What is sustainable (in) urban development?
Policies or Politics? Which one do you choose?
Very often we are faced with events or books presenting ‘best practices’ in urban design and planning. However, links to politics and the successful execution of political action are frequently missing from these presentations. (to exceptions) architects and urban planners do not speak about politics often – perhaps this implies that the administration and legal system are functioning well and that when the project or proposal is brought to city hall, political support for it is guaranteed. However, behind the scenes, all architects and urban planners will tell you that politics and policies in urban planning are the most important aspects. How else do we get things done? It is here that the grey and complex world of stronger or weaker municipalities, regulations, places of political negotiations and fights opens up. Here is where architects, experts or activists enter with their work, ideas or expectations and o en do not know how to move forward.
Restless Cities: Lessons from Central Europe is a publication that reflects a year-long training programme of the Prague office of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation focusing on understanding the political aspects of urban planning in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. It consists of four thematic chapters that offer introductions into social housing in Brno, participatory processes in Prague, urban development of Bratislava or influencing strategies in Budapest.
Short texts by selected invited experts, participants' views, and key learnings about sustainability and politics. The authors of the texts are not just the experts who contributed to the training programme, but also the participants themselves share their learnings and views herein. We hope this book will help readers to understand the often-invisible areas where urban planning moves from the realm of expertise-only into the realm of political action and that it will inspire readers to further political learning and engagement.
The book launch will be followed by discussion with book authors and co-editors.
The event is public and free of charge
The discussion is in English
Moderator: Milota Sidorova, urbanist, co-editor of the publication, WPS Prague, Green Foundation