Prague City Hall sets goals for the next six months, with housing and transport as priorities

The Pirates, Praha sobě, and the United Force for Prague see infrastructure, education, and environment as top issues.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 08.10.2019 07:00:00 (updated on 21.10.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

Prague City Hall laid out its goals for the next six months. The coalition members — Pirates, Praha sobě, and the United Force for Prague — said their main goal was to establish cooperation on major topics affecting Prague. These include cooperative housing, key transport construction projects, improving the environment, financing education, and transforming social services. Issues with short-term housing will also be addressed.

Specific projects mentioned include the inner ring road, Old Town Market (Staroměstské tržnice), Holešovice Market (Pražská tržnice), Výstaviště, and the Museum of Memory of the 20th Century.

City Hall also officially announced that it will be ending its sister city agreement with Beijing. Under the previous City Hall administration, Prague signed an agreement with Beijing acknowledging the One China policy. “I believe that the issue of the nonsensical political declaration contained in the twinning agreement with Beijing will be finally resolved by the end of October, and Prague will no longer be unnecessarily involved in foreign policy,” Pirate Club Chairwoman Michaela Krausová said in a press release when the city’s priorities were announced. The City Council has since voted unanimously to terminate the agreement.

Prague seen from Letná Park. via Raymond Johnston

The leaders of the City Hall coalition agree that the most urgent municipal problems are in transportation and housing availability. Four city councilors — Hana Kordová Marvanová, Petr Hlaváček, Adam Zábranský, and Milena Johnová — are working together to work together to solve the housing problem.

“The main objective of the upcoming City Council period is to intensify cooperation on key topics where synergies are needed. We will address issues such as co-operative construction and key transport structures that Prague clearly needs. We will also focus on the issues of transparency, social services, education, the environment, renovation of the city’s housing stock, and overall issues of urban revival,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said.

“We will improve the quality of life in the metropolis. We will focus on removing visual smog, tourist vehicles and short-term accommodation. We will support innovative events and projects. I am glad that the current City Council has one big asset compared to the previous one. It is made up of real experts who can work together. I am very grateful for their work, and I believe that together we will be able to work together and deliver on vows to voters as we have done so far,” he added.

Cartoon characters, now banned, are an example of visual smog. via Raymond Johnston

Krausová mentioned cooperation between Adam Zábranský and Jan Chabr on transparency for municipal companies to ensure sufficient information for the owner and the public. “This will avoid conflicts of interest and will introduce uniform rules, for example on contracting, information, and sponsorship.

Pavel Vyhnánek in cooperation with Adam Zábranský also successfully launched the CityVizor application,” she said. The CityVizor app lets the general public see what the city is spending and how much contractors are billing. People can also see what city contracts are available.

"Zábranský will also prepare a plan for the renovation of apartment buildings and flats administered by the municipality, and in cooperation with Zdeněk Hřib and Councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová will also address the issue of short-term accommodation capacities in the next six months.

Councilor Vít Šimral in cooperation with the Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and Adam Zábranský will also examine the possibilities of improving the availability of accommodation facilities for university students,” she said.

City Councilor Vít Šimral will focus on expanding funds for school-age children from socially vulnerable families and will make the school playgrounds open to the public, she added.

panelak housing
Panelák housing in Jižní Město. via Raymond Johnston

Praha sobě Club Chairman Jan Čižinský said he thought the coalition’s progress so far was tremendous. “We went to the coalition with a vision to promote large traffic construction projects, add money to education, and improve social services, and that is going well. I would like to emphasize the excellent cooperation of [Deputy Mayors] Adam Scheinherr and Petr Hlaváček, who will be discussing a new design of the inner ring road that finally corresponds to modern parameters, and at the same time they will apply for a building permit for the first section of Metro D,” he said. A fourth metro line has been planned since the 2000s but never built.

“Milena Johnová and Adam Zábranský are launching a project to provide decent housing for people with autism that the state has forgotten. Also next year, thanks to the work of Pavel Vyhnánek and Vít Šimral, we will be able to add money to education, where we also cover where the state fell short. We will also continue to revitalize neglected places. New concepts are being prepared by Hanka Třeštíková and Pavel Vyhnánek for the Holešovice Market, Výstaviště and other places,” he said.

Jiří Pospíšil, Club Chairman of the United Force for Prague coalition, said an absolute priority was work on a new option for the inner ring road using the expertise of Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček, responsible for regional development and planning. “He complements both our Councilor Chabr and coalition Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr,” he said.

Aerial view of Výstaviště via
Aerial view of Výstaviště via

He added that the environment was very important. “Personally, I am very much looking forward to the result of the cooperation of Deputy Mayors Hlaváček and Hlubuček in the revitalization of parks, which for many Prague citizens is an essential oasis of peace in their daily lives,” he said.

Housing is also an issue. “City Councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová, responsible for legislation, will focus on the development of co-operative housing, which will help improve the availability of flats in Prague. At the same time, she is is preparing proposals for legislative changes in tax laws such as the abolition of real estate acquisition tax and lowering the VAT rate for the acquisition of a new building,” he said.

“Councilor [Kordová Marvanová] will also continue to work on the establishment of the Museum of Memory of the 20th Century, which we consider important with regard to understanding our own history, present and future,” he added.

Old Town Market
Old Town Market on Rytířská Street. via Raymond Johnston

“City Councilor Chabr and Deputy Mayor Vyhnánek are working on the renovation of the Old Town Market, which will begin this fall,” he said. The market on Rytířská Street was built at the end of the 19th century in a neo-Classical style, but has been in poor repair. Plans call for opening it up more to the public with new shops and markets.

“We want to create a market of a European format in this cultural monument that will be not only a center of good food and drink, but also a pleasant meeting place,’ he said.

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