SDG Story: Jihlava

Jihlava vision concept: aim is to be safe, socially cohesive, green and accessible city.

Our Jihlava is a safe, socially cohesive, green and accessible city.

 

Through the construction of attractive and lively public spaces, Jihlava managed to create a distinctive character and foster the relationship of citizens to the city. New programs revealing Jihlava's historical heritage, support of established social activities and the discovery new events, traditions and personalities contributed to the rediscovery of Jihlava's forgotten identity.

 

As a reaction to outflow of young people, Jihlava has increased its attractivness to new residents, ex-pats and students to come back to live, work, set up business or start a family in Jihlava. Abundance of sport and social events, tourist activities, communal infrastructure is found in all part of the city. This also helped to address socially pathological phenomena and promotes social cohesion and community. Active people, local businesses and volunteers are supported in their activities.

 

Jihlava reacted in advance to ongoing demographic and social changes, such as the ageing population, migration, deepening income disparities and civil diseases of civilization. In cooperation with other institutions, municipality coordinates preventive activities and programs for schools and the general public focused on education and promotion in the field of a healthy and active lifestyle and health prevention. In the social field, Jihlava has managed to set up a functional, interconnected system of social and health services, which allows elderly citizens to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.

 

Thanks to the improvement of the internal organization and communication, the municipality uses modern technologies to proactively map the needs of its citizens.  The public is involved in the care for the city and in the preparation and implementation of services, conceptual documents and projects. Public participation is understood as one of the basic principles of strategic planning and management of the city, the goal of such a participatory system is to find the greatest possible degree of consensus between the various stakeholders.

 

The re-development of the city encourages stay in public places and commuting by walking. Already dense network of pedestrian zones and cycle paths was complemented by other safe, green corridors and shortcuts so as to enable the most efficient movement around the city, as well as a connection to the suburban landscape. The city centre offers attractive and affordable housing and the number of residents is growing. Local centres provide sufficient and quality space for cultural, sports or leisure activities. When revitalizing buildings and public spaces, the principles of a child, elderly and disadvantaged friendly city are applied, so these groups are more involved in social life.

 

Housing in Jihlava is relatively affordable compared to other cities thanks to the city's well-established cooperation with developers and good city property management. Jihlava has been fulfilling the city's housing policy concept. The city supports the availability of housing for socially vulnerable groups of residents and offers apartments as a means of attracting the necessary professions. A key parameter for housing policy was ensuring financial self-sufficiency in real estate management as a whole.

 

The municipality has been preparing investment land for new construction, supporting the construction of barrier-free and start-up flats, as well as community housing. Housing was developed in open gaps in the inner city, while maitaining permeability and conservation of green spaces that cool the city and offer leasure space. Jihlava also addresses the improvement of the housing stock by revitalizing buildings in the inner city, accompained by the implementation of smart solutions and energy efficiency improvements where possible.

 

Our Jihlava strengthens the diversity of culture, people and environment. It promotes social and community cohesion. Despite the development, Jihlava remains our, quiet and neighbouring.

 

Jihlava the centre of Vysočina region

 

The importance of Jihlava as the cultural and economic centre of the Vysočina Region has grown.

The cultural, social and sports infrastructure of supraregional importance is concentrated in the city centre. Cooperation with the regional government, cities in the region, regional and state institutions, with the VŠPJ has deepened. Jihlava is home to events and institutions of regional and national importance.

 

Jihlava is an economically prosperous city thanks to its excellent geographical location, quality transport services and excellent condition of infrastructure. New and existing companies benefit from very good transport connections to the main routes of the national transport system. Public transport is the backbone of transport accessibility and offers fast and comfortable connections to key destinations within the region and the country. The transport is integrated with regard to both trip planning and payment and is closely linked to Jihlava’s parking policy. Visitors move primarily on foot or by sustainable transport and commuters commonly use P+R places.

 

 

 

The municipality has improved cooperation with the regional governement, educational institutions and companies, and is initiating joint projects that address the key issues of Jihlava and its development, especially in regards of changes in the economic development and education system.

 

In response to the transformation of the economy, the city has set up a system for continuous training and improving employee eduction. This enables retired workers engage in the retraining courses offered by the city, or to utilize Jihlava’s support system for beginning entrepreneurs, that provides specialized consulting services, subsidies for the acquisition of technologies and machines or preferential leases of premises for business activities. This facilitates the establishment of smaller manufacturing or innovation companies and the differentiation of the labour and industry markets.

