Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

Together for the City Center

Ústí nad Labem has a ghetto reputation. This is also helped by one of the distinctive symbols, Blok 004 in the middle of the center for over 13 years. We want to start a public discussion about change


Who is behind this?

Michaela Valášková


Czech Republic


Idea pitch

Every city deserves a nice center. For Ústí nad Labem to deserve it, it is necessary to connect important partners: citizens, public administration, experts, schools, and owners of land which have been puzzling the center for over 13 years. We want to publicly discuss the unfinished palace, find out through the petition and survey the attitudes of residents and their ideas, create the idea wall or communicate with political representatives and find possible solutions to cultivate this place.

Where will your project idea take place?

Ústí nad Labem, northern part of the Czech Republic - in public space and on social networks.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Ústí nad Labem faces a low level of education, high unemployment, poverty, a tendency towards extremism or low turnout. This mix is reflected, for example, in very low civic engagement, which is also demonstrated by our project. For 13 years, citizens have been walking in the city center around the so-called Block 004, a pit measuring 1829 m2, where a private palace was supposed to stand. On social networks, all contributors react negatively to this topic. But that's where their activity ends. Opportunities for change exist if we connect all important partners. It is necessary to show that it is possible to change the appearance of the city from the position of a citizen, especially thanks to the support of other inhabitants. Every step taken will be a great inspiration for residents.

Who are you doing it for?

For all those who have already given up the idea of a positive transformation. For all those who are not civic engaged and waiting for someone else to make changes for them. At the same time, to show them that even a citizen without a position at the municipality can change public affairs. For all those who love their city voluntarily and selflessly, and support and develop people in it with their activities. For all who are hesitant to expend their energy and time for the good of the community. For politicians who have their reasons for not moving anywhere with this space for 13 years. For everyone who walks through this place every day and gets used to it. For Ústí, which deserves care and help. Ústí is not a hick city.

How do you plan to get there?

1. The team will prepare a petition, a survey and a leaflet about the history of the place. It will exert media pressure and revive the public voice.
2. Establish cooperation with inclined politicians and experts, who will support round table negotiations with the landowner, the city and regional management. The persuasion of the partners about the necessity of cultivating the place will be substantiated by the voice of the public, the voice of not only the voters, ie the data obtained from the survey and petition. We will regularly inform each other about the procedures.
3. The team will address primary and secondary schools and various departments of the university's faculties, as well as experts to create ideas for possible changes. These will be displayed on an idea wall built around the block.
4. In the end, it will once again hold a meeting with the political representatives of the city and the region, as well as the landowner, create a public meeting of citizens, where the results of the obtained data, knowledge, and procedural shifts in the issue will be presented.
5. The impact will be higher participation in municipal elections, a higher number of active citizens, or future cultivation of the space (eg through completion by the owner, redemption by the public administration.)

What are the expected results?

1. List of citizens supporting the cultivation of the place through petition sheets.
2. Analysis of the data obtained from the quantitative survey.
3. Leaflet about the history of the place distributed in places such as a museum, information center, etc
4. Minutes from meetings of the professional team, representatives of the city and region
4. Concepts from experts, pupils, and students of schools on the idea wall
5. Public meeting at which the results will be presented. They will lead to the opening of a discussion on the issue of the aesthetics of the center and the possible purchase, restoration of the building, etc
6. Everyone will be involved without distinction, which will undoubtedly lead to the strengthening of civic engagement, participation in public issues

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

A citizen who visits social networks, the WWW association, or walks around the block can fully participate, verbally in a personal meeting, in questionnaires, writing on the social networks, petition sheet, but also artistically, creating a concept changes to Block 004. This will be processed and published. Pupils and students of the addressed schools can focus on the possible embodiment of concepts of ideas about the center during art education or teaching social sciences. At the same time discuss, f.e. within the humanities. Participation in the search for possible solutions and real involvement through signing, expressing attitudes, publishing a painting, drawing on the idea wall, or discussion will strengthen their awareness of belonging, commitment, and creation of their initiative.

Why is this idea important to you?

The team consists of Míša Valášková, Zbyněk Novák and Petr Karlíček. Míša currently works in socially excluded localities, she has been voluntarily carrying out neighborhood activities, reconstructions in public spaces, specializing in education, social work, and PR. Zbyněk is a sales and project manager in the field of the environment, he is a construction and landscape engineer. He has many years of experience in design, study preparation, quality management, marketing, etc. He is the founder of the association Společně, z.s. Petr is the director of the City Archive, a university pedagogue, the author of some publications and in his free time informally supports patriotism, civic engagement, etc. An ideal team that can prove that Ústí nad Labem is not a hillbilly city.

€ 34650,-

Total budget

€ 34650,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs (project coordinator, financial coordinator, coordinator of PR and communication x 12 months): 13000 EUR
Rent: 650 EUR
Activities (Petition, poll, discuss, idea wall): 6600 EUR
Creation of audiovisual/photo materials: 1400 EUR
Materials, equipment (petition tent, office supplies, idea wall, etc.): 7050 EUR
Services (graphic design, printing, etc.): 2150 EUR
Fees: 1300 EUR
Events: 2500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Thank you for taking the time to read the project. At the same time, we will be very grateful for your comments, criticism, and encouragement that you leave us. Everything is very important to us. Thank you very much. Team Together for the City Center


Michaela Valaskova

Idea created on April 18, 2021
Last edit on April 23, 2021

Write comment