This year, support for those seeking to improve public spaces in their towns and cities is going out to six different corners of the country. Teams from Vimperk, Olomouc, Týn nad Vltavou, Hodonín, Žďár nad Sazavou and Kladno share not only the fact that they participated in the Transform Your Town program, but they also share a similar goal: they want to attract more attention to long-forgotten places in their towns. The Karel Komárek Proměny Foundation will help them fulfil their plans for this year with financial assistance and technical consultancy services.
This year, the Foundation will distribute a total of CZK 500,000 among six projects that participated in the Transform Your Town grant scheme. Each project proposes a solution to a problem, or takes advantage of underutilized opportunities that they have identified in the public space of their town or city.
“As we see it, the primary purpose of our support is to foster the interrelationship between all those involved in shaping the urban environment – town halls, architects, residents. The impetus to improve public spaces can come from any of them – the Transform Your Town program reaches out specifically to local people and active associations,” says Jitka Přerovská, director of the Karel Komárek Proměny Foundation. “The incentives go from the bottom up. But to find a good solution, the people, town hall and professionals must all communicate with one another. The result of the work of the associations that we are helping, therefore, does not necessarily mean the physical transformation of a place. Sometimes, the most important thing is to find a common language. One of the projects even spelt this out in their grant proposal: the journey is the goal.”
Last year, a total of 29 projects from across the country participated in the Transform Your Town grant scheme, 18 of which were from Bohemian cities and towns, while the remaining 11 were from Moravia. Applicants could request a grant of up to CZK 100,000, and in addition to financial support, they could also receive professional assistance in the form of consultations. The Foundation evaluated the projects in two rounds – first on the basis of a written application, and then Foundation representatives met with the shortlisted project teams in person. The six selected projects will be carried out throughout this year.