 

Education in Jihlava is among the best in comparison with other regional capitals. In cooperation with schools and companies, the city has created a concept of modern education for the 21st century. The city maps the employer needs within the region, and  educanational programs aim to increase the share of services, social and health care, science and technology and industry 4.0. To strenghten the creativity, innovation and active citizenship students are learning in a form of project education. Educational programs focus on increasing climate literacy and building a relationship with traditional crafts.

 

All this together helps to gradually transform Jihlava into a city focused on high value-added work and innovation.

 

Resilient and Sustainable Jihlava

 

 

Jihlava managed to benefit from the great challenges of current time through its timely activity. It has created an environment in which local government, companies, the non-profit sector and citizens plan and behave sustainably. Jihlava monitors technological and social development, has become a leader in the development of infrastructure and social environment.

 

To address the dynamic changes, the municipality has adopted a project management principles and data-based which helped to make the necessary changes. Extensive communication of changes and a smooth flow of information both within the local government and towards the public contributed to the adoption of digitalization and sustainability.

 

New physical infrastructure is being built in Jihlava on the basis of ongoing needs and in coordination with the private sector. Thanks to the well-established cooperation of the city with developers and the good management of the city property, the development of the city takes place according to the principles of the city of short distances and with low operating costs.

 

Thanks to the assessment of investments according to lifetime costs and sustainability, the city managed to stabilize its budget and resolve its internal debt. The local government used all state incentives for the revitalization and quality urban development.

 

Through its activities aimed at strengthening citizens’ climate literacy, Jihlava has managed to eliminate the negative impacts of climate change and individual car traffic. The city successfully supports shared and sustainable forms of transport and the use of public transport. Jihlava has introduced modern sustainable transport management, including a parking policy.

 

By the use of renewable energy sources and systematical improvements of energy efficiency of its assets, the municipality has been proactively reducing its carbon footprint.

In addition to its own economic and environmental effects, the city provides a clear positive example of similar behaviour to companies and residents. The municipality routinely communicates the benefits of sustainable solutions and provides expert advice to stakeholders.

 

In Jihlava, the citizens have access to a quality natural environment, with sufficent water resources. Urban infrastructure and greenery, natural green-corridors, water areas and other natural elements have been continuously revitalized. The city has implemented sustainable agricultural and forestry management on its land in the open countryside. This has increased the ability of the landscape and the urban areas to retain water, increase biodiversity and reduce pollution of watercourses and spaces in the city.

 The city has enough share of quality green infrastructure, which ensures pleasant micro-climate and serves for urban recreation for both residents and visitors.

 

By building a functional infrastructure to strengthen the principles of circular economy, Jihlava responded to the declining availability of raw material resources. Waste recyclation and reuse have become more efficient. The municipality and the public perceive resource and space sharing as a mean to the self-sufficiency and independence that contribute to quality community life. New elements of shared economy were created in Jihlava, including community gardens, local shared services, workshops, care for children and the elderly, creative-hubs, co-working centres and more. The city's long-term sustainable growth is also enhanced through the support of local producers of food, goods and services.

 

Digital and modern Jihlava

 

The municipality is perceived as a modern, efficient and open partner.

 

Public administration has adapted relatively well to the use of new technologies and management tools. The challenge for the local government and its employees was the introduction of new technologies, security against cyber threats and the provision of permanent experts to operate the technology. The municipality has been providing continuous employee training, modernising tools and introducing innovative services. It has been. Innovative solutions are being gradually introduced through testing cycles and continuous improvements.

 

The city management and its sustainable development use new technologies and smart-predictive data analysis. The city's long-term goal is to implement a system of smart grids and sensors which enables data collection, real-time evaluation and planning.

The main motivation for this solution is to increase the ability of the local government to respond flexibly and effectively to possible problems in the city or to prevent them.

 

The digitalization of local government has simplified and quickend administrative tasks for citizens and businesses while maintaining access to services for the disadvantaged population such as elderly or those with no access to the internet.

 

Submitted by Karin Luhaäär on 10/03/2022
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Karin Luhaäär

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