We are a village 35 km away from our capital Prague with 2500 permanent inhabitants (and some 500 residents who have houses in the village, but are not officially registered here). Our municipality consists of three formerly independent villages: Mukařov-Buda – an ancient settlement with our church, school, medical centre and shops laying at the crossroads of traditional trading routes, Srbín – a former agricultural village with extensive recent construction of new family houses, and Žernovka – a village known for its stonemasonry tradition.
Most of our working-age citizens commute to work outside the municipality. One of our aims is to improve communication and linkages between our citizens and the local government administration. Among others, we would like to improve e-governance practices, allowing flexibility in administration for citizens who are not in the village during working hours (due to every-day commuting).
First ‘smart’ steps were made in 2019 when we introduced an incentive system for waste management and launched a new municipal website. This year we are seeking ways to offer our citizens online payment of local fees.
We are currently looking for ways to better engage through digital means with those citizens (including children, youth, parents and seniors) who spend most of their time in the village. We would also like to attract more tourists and visitors to the village, which is part of Ladův kraj micro-region – a voluntary union of municipalities for tourism development and promotion – named after Josef Lada (famous Czech painter and illustrator) who drew inspiration for his work from the local area characterised by well-preserved nature.
Village strategy :
Mukařov youth gets ‘4Teens’
Following two events organised in June – a sports and social afternoon and a movie night, Mukařov is setting up a formal Teens Club which is already implementing indoor activities, such as board games (8 October).
A potential future project for the Teens Club is to get involved and actively participate in the designing and building an outdoor playground.
Village library digital upgrades
The Mukařov library has recently undergone a significant IT expansion: it obtained a its own screen and projector and is preparing to expand its collection to e-books. Additionally, it offers an online catalogue in which village residents can search and reserve books or prolong their leases.
All this has been made possible thanks to a new project, funded by the Ministry of Culture.
Rewarding recycling and proper garbage disposal
Mukařov has implemented an incentive programme for the management of community waste since September 2019. All waste bins – now labelled with unique QR codes – enable every household to monitor its waste generation, and in case of a good recycling level and reduced production, benefit from bonus points.
Mukařov engages with residents online
Mukařov is actively communicating with residents online: via the official municipal website, anyone can signpost an issue or error via specifically designated forms available on the homepage or subscribe for e-news, available via newsletters and sms. An online payment portal is currently in the works.
Since the onset of Covid-19 lockdowns, the municipality is also broadcasting Community board sessions via the MS Teams application. In addition, the village has a Facebook page and an active closed discussion group for residents.
Mukařov is getting smarter
For the Mukařov village, ‘smarter’ means better and more efficient communication with and among its residents. There are already plenty of actions, planned or under way, to ensure just that – and they are targeted at specific groups too, youngsters and the elderly.
The local community centre allows the implementation of various programmes and activities, including a youth club which sees regular meetings of youngsters. Teenagers are further involved in fundraising for a new outdoor playground and mentoring younger children. In the meantime, the elderly enjoy various lectures played via YouTube and reading e-books thanks to a brand new project – both of those activities were made possible through cooperation with the village library.
For 2022, the village is working on launching an online payment portal.
Smart Rural Journey
Follow along with our Village Roadmap here :
A rapidly growing rural agglomeration with few facilities (such as cafés, playgrounds, or other spaces to meet) set up a 'youth club' that featured various well-thought-out activities and a youth animator, which contributed to its success.
Step 2/5 : HangOut4Teens Club
Hang Out 4Teens has been set up – a much needed initiative especially in the Covid times - as a place where young people can spend time meaningfully with regular events (social afternoon, movie night, outdoor and indoor activities) organised. Sessions are animated by a young university student from Mukarov, and has its own Instragram account.
Step 3/5 : Ideas for the playground
In this phase, ideas were collected from young people through a poll on Instagram on how they imagine the playground and what kind of facilities they would still like to have.
Step 4/5 : Playground project planning
Teenagers playground - as a parkour facility- won the community participative projects poll in 2020. A fundraising activity has started by the teenagers to realise their outdoor playground project. An architect has presented the plan of the playground to the teens and how a playground can be built.
Step 5/5 : Youth exchange
Visit to another rural youth group in Europe both for the Mukarov youth animator to connect to other youth coaches, and for young people to see and get inspired from other youth initiatives.
8th Smart Rural Café, Mukařov (3 February 2022)
Kateřina Čadilová and Veronika Zemenova talk about the challenges and assets of being a suburban area of Prague, the village’s tailor-made website and communication system, the incentive waste management and the “MY WASTE” application, their community centre as the meeting point of all generations, what is smart in the age of “distant life“ and more…
Mukařov youth study trip to Ireland
In May 2022, a group of six Mukařov teenagers visited Cork to learn about programmes dedicated to youth. By invitation of SECAD from Midleton and within the framework of the Smart Rural 21 project, the trip combined visits to youth facilities with an exploration of the history and natural attractions of the south of Ireland.
Mukařov at the European Week of Regions and Cities
Get a better sense of Mukařov’s smart actions, watch this short video overviewing the various activities the village is implementing.