The city district of Prague 3 has embarked on participatory strategic planning to an extent that is unique in the Czech Republic.
Creating a strategic plan – a conceptual document that sets the main priorities for sustainable development in a given locality for the next 10-15 years – is one of the key activities of local governments. The district of Prague 3 decided to approach strategic planning in a participatory way. It did so within the pilot program of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Prague) called ‘Coordinators of Participatory Planning’.
The aim of the process which took place in 2020 and 2021, was to implement participatory strategic planning, that would set how the city district should develop over the next decade. In order to fulfill this goal, Prague 3 was divided into 10 areas, whose needs were mapped separately. As a result, they could reach the local level and identify main priorities in each area which citizens perceive as part of their daily lives. The project was also accompanied by a fresh and intriguing visual identity, which underlined the openness of the town hall to the citizens and their needs.
The participatory strategic planning at Prague 3 consisted of several stages. At first, the public and key stakeholders were invited to workshops (in each of the 10 selected areas separately) which involved brainstorming, generating ideas, gathering feedback and exploring any themes that emerged. Prague 3, led by the Coordinator of Participatory Planning, had organized a total of 14 workshops, 2 personal meetings with stakeholders and 20 online meetings with the public. At the same time, a survey was conducted both online and in paper form to map the most common aspects of living at Prague 3. A total of 1,100 respondents took part in the survey and commented on the problems and potentials of their district in a written form.
The identified thematic priorities for each area of sustainable development were further verified through a representative survey. The city district had then invited expert teams to create the document itself and continued by consultation over the draft of the Strategic Plan through public meetings.
Throughout the process, the local government placed great emphasis on ensuring that none of the possible stakeholders were left out or underrepresented. As an equally important goal, the city district has set the intention to “raise the local government environment to the best international standards so that Prague 3 becomes a pioneer of participatory and strategic planning in the Czech Republic.”
We have no doubt that the Prague 3 district has succeeded in fulfilling its goals and we firmly believe that they will continue to successfully manage participatory projects.The approach of Prague 3 is indeed progressive in the national context and can serve as an inspiration for other districts of Prague, and also for municipalities of similar size. Supporting citizen engagement through participatory elements in decision-making processes not only increases trust in the local government, but also strengthens people’s interest in their surroundings and last but not least, increases the quality of life in the neighborhood.
You can find more about the participatory strategic planning and other projects of the Prague 3 district at https://planujtrojku.cz/
If you also want to introduce a participatory component into your projects, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com and we will be happy to help.