Prague's Zdeněk Hřib named one of Europe's Top 5 Mayors of 2021

Mayors of Europe has named Prague's representative among its top 5 of 2021, citing Hřib's efforts in mobility, cultural events, infrastructure, and more.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 15.01.2022 13:46:00 (updated on 15.01.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib has been selected as one of the five best mayors in Europe by Mayors of Europe, an online platform that monitors the work of mayors across the EU and connects local governments across member states.

In naming Hřib among their top five mayors of 2021, the platform cited his efforts in mobility, cultural events, climate action, infrastructure and energy projects in the Czech Republic's capital city over the course of the past year.

"With his hard work and clear vision, Prague will surely continue to develop itself in all directions," the platform says of Hřib.

"I would be lying if I said that such an award did not make me happy," Hřib stated in a Facebook post sharing the Mayors of Europe commendation this morning.

"I see it mainly as a motivation for further work and confirmation that we are on the right track."

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In a detailed report on Hřib's achievements over the past year, Mayors of Europe highlighted the City of Prague's efforts in helping businesses rebuild during the Covid-19 pandemic, its innovative smart city technology solutions, improvements in infrastructure, and efforts taken in fighting climate change.

The report specifically cites DoToho!, a free mentoring program sponsored by Hřib that launched last spring to help give small businesses a boost during the pandemic.

Hřib's efforts in promoting access to vaccination for his city's non-native population, and a list of city-sponsored list of safe places in Prague to visit as an alternate to closed cultural venues were also mentioned among the mayor's pandemic achievements.

“Many Prague entrepreneurs almost overnight fell among the groups hardest hit by the Covid pandemic’s fatal effects,” Hřib said when launching the project.

“When I walk through the city center, I am offered a sad view of closed places without customers. I believe that selfless professional help for entrepreneurs within the DoToho! initiative will help businesses to cope with the situation and start their operations again.”

Mayors of Europe also cited a pilot project in Prague that enables holders of public transport passes to take advantage of shared bicycles. Under the program, holders of a Lítačka transport pass are able to use shared bikes in Prague for 15-minute time periods up to four times a day.

“The connection of shared bicycles with a public transport pass works in many foreign cities, so I see no reason why we cannot offer this Lítačka bonus to Praguers too," Hřib stated when launching the program in October.

"Bicycles are a useful addition to the city’s transport system, especially for medium and short-distance journeys.”

The report also noted an important step in Prague's efforts to improve transportation to and from its airport, when Hřib signed a memorandum on construction of a railway link between the Veleslavín metro and Václav Havel Airport.

Prague's efforts to combat climate change were also highlighted in the Mayors of Europe report. A country-wide effort to plant 10 million trees in the 2020s has already seen great success in Prague, where more than 400,000 trees have been planted since 2019, and over 125,000 in 2021 alone.

Prague's continuing status as one of the greenest major cities in the world was highlighted in the report, along with innovative ideas to promote recycling, like turning the city's Old Town Square Christmas tree into furniture for a senior citizen's home.

Who were Europe's other top mayors in 2021? Stockholm's Anna König Jerlmyr, Athens' Kostas Bakoyannis, Hamburg's Peter Tschentscher, and Bratislava's Matúš Vallo were named alongside Hřib as Europe's five best mayors in 2021.

The top five choices by Mayors of Europe were not individually ranked, but Hřib was the first to be promoted by the platform on its social media pages.

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