Call for Participants: Enhancing Sustainable Urban Development in Local Politics

NDSM Amsterdam and 2 big loudspeakers in the from of the entrance

Cities in Central Europe are facing numerous challenges. In some of the more progressive ones, the traditional top-down approach tourban planning and development hasfallen out of favour in recent years. Citizens are demanding a more democratic, transparent and just approach. They no longer wish to be merely the recipients of urban planning; rather, they want to be more involved in city life as well as in decision-making. They perceive politics as not sufficiently responsive. Local politicians should react to this, but sometimes knowledge and expertise arelacking even if the will is there. More cross-sector cooperation and more communication areessential in order to make our cities better places to live. Why is thisseemingly easyin some citiesand quite difficult in others?

The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Prague office is launching a year-long training programme "Enhancing Sustainable Urban Development in Local Politics" for multipliers, trainers, networkers, advisors and mediators working actively across sectors to achieve more sustainable and more inclusive cities. The training programme will be organised in 4 modules starting in November 2016, and will run until autumn 2017, usually from Thursday evening until Sunday at 2 p.m. The meetings will take place in the Czech Republic (Brno, Prague), Slovakia (Bratislava) and Hungary (Budapest).

Who can apply?

The programme is designed forprofessionals active in the field of urban planning and development with a strong interest in cross-sector cooperation and in making our cities more sustainable and inclusive. We would like to have a multidisciplinary approach, and thus a diverse groupis essential to facilitate mutual learning. Participants should have backgrounds in NGOs, municipalities, arts and culture, academia and/orthe private sector. They are expected to speak English fluently and should be based in the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Hungary.The group will consist of 12-15 participants.

What to expect

During the programme, we want you to learn by analysing good and bad practices which exist in European cities. We want you to explore what sustainability means, how to understand it and how to explain it to others. You will have the opportunity to learn from innovative projects and to discuss with experts and politicians in order to maximise exchange and experience-sharing. We want you to become inspired by progressive policies and to challenge yourselves with the question of how these policies can be implemented at the local level. How does one convince decision makers and others that our cities should develop in such a way that makes them more resilient, equitable and cooperative? We would like you to acquire new skills in order to be able to train others, to facilitate or to provide advice. We expect you to master communication, argumentation and advocacy. We want you to be a multiplier, so we expect you to be active and to develop your own initiative or project where you can implement what you have learned. The training will be conducted by experienced trainers from Germany and the Czech Republic, and in cooperation with renowned experts from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Topics / Locations / Timeline

MODULE 1:      Progressing towards sustainability / BRNO / 24 – 27 November 2016

MODULE 2:      Democratising urban planning / PRAGUE / February/March 2017

MODULE 3:      Working across sectors / BRATISLAVA / July 2017

MODULE 4:      Convincing others / BUDAPEST / October 2017

How to apply

A structured CV and cover letter in English should be sent to by 30 September 2016. The cover letter (max.2 pages) should also include a proposal for the project/activity/initiative which the applicant intends to realise during the course of the training on his/her own,and which is expected to be connected with the topic of the training. During the implementation of the project/activity/initiative, the participant should have the opportunity to use the acquired skills and knowledge in practice.

The selection of participants will be based on predetermined criteria, and will seek to strike a balance with respect to overall background, experience, suitability and gender. The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Prague office (in consultation with its cooperating partners) is responsible for the selection procedure. Applicants will be informed of the results of the application process by 10 October 2016.

There is no participation fee for selected applicants; however, they are expected to attend all programme modules in full. Most of the costs are covered by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Participants are expected to arrange and cover theirtravel, accommodation and food expenses.


Organiser: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Prague office

In cooperation with: GreenCampus, WPS Prague, Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic, Housing Quality Centre


ZdeňkaLammelová, programme coordinator

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftunge.V., office in Prague

Opatovická 28, 110 00 Prague 1, +420 602 615 236