7/12 2020

A total of six projects have now been completed as part of the City of Ostrava’s programme focusing on improvements in public spaces with the involvement of local communities. A further three projects are close to completion. The project coordinators have received almost 2.5 million CZK from the City during this year.


One of the projects has restored a historic community oven in Slezská Ostrava dating from the turn of the 20th century. Photograph Ostrava City Archives.

Deputy Mayor Kateřina Šebestová, who is responsible for environmental issues, explained the benefits of the programme: “We launched the programme four years ago in order to give citizens the opportunity to get involved in shaping improvements to the public spaces in which they live. It soon became clear that the programme was a very good idea: it generated a range of small-scale, highly original projects that showcase the creativity of people who care about the space where they live or spend time. They were willing not only to share their ideas, but also to work so that those ideas would become a reality – and they encouraged local communities to support the changes.”

Grants from the City have helped to support a range of projects, including a picnic and barbecue area in Stará Bělá on the right bank of the Odra River, a historically-inspired rural-type garden in Hrušov, a new children’s playground in Svinov, and a set of new benches near the hospice in Výškovice. In Nová Ves, local firefighters and anglers have installed new outdoor furniture around three ponds at Pod Bedřiškou, and in Svinov residents of apartment blocks have created a composting facility. One interesting and unique project set out to restore several small historic structures in Hošťálkovice and Slezská Ostrava.

Deputy Mayor Kateřina Šebestová gave more details of the restoration project: “The ‘Pestré vrstvy’ civic association came up with the unique idea of restoring several small historic structures, which were in a poor condition and were becoming derelict. The project set out to breathe new life into them. The areas around them were cleaned up and necessary alterations were made, the structures themselves were repaired and renovated, signage was installed and the buildings were made secure. The association even created exhibition displays in the larger structures, as well as installing directional signs for visitors, all featuring a fresh and original design concept.”

The structures restored by the association are a community oven in Slezská Ostrava dating from the turn of the 20th century, a single-man military bunker in Michálkovice, and a civil defence observation bunker in Hošťálkovice. These unusual structures hold strong tourist potential – and visitors have included many local people who were previously unaware of the history of the area where they live. The cleanup and restoration work involved volunteers from the local community.

Jan Lenart, a member of the civic association, explained: “We found these structures in parts of Ostrava that are not very often visited. We hope that the restoration will help boost tourism within the city. The observation bunker at the Hladový vrch hill near Hošťálkovice soon began to attract many local people. We would like to thank the City of Ostrava for the funding it provided.”

Residents from E. Rošického Street in Svinov have used the funding to build a composting facility for biodegradable household waste. The compost will be used by the residents, and it will help to maintain garden areas outside the entrances to the apartment blocks. Several trees have been planted near the composting site to make it a pleasant place to be.

The coordinator of the composting project, Jindřich Víšek, gave more details: “We were planning to install the composting facility together as a group and then hold an opening ceremony, but we had to cancel those plans due to the restrictions that were imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19. So eventually the facility was opened in a more modest way, with face masks and without any major celebrations. Nevertheless, the composter soon began to fill up. Twelve households are currently involved in the composting, but there is space for more people to join us. I expect the first compost to be ready in the spring, as soon as the weather becomes warmer. We’re now testing how long it takes to fill up two tanks in the composter – and it’s filling up quicker than I anticipated.”

For more information on the projects funded as part of the programme, see (only in Czech).

Four of the projects completed this year were funded as part of the third round of the programme (announced in 2019). The fourth round (with a total 9 million CZK allocated to it) was announced in January 2020 for a two-year period, and members of the public have so far submitted proposals in three calls, with deadlines at the end of March, July and October. There will also be three calls for proposals next year; the first deadline will be 29 January. The City has allocated a total 3.5 million CZK to fund the projects during 2021. Proposals are assessed by a committee, and applicants are able to contact the committee and discuss their projects. The full terms and conditions for the provision of funding are available at

The aim of the programme is to improve the appearance of public spaces (streets, squares, parks and other places) by implementing projects that are designed and planned by members of the local community. The programme was launched in 2017, and since then the City has released 9.2 million CZK to fund a total 35 projects. The added value of these projects lies in the fact that they bring neighbours together and involve the community as a whole. People then feel ownership of the place they have helped to improve – they look after it and use it in a constructive way. Funding is available to individual citizens or non-government non-profit organizations. Before a project can be assessed by the City Council and the City Assembly, at least 30 members of the community (over age 18) must sign a form expressing their support for it. The maximum funding available to any one project is 500 000 CZK.