Real change in Prague is possible with PRAHA SOBĚ
Prague is the Czech Republic’s administrative, business, scientific, health, cultural, sporting and tourist capital. It is also the sixth richest region in the European Union. But you can’t always tell that. The city still breathes the second most-polluted air in the country. We inherited a well-designed public transport system. Today, however, it is poorly-maintained, with no proper system for repairs. At the Bulovka hospital, patients are treated in dilapidated buildings.
Five years ago, the situation in Prague 7 looked equally hopeless, especially when the council planned to acquire a new town hall building for a hugely over-inflated price. Teacher Jan Čižinský and other local people managed to collected enough signatures for a referendum on the council’s plans, which were successfully defeated. A year later, they ran for election to the town hall as the independent citizens’ initiative PRAHA 7 SOBĚ - and won 44% of the vote.
Four years later, as PRAHA SOBĚ (Prague Together) we are keen to introduce city-wide the good practices that we have introduced in Prague 7. We collected 100 000 signatures in order to be able to stand in the city hall elections as an independent initiative of citizens and experts. EU citizens with temporary or permanent residence in Prague have the right to vote in local elections, and we hope that you will register to vote (see instructions opposite) and on 5-6 October vote for real change.
We want Prague to be a pleasure to live in for 365 days a year. We want to be able to live our whole lives here in a meaningful and dignified manner, from our student years to an active old age.
In order to make this wish reality, we have five clear goals:
- A radical improvement in the transport infrastructure. Not merely the completion of the ring road, but a well-thought-out system of park-and-ride car parks with connections to city transport and trains. Public transport should not be looked down upon, but seen as a reliable and cultured form of travel, in keeping with the significance and wealth of the city. Public transport must take priority over other forms of transport, and must take passengers to their destinations comfortably and in time.
- Massive investment in schools. We cannot rely on the central state to solve the problem of good-quality, accessible education. The city is in charge of the administration of preschool, elementary and secondary schools, so there is no reason why pupils should go to school in buildings that are falling apart, with insufficient capacity, and why teachers should have to commute every day from Kladno, for example, because they cannot afford rents in Prague.
- The streets must be welcoming and safe. The best streets combine pedestrian, cycle, public transport and car traffic in a way that is considerate to all of them. The feeling of safety is created among other things by well-repaired streets and the proper cleaning of public spaces. Prague should be a place where parents are not afraid to let their children go home from school by themselves.
- A healthy city must be a dignified home for everyone, regardless of age and position. The city must ensure that care is available to seniors in the place they have been accustomed to live. It also has to be able to take care of the youngest residents and the most socially-vulnerable. Better administration of city property will be of major importance in helping to achieve this. The city will repair buildings that are now decaying and make them available for supported living, local care centres for seniors and for the activities of children, beginning entrepreneurs, artists and other active people.
- The city hall, as the city’s key institution, must exercise its competences effectively and predictably. It should base its standpoints on good-quality norms, such as the Manual for Public Space, and should adhere to administrative deadlines. In order for the city to prosper, it needs to rely on properly-produced, good-quality strategic documents, and in relation to developers it has to stringently defend the public interest, to enter into agreements on cooperation that require developers to share in the construction of civic amenities.
Today such a change may seem impossible. The city’s leaders are not only not fulfilling their vision, but above all they do not even have one. But now we have a chance. It is time for such a transformation to take place throughout Prague - for the city to return to its inhabitants, for Prague to return to itself.
For more information contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
To support our campaign, please donate to our transparent account 2301476108/2010