Sustainable development of cities is a common topic of the research projects of the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, and Centre for Citizens’ Support at Arnika, Prague, Czech Republic. The cooperation on the projects started in 2008. The partner institution of the University of Wageningen in Prague, involved in the research, is University of Life Sciences, Prague.
The University of Wageningen organizes every year a practical course as a concluding part of the Masters Program of Environmental Studies. The course’s objective is to deepen and apply knowledge and information, which students have gained during their studies. Students can jointly solve complex task and learn interdisciplinary cooperation within real problem-solving.
The project runs every year for two months; students conduct field survey in Prague for two weeks, including research and interviews. The team of thirty is composed of students from approximately 15 countries and also coming from different scientific fields. They focus on ecosystem services, policy issues, communication between stakeholders, level of public participation in decision making, and also other topics. The research does not differ from a real work of consultants..
Brownfields in the centre of Prague: criteria of sustainable development
Prague became an important economic centre not only of the Czech Republic, but also of the central Europe. Thanks to its advantageous geographical location, it attracts a plentiful of economic activities, which spurs extraordinary construction boom. Lots, belonging to the railway operator but currently not in use, are one of the places where new city districts should be emerging in a near future. If new city development is to bring benefits to the citizens of the city, there needs to be clear criteria for the use of such lots in the framework of Land Use Plan, which is now in the preparation.
Greenery and public spaces in the centre of Prague: how to improve the situation?
The greenery is one of the key factors of quality of life in Prague. Despite of that, the green and public spaces often have to retreat because of the commercial development; sometimes even cutting down of trees in a good condition occurs. In last ten years, the City Hall has not performed any record of the greenery disappearance but it has not even established any new parks. The situation in various city districts differs in relation to the amount of greenery and the approach of the district municipality. However, for a sustainable city development it is necessary to adopt a complex conception of green and public space care.