About Different City Experience Festival
Different City Experience is a series of street neighborly celebrations, taking place as part of the European Mobility Week, which aims to make Europeans aware of the advantages of sustainable transportation and development. Due to the intensive city traffic, public space is today often perceived as a place unfavorable for people’s activities and interests. But from experiences from here and abroad, we know that streets don’t have to be only a place for cars to pass and park. The basic idea of street neighborly celebration is to turn streets and public space into places of cultural and social life, places for neighbors to meet and develop their relationships.
In one day, no-car-zones are created throughout the city, which, with the cooperation of locals, change into a meeting spot for neighbors, organizations, and local businesses. Local residents as well as those passing by can, for example, have a coffee or homemade cake outside, sit down at places where they usually only drive or walk through, chat with their friends or watch a local theater performance. The options for activities are unlimited – music and artistic performances, workshops, seminars, picnics, games for children etc. The aim is not to pay for expensive and professional production, but the opposite – the event is based on voluntary and active participation of local residents.
While Auto*Mat initiative is the main organizer of Different City Experience, local organizers put together the program of the even in their neighborhood. Although the event takes place only in one day, its impact reaches further. In reality it is a process, which gives place to people to actively participate on local community development, with the emphasis on sustainable development and community cooperation.
The main aims of Different City Experience
- to revive the streets of Prague with unique cultural activities and show them as interesting places for life
- to increase the interest of Prague residents in their neighborhood and local events
- to make people aware of the potential of places, which we usually view only as a grey collage of our usual work day
- to inspire people to care about their neighborhood and improve it
- to consolidate and strengthen constructive cooperation between different players within local societies
Different City Experience throughout the year
While the local street celebrations take place in September, the team of Different City Experience campaign works throughout the whole year to make public space more accessible to Prague residents. Today, there are many legal and administrative barriers, which make it complicated for people to organize various events in public space. For this reason, our organization decided to initiate a civil platform with the purpose to simplify and coordinate these administrative processes. At the moment we are cooperating with the civil sector as well as the institutions of municipalities and Prague City Hall to make the usage of public space easier.
Auto*Mat association promotes better environment for a good-quality life in the city. We support public, pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as the rational use of cars. We are inspired by European capitals and we activate people to a positive change of streets and public spaces. We supervise the politicians and efficient use of public finances. Together with you, we create a city we want to live in.
Our initiative cooperates with local politicians, transportation specialists, architects, non-profit organizations, artists, city bikers, seniors, parents and children – with all Prague residents, who care about their city. We engage in the development of infrastructure for bicycle commuting from the position of an independent supervisor and proposer, we promote specific measures for the increase of safety in the streets for pedestrians and strive for the elimination of various barriers regarding public space.
Auto*Mat is the initiator and main organizer of Different City Experience. Its role is to provide local organizers with ideological, administrative, personal, and financial support during the organization of street neighborly celebrations. We help with financing, networking between local organizers and municipalities, and assist with the negotiations of street closures. We also work on a unified PR campaign or do consulting in production. This model makes it possible for local organizers to spend more time on problems in the sphere of public space and civil society.