In the context of the work on the EESC opinion on the EU Urban Agenda requested by the Dutch Presidency, the EESC, on the initiative of rapporteur Mr Haken co-organised, together with the Municipality of Prague 14, a study visit to Prague on 1 December 2015.
The purpose of this visit was to gain first-hand insight on urban challenges and potential while experiencing two extremely different sides of Prague (a problem faced by so many other European cities requiring complex solutions). Following their visit to the city centre, the EESC members of the study group together with experts in urban planning and local stakeholders spent a day in Černý Most, a housing estate on the outskirts of Prague dating from the 1970s/80s. Černý Most, home to more than 20.000 people, presented a completely different sort of urban reality. This event consisted of lively discussions with Czech national and local authorities and organisations who shared their expertise regarding urban matters, and was complemented by a guided on-site visit with urban professionals to learn about the projects implemented in the housing estate to improve living conditions. These examples constitute key elements of successful cooperation as well as practical ways of engaging civil society organisations better.