The Cabinet approved in mid-January the Czech Architecture and Building Culture Policy. Drafted with the assistance of the Proměny Foundation, one of the objectives of this strategic document is to support and foster the development of education and training in architecture, urbanism, land planning, landscaping design, building culture, and environmental quality at all levels of the education system.
The architecture policy is a strategic non-legislative document that applies on a nation-wide scale. The objective to incorporate architecture into the curricula at all levels of the education system will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, which will cooperate with various other institutions and organizations. The policy has undergone several rounds of consultations that comprised review by various public stakeholders, including the Proměny Foundation. Aiming to enhance the quality of life by improving living conditions, the strategy focuses on three areas: landscape and settlements, buildings, and education, public awareness, and research. A major contribution to the last mentioned area has been made by a group of organizations that joined forces last year to organize the Pilsen Intersectorial Meeting and to publish the Architecture in Education Memorandum, which has been used during the preparation of the architecture policy.
"We are happy to see that work done by all those who have taken part in this effort has paid off. By adopting the architecture policy, the Czech Republic has set out on the road toward a society that is well aware of the importance of the quality of the built-up environment and strives to foster the continuing development of the living space. While the strategy outlines the general direction to be taken, the key factor now will be cooperation across sectors and the implementation of specific measures into real-life applications," explains the Proměny Foundation's Jolana Říhová who has collaborated on the preparation of the policy. "At the Proměny Foundation, we believe that a high-quality living environment cultivates society and allows it to develop on harmonious manner. Hence, we consider the incorporation of architecture into general education an issue of fundamental importance, and we make every effort to assist in the achievement of this goal. We must instill in children natural interest in the living environment starting at a very early age. That includes developing their imagination as well as esthetic and spatial perception of the urban milieu where they live and learning to understand how it functions."
Supporting education and promoting general awareness of various issues are among the Proměny Foundation's long-term objectives, including assistance with projects that get the public involved in the planning and execution of transformations of city parks and schoolyards. The foundation organizes creative workshops for schools and children's organizations, aiming to allow members of the youngest generation to discover architecture and the various aspects of the living environment, as well as educational events for adults, such as the forthcoming Public Space Conference held on 12 February 2015. The Proměny Foundation runs Portál Proměn.cz, a website dedicated to helping local authorities, schools, community initiatives, and the general public develop the living environment in their urban centers.
The full text of the Czech Architecture and Building Culture Policy and the Architecture in Education Memorandum can be downloaded at www.nadace-promeny.cz.