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Project Culburb activates the public realm in the suburbs of Central European capital cities through acupuncture interventions.

Using minimal means these actions set up interaction between inhabitants and have an impact on the community life. Today Central European cities are again becoming a political arena of citizens, initiatives, NGOs, and other forms of activism, but we are witnessing a lack of such activities in suburbia. At the same time we can see the extreme growth of suburbs around all cities, meaning a huge number of European inhabitants are placed out of the dense city but still access all its advantages. The pressure made by suburbia and sprawl to the core of a city is not just an infrastructural issue connected with nancial investment, but it brings a paradox to the contemporary city because it is increasingly loosing one of its primary functions housing. The majority of city users no longer live in the city; home is beyond the city borders. This fact causes a new political map where city users, ones living in suburbia, have almost stronger voting potential then city residents. This distribution of political power is deadly for the future of the European city. Either it is necessary to change the structure of political systems, or to extend city functions to suburbia and decrease daily migration. Project Culburb aims to activate a public realm in the suburbs of Central European capital cities, by minimal means, and to start the citycation of suburbia. A rst step in such a process is the improvement of public spaces in the suburbs. We start this process through acupuncture interventions in six localities around Central European capitals. With an acupuncture method will work in the chosen localities using artistic and architectural tools. The chosen interveners are supported to develop their ideas and interpretations, which can take any form that ultimately leads to: socializing; the reduction of barriers; enhancement in the quality of the environment; and improved community life. Applicants are encouraged to act freely according to their own conviction.

PRAGUE - Psary

Psary is located 7 km south from the Prague boundary, and sits on the border with the nature beyond. Psary represents the typical story of the village near the Czech capital: there has been massive migration of the middle classes to their own newly built houses in the countryside (according to the idea of the American dream). Psary is located just behind the Prague boundary, and sits on the border with the nature beyond. The town has witnessed rapid growth over the past decade, doubling in size: the number of inhabitants has grown from 1600 to 3500, with plans to accept over 1000 more. The result is a large mono-functional area forming a new circle behind an existing circle of highdensity housing estates. However the town does not have enough nances to offer services needed for quality living such as: a new school; shops; cafes; restaurants; leisure and cultural activities. It consists of two original settlements Psary and Doln Jircany, which were in 1960 administratively joined. In order to weaken the traditional catholic farmer village Jircany, communist planners divided it and joined the South part with Psary and the North part with Jesenice. After the Velvet Revolution, Doln Jircany once again wanted autonomy, but as it would have been economically detrimental to the town budget this never occurred. The challenge is to start dialogue not only between the original inhabitants and the newcomers, but also between the historically separate villagers who cling to distinct and separate identities.

Suburb locality: Psary Country Region District Commune Municipality Area Population Czech Republic Central Bohemian Region Prague-west district ernoice Jesenice 11,23 km2 3244 ( 1.1.2010) Milan Vcha 1 740 000 eur

Mayor or city representative Budget (annual, 2011)

PRAGUE - Psary

A. History And Location History Jirany and nearby Psary were typical farmer settlements founded around 1050. To weaken opposition in the village of Jirany communist planners made a new administrative division of villages in the area after WWII (or 1961). Jircany, a village with a strong catholic tradition, was divided, and its south part (Doln Jircany) was articially connected to Psary, a village of communist sympathizers. The northern section became a part of the nearby town of Jesenice. After The Velvet Revolution, in 1989, inhabitants of Dolni Jircany wanted to be separated again, but the plan would have been economically detrimental. In the Chronicle of Psary this event is called the Divorce of the Villages, though it never happened. Relation to the city Located 7 kilometers behind the administrative Prague border, Psary represents the typical story of the village near a capital city: inspired by the American dream there has been a massive migration of middle class to newly-built houses in the countryside. This tendency started in 2000, also because of cheap mortgages. The result is a large mono-functional area forming a new circle behind an existing circle of high-density prefabricated housing estates built around the 80s. People travel daily to work in Prague, where they also shop, and their children attend school. Psary is connected with Prague by public transport; there is a bus every 15 min which takes 30 min to the centre. Surroundings/environment /nature On the east-south side of Psary begins a continuous forest; this is the rst forest on the way out of Prague in this direction, so the village acts as a gate to nature. There are two local nature parks: Sted ech and Velkopopovicko. The rst settlements here were made along the water (stream Libice and Zhoansk stream). The potential of this closeness with nature has not yet been developed enough.

B. Contemporary Situation And Main Problems Urban space During the last 12 years the image of the village has changed completely, mainly due to outside developers. The old village is now surrounded by new areas of individual housing units. Developers have found they can earn fast money by minimizing investments to common areas, which have no resale value. Unfortunately local authorities have no functional and effective tools to manage or change this situation. The result is that traditional gathering spaces, former village cores, now serve mainly for trafc. In the new districts public spaces are reduced to access roads and sidewalks. Places to develop a community life or hold cultural events are missing. In the 1930s each of the two villages had 3 pubs, 3 butchers, 2 shops, a shoemaker and other facilities: today there are only two shops and 4 pubs. People The community has grown up from 1600 inhabitants to 3500 inhabitants within just 11 years. Local representatives are concerned about the uncontrollable suburbanization of the village, but in the long term there is the possibility of accepting over 1000 new inhabitants. The age distribution within the village reects this massive inux of middle class commuters. Every year 50 new babies are born in Psry, but already the village cannot guarantee pre-school and school education for the increasing number of children. Today there is a small kindergarten and only a rst grade school up to age 10.

