Wondering where to find interesting projects in Prague? As part of our Come On, Community! Community Forum (May 12-14), we visited a number of local initiatives that are worth knowing about.
A Garden in Vršovice
Plant cultivation – workshops – exhibitions – neighborhood feasts – relaxation – farm produce – Wi-Fi on a tree, connecting people and supporting good ideas. These are the goals of the Vršovice Garden, which was the first stop on our tour. When we visited, the garden was in the midst of preparations for the upcoming summer season. Peeking in through the cracks of a new wooden structure, we could tell that new things are emerging on the site.
A local group called “Start Vršovice” began building a community garden here in the spring of 2015 (we supported them through Via’s A Different Take on Place grant program). The site had been left vacant after two buildings were demolished, and the group gradually began transforming it into a public space with a garden that will embody the identity of the Vršovice neighborhood in an artistic way and offer the community a range of activities.
We also visited an initiative called Cozy Strašnice. This group’s aim is to cultivate and develop public spaces, urban vegetation and neighborhood relations in the district of Prague – Strašnice. During our visit we talked a lot about the Prague 10 District’s participatory budget project. Cozy Strašnice’s project to revitalize the area around the Prague – Strašnice metro station was selected in the participatory budget planning process.
The group organizes community events (welcoming spring, midsummer night’s bonfire, three king’s procession, etc.) picnics, sports such as petanque, slackline and Frisbee games and clean-up days for neglected parts of the district.
The last project we visited was the Žižkostel community center, located in a church in the Žižkov Prague 3 neighborhood. The focus here is on building a neighborhood community by using the church and adjacent garden in meaningful ways, renovating the site and introducing new activities for residents. It has already become the home of 4 theater groups and a club for at-risk children and youth. The church is also the venue for Roma church services and concerts and the associated community garden serves lunchtime meals several times a week.
Photo: Anna Šolcová