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. With some 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 the 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 open up. Here is where architects, experts or activists enter with their work, ideas or expectations and then 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 and influencing strategies in Budapest.
The book consists of short texts by selected invited experts, participants' views, and key learnings about sustainability and politics. The authors of the texts are not only experts who contributed to the training programme, but also the participants themselves share their findings 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
Invited contributors: Barbara Zavarska (architect, Punkt, Bratislava), Zuzana Kuldova (architect, urbanist, IPR Prague), Zoltan Erdos (urbanist, Budapest), Zdenka Lammelova (co-editor of the publication, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, e.V. Prague office) and others…
Partners: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, e.V. Prague office, WPS Prague, Goethe-Institut Bratislava