C. Potential And Future Plans Public space Private space in the village covers 88 % of the urban area. The rest is common open space used mostly for trafc (roads, parking). Families from the new suburban areas live their lives inside fenced lawns with the house in the middle. This is the opposite to the former archetype of housing (L-shaped or U-shaped buildings with a private yard built close to the main road), this new settlement does not offer real private space, and does not clearly dene borders between the individual and community. People want to escape from the responsibility of common borders, space, or life, but also want to represent themselves to the rest of the public. The aim is to start a dialogue on two parallel levels between the original inhabitants of Psary and Doln Jircany and between new inhabitants of specic suburbs. In order to facilitate communication new open community spaces need to be created, because the former village cores now serve mainly for trafc.

In Psary and Dolni Jircany the potential public spaces for development are open spaces along streams, and spaces of former village cores. Between Psary and Jircany is a large area, tdk, owned by the church, where the local representatives want to develop, in the future, a new village heart: a local centre with public facilities.

Public life Priorities for inhabitants (as found in a 2008 survey): the quality of roads; a fast connection between Psary and Prague; adequate shops and public facilities; a primary school with sufcient capacity; a multifunctional playground; spaces for cultural life; village activities and community events. For community news there is a local paper published every two months. Sport is the main common free time activity. Psary has their own football team, and Dolni Jircany as well. Local representatives of Psary, together with the neighboring villages are preparing construction of a new school building on the north-west end of village. A part of the school should be a multifunctional gym, which will also create a new interior space for community events. For the future it is hoped that people will stop realizing their cultural needs by commuting to the city. The community can nd its own cultural identity once it has usable community spaces.

Psary 1836 -1852

Psary 1953

Psary Dolni Jircany - basic map

Psary Dolni Jircany - urban structure

main roads forest border

1953 before 2003 2003 2006 2011 Psary Dolni Jircany - developement in time

Psary Dolni Jircany - open spaces before massive development 1953

Psary Dolni Jircany - open spaces 2011

open public space


CALL FOR ENTRIES We are inviting artists and architects, as well as other individuals and collectives, to join the Culburb project. Six locations in Central Europe, representing different forms of suburbia, have been chosen as places for action. By acupuncture treatment, we understand actions which have long-term impact created with minimal means. Actions may be physical or immaterial, temporary or permanent and should be addressed to local residents. CONDITIONS FOR APPLICATION

APPLICANT must send:

-His/her proposal: content: A text is required, max 1800 characters, explaining their project with basic ideas and the technique of the realization; IIlustrations, sketches or diagrams are optional.) Videos no longer than 3 minutes may also be attached. layout: 2 A4 pages .pdf max 4MB -APPLICANT registration form -CV of applicant/s, 700 characters max. -Estimation of costs for realization DEADLINES

Registration: 10. 01. 2012 on culburb@culburb.eu Deadline for applications: All required materials must by sent not later than 31. 01. 2012 Materials related to different municipalities can be downloaded on www.culburb.eu. Realization of all actions/interventions should be done between March 2012 and March 2013. Chosen applicants teams will get an honorarium of 500 EUR. Costs for traveling and realization will be covered by organizers. Chosen applicants will join a workshop in Vienna in March 2012 and attend a nal meeting in Ljubljana in April 2013.


Psary is a typical sprawl of Central Europe, with the anticipatorily negative attributes of that status: minimal social interaction; daily commuting to the city for work, leisure or shopping; low interest in public space and life. Nevertheless there are still a few positive features, for example the absence of gated communities. In 1960 the two villages Psary and Dolni Jircany joined together. Whilst they have one administrative border, there still exists a mental border between landowners from Doln Jircany and residents of Psary, who are mainly workers. On top of this, new inhabitants have moved from the city to live closer to nature, this group comes mainly from the upper middle class. Growing from 1000 to 3600 in last twenty years, the village has not been able to develop civil services rapidly enough. This is most evident in the case of the school, which is not able to offer places to all the youngsters. We invite you to focus not just on the specicities of this location, but also on sprawl in the Central European context. You are encouraged to develop interventions, or events, which will go beyond pointing out actual problems and offer new possibilities for suburbia.

Psary Dolni Jircany - possible areas for actions

Possible area for actions 1 - Dolni Jircany - suburb

Possible area for actions 2 - Dolni Jircany

Possible area for actions 3 - Dolni Jircany - village core

Possible area for actions 3 - Dolni Jircany - village core

Possible area for actions 4 - Stedrik - Dolni Jircany - suburb

Possible area for actions 5 - Stedrik

Possible area for actions 6 - Psary - village core

For general questions, please contact: culburb@culburb.eu For specic questions concerning Psary, please contact: Klara Mergerova, mergerova@ccea.cz