At the ŠKODA Museum, representatives from the cities of Mladá Boleslav und Kosmonosy, from ŠKODA AUTO and from the KOVO union today presented the results of the citizen survey conducted as part of the project ‘10 weeks for Nové Boleslavsko’.
At the event, ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier emphasised, “I was impressed by the number and variety of ideas put forward. The high level of participation demonstrates that we have struck a chord with the ŠKODA endowment fund. We want the Mladá Boleslav region to develop as positively as our company and to emerge from the profound change in the automotive industry stronger than before. To this end, the endowment fund provides a necessary and important impetus. Now, it’s a question of all stakeholders working closely together: we need the expertise, financial strength and long-term commitment of businesses, politics, the federal state, the regions and local communities. Sustainable regional development can only be a success if we work together.”
Bohdan Wojnar, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources, added, “For ŠKODA AUTO, sustainable business development means accepting social responsibility – for the company’s workforce as well as for the regions close to our plants. Our mission is to create an urban environment and social climate in which our staff really like to live. We are committed to this mission and we are strengthening the Mladá Boleslav region through a comprehensive set of measures.”
Between December 2018 and February 2019, residents of the Mladá Boleslav region had ten weeks to put forward their ideas on how to improve the quality of life in the city and the surrounding region. Under the project name ‘10 weeks for Nové Boleslavsko’ (www.noveboleslavsko.cz), participants had the opportunity to submit their opinions, ideas and suggestions via a form. Furthermore, an internal campaign was conducted at ŠKODA AUTO: employees and their families were encouraged to take part in the initiative.
Activities planned for 2019
Based on the survey results, the ŠKODA AUTO endowment fund and the participating partners have decided to implement several projects in 2019, initially worth a total of CZK 60 million. The focus will be on projects to improve the traffic situation and promote leisure activities. A complete overview of the current ŠKODA AUTO endowment fund projects is attached to this press release. The latest information on the current status of each initiative and project can be found at http://www.noveboleslavsko.cz/.
As part of the programme, work is under way on a study and proposals for concrete measures to develop the Mladá Boleslav region. The study will be a central document that defines key topics for sustainable development of the region.
The construction of a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over the Jizera, the construction of the outdoor swimming pool in Kosmonosy and the construction of a children’s centre and a central playground are also planned. A relaxation area might be established in the Radouč district. A creativity and community centre is currently being planned as part of the revitalisation of an industrial building in Mladá Boleslav. Plans are being prepared for the modernisation of the Meierhof building as well as the building known as the Altes Werk. Development of the floodplain near the Jizera is also being discussed. In this flood-prone area, it would be possible to reduce the consequences of flooding through appropriate measures. Furthermore, the revitalisation of a branch of the Jizera river is currently on the agenda. The status of some of the projects mentioned above is currently being assessed.
Preparations for optimising traffic in the Mladá Boleslav region as well as public transport in Mladá Boleslav are already well advanced, as is the concept study on the development of cycle paths in the Mladá Boleslav region. The ŠKODA AUTO endowment fund will also be funding the launch of a pilot bike-sharing scheme in Mladá Boleslav – 60 bicycles will be available for hire around the clock via an app. Thanks to financial support from the endowment fund, this will be free of charge for the first 15 minutes.
In addition, ŠKODA AUTO will be expanding and/or improving leisure facilities in the Mladá Boleslav region using money from the endowment fund: The company will be supporting measures to regenerate the vegetation in the Štěpánka nature reserve, which suffered considerable damage as a result of a storm and a bark beetle infestation last year. ŠKODA AUTO will also be supporting the construction of a start ramp at the BMX park in Benátky nad Jizerou.
Background of ‘Nové Boleslavsko’ and classification of the project areas
Initiated by ŠKODA AUTO in 2018, the ‘Nové Boleslavsko’ programme is to consolidate stakeholders and resources for efficiently implementing measures to improve living conditions in the Mladá Boleslav region. With a comprehensive set of measures, ŠKODA AUTO is securing the long-term development and attractiveness of the entire region together with the partners participating in the programme.
The programme focuses on ten core areas for regional development; the project areas have been defined based on an opinion survey carried out by the ŠKODA AUTO University and the research agency Behavio Labs, as well as talks held with the respective stakeholders:
• Traffic: Provision of sufficient and sustainable infrastructure, reduction of congestion and expansion of local public transport by investing in road construction and smart mobility offerings.
• Urban planning: Consistent further development of the cityscape based on the standards and possibilities of modern urban planning – this will open up new usage opportunities of public space for the citizens, in line with changing requirements.
• Housing: Involvement of the most important regional stakeholders to increase the housing supply. In addition to the construction of new housing and the letting of council flats, accommodation for those in need as well as the further development of the existing housing fund are key aspects of this core area.
• Medical care: Improving the availability of modern medical treatment and care for patients of all age groups, increase in the number of medical specialists, modernisation of older medical facilities and consistent promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
• Education: Improving school lessons and education through the use of the latest teaching methods and modern equipment, facilitating participation in further training and personal development programmes for teachers.
• Social services: Improvement and expansion of social care, provision of sufficient supply in existing, mobile social services, establishing specialist counselling centres for socially vulnerable citizens, offering individual support.
• Safety: Increasing the sense of safety in the city through preventative measures and public training opportunities for all age groups, with a particular focus on traffic safety. The projects are to contribute to increasing the safety of pedestrians for example, or to support traffic calming in the municipalities. This core area also includes the supporting of the municipal police force as well as the emergency services.
• Civil society: Involvement of the general public in the development of the region, increasing citizen participation in community life, including training programmes for senior citizens. A pleasant social climate strengthens the sense of solidarity both among citizens and staff.
• Smart mobility: Development and implementation of technologically advanced traffic concepts and the introduction of modern mobility services for efficient, individual mobility, to support the local public transport and to avert congestion of the local traffic infrastructure.
• Sport and culture: Provision of resources for cultural events and organisations as well as for promoting sporting activities in the region. Furthermore, this area includes the use of innovations and modern technologies to modernise local leisure facilities.
Partners of the programme and initial success
Alongside ŠKODA AUTO, notable participants in this initiative include the cities of Mladá Boleslav and Kosmonosy as well as other surrounding municipalities, the region of Central Bohemia and the Czech government. ŠKODA AUTO also prompted other businesses from Mladá Boleslav and its surroundings to participate in the programme.
As part of the initiative, ŠKODA AUTO already successfully implemented some initial projects relating to safety, quality of life and education last year. The car manufacturer provided the Mladá Boleslav police force as well as the Central Bohemian medical emergency services with two vehicles each; four cars were supplied to local driving schools.
The main partners have also already taken the initial first steps to support the region with investments, manpower and collaborative projects. With their resolution of the 3 October 2018, for example, the government of the Czech Republic approved investments amounting to around CZK 7.6 billion. These funds will be invested in the development of eleven key projects relating to traffic infrastructure, nine of which are road construction projects and two are railway projects. Furthermore, the Ministry for Regional Development decided to promote housing construction. The measures agreed in this area also see to the construction of council flats, the development of technical infrastructure and the provision of affordable social housing.
The city of Mladá Boleslav will be investing several million korunas in selected strategic projects as well as in purchasing real estate, and will collaborate with other cities and municipalities in the region to implement certain projects.
The region of Central Bohemia is investing in traffic as well as medical infrastructure and is supporting public healthcare, social services as well as the regional school system. More than CZK 3.2 billion is being invested in the region, with the cities contributing another several million.