opportunity to help which is part of global responsibility of local governments.

The following day three parallel intensive training sessions took place covering topics such as raising funds for Healthy Cities’ activities, competency models for coordinators and project management. The participants who were new to the program of Healthy City discussed at length methodological procedures and specific practical questions. The final day of the conference was devoted to practical training concerning the use of social networks and the Healthy Cities information system called Dataplan.

More info HERE. (just in Czech)


The Healthy City of Chrudim is Preparing a Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

The preparation of the Strategy on adaptation to climate change of the Healthy city of Chrudim continues with discussing analytical findings and possible actions. In early October, a working group made up of city representatives met to discuss major risks stemming from expected climate change and major adaptation actions in the city and its surroundings.

In the future, it is expected that the city will have to cope with the rise in both average and seasonal temperatures, decline in rainfall mainly in summer and more extreme weather events such as drought, heat waves, floods or heavy rain. The strategy is not supposed to respond to one particular threat which may suddenly occur during a year, but to monitor climate trends and be prepared for as much of these extreme weather events as possible.

These changes involve many risks,” says the architect Vojtech, member of the team commissioned to draw up the climate change strategy. “By way of example, growing temperatures and heat ways are likely to deteriorate the quality of life and can pose a risk mainly to the elderly and sick people. The city of Chrudim, which places citizen-centered health promotion high on the agenda, considers this projection as crucial. Water scarcity will make it difficult to maintain green areas and public spaces. Extreme weather events (e.g. heavy rains) may endanger citizens or their property,” Vojtech Lekes describes some risks.

The results of the analysis show the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats resulting from the climate change. The strengths and the opportunities of the city include the natural area along the river Chrudimka and other waterways, which could be envied by other cities. “It is necessary to protect and develop these areas because they may serve as natural measures to reduce potential threats from extreme weather events such as floods and, at the same time, help to maintain a favourable climate within the city,” believes Radim Misiacek, another member of the team commissioned to prepare the climate change strategy. The ongoing discussions make it clear that the long-standing involvement of the city of Chrudim with Healthy Cities is a very important strength. Another benefit of the membership in Healthy Cities is sharing experience and good practice and proven capability to communicate with the citizens of the city. This constitutes a major advantage during devising and implementing adaptation measures.

There followed an intense discussion on the analytical findings and potential adaptation measures. As the Mayor of the city of Chrudim, Petr Reznicek confirmed, this theme is of crucial importance for the city. “As soon as the strategy is finished, we wish to use it to create specific projects to make the city even more hospitable for the residents,” the mayor Reznicek describes the city.  “In the near future, we are planning to revamp the terminal in front of the railway station. If adequate measures are included, it could be an example of a model project taking into account requirements for climate change adaptation in the city,” Petr Reznicek quotes one of the examples.

National Awards for Healthy Cities for Cooperation with Elderly

Makropulos award for the provision of care for the elderly went to the Healthy Town of Krizanky.

On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons (5 October), the Makropulos Award ceremony for the provision of care for the elderly took place in the National Theatre in Prague. This ceremony is held annually by a civic association called Zivot 90 (Life 90). This year´s first award was given to Krizanky. The quality of life of the elderly and senior involvement in community life has been a long-term concern of this small town - member of Czech Healthy Cities National Network. A good example of activities is the annual University of the Third Age which offers the elderly more opportunities and contributes to their active life. To have a municipality of 400 inhabitants with such a system of care for the quality of life of the older generation is exceptionally rare in the Czech Republic. The results that the municipality obtained in this area are recognized by other cities, municipalities and regions all over the country.

The third-place award of the Government Council for Seniors and Ageing was given to Prachatice Healthy City.

The conference called “Preparation of Society for Demographic Changes” featured Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Michaela Marksova who jointly handed out the awards of the Government Council for Seniors and Ageing in several categories.  

The third-place prize in the category of the group was awarded to the Council of Seniors in Prachatice. The Council serves as a voluntary advisory body of the Prachatice Municipal Council. Its purpose is to deal with serious issues and address the needs of the elderly in the city in any area of sustainable development (urban development, housing, social services, health care, transport, security, social life, culture and leisure activities etc.). The prize was awarded for providing a long-term and systemic example of senior involvement in decision making and active shaping of the city in which they live, and giving the elderly the opportunity to influence both the present and the future form of the city in connection with their needs.

The Newsletter is published by Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic, contact: HCCZ Office.
HCCZ Newsletter is available at
The photographs used come from the HCCZ and its members archives.
© HCCZ, 2016

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