The two main types of projects for which grant applications have been made to the Karel Komárek Proměny Foundation under the current request for proposals involve renovating a park, a public garden, or a river embankment that no longer fulfils its function on the one hand, and building a brand new public area on the other. As many as 28 projects aimed at transforming the local public space have been proposed by applicants from all parts of the Czech Republic. The foundation's financial aid, which municipalities that have submitted applications aspire to receive, will cover a substantial part of project execution costs. The locality that will be revitalized with the assistance of the Proměny Foundation will be selected in the fall.
The Proměny Foundation has been supporting transformation projects since its establishment in 2006. The aim of the Parks Program is to provide assistance for conceptual renewal or construction of the public space in cooperation with specialists and with the involvement of people from the local community. The foundation offers municipalities as much as CZK 25 million in grants, technical consultations, and communication support for multiyear transformation projects. In addition, contributions are paid for maintenance of the locality during three years after project completion.
Applications for financial aid have been submitted for as many as 28 projects. The applications will now undergo three rounds of evaluation, where the second round will include a visit to the locality. The winner will be announced this year in the fall. An overview of all proposed projects is enclosed on the following page.
"Although the evaluation process started only recently, we already have a rough idea about the projects," summed up Karla Kupilíková from the Proměny Foundation. "We were pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of projects proposed by microregions, as this is the foundation's first request for proposals where microregions are eligible to apply. Another positive factor is participation, which is an important criterion in the evaluation process. In this respect, projects proposed by municipalities are getting better with every request for proposals. Among other factors, applicants are starting to realize that it is important to involve not only people from the local community, but also stakeholders from municipal authorities and the central government. Another encouraging fact is that many towns now propose brownfield projects."
The Karel Komárek Proměny Foundation, which receives funding from private sources, has to date disbursed close to 115 million crowns in grants for the development of municipal parks. For instance, this year will see the end of a five-year project that has transformed the embankment of the river Loučná in the city of Litomyšl. The embankment will open to the public in a ceremony held at the beginning of June.