Take Back your Street!

Have cars taken over your neighbourhood? Never have any time for neighbours and friends? Since 2006, Zažít město jinak sets aside one day a year to let locals come together, free of the hustle and bustle of city life, to enjoy neighbourhood festivities.  Thanks to this event, you and your neighbours can see the city as it really is: a vibrant, joyful place of cultural and social life.

About

What is Zažít město jinak?

The Zažít město jinak festival (ZMJ) celebrates neighbourly relationships and is made up of activities hosted by local residents. Based on the principle of mutual aid, the festival incorporates a shared use of public space, local volunteers, and much more. All ages and interest groups are invited.

What’s the point?

We want to break the suburban, pedestrian mould of the city and have people realize the human value to their surroundings. Locals play an active role in the day’s programme, which is mainly composed of workshops, games, concerts, sports, theatre performances, locally prepared food, etc. Step out your door to witness your street in a different colour.

You’ll meet and learn from many interesting people from your neighborhood, cultivate relationships among different interest groups (e.g. local authorities, businessmen, residents), strengthen local cooperation, and discuss local, relevant causes as well as the benefits of calmer areas.

When does it take place?

The festival takes place every year on the third weekend of September during European Mobility Week. Some zones may hold ZMJ a week before or after; however, we’d be thrilled if you organize this event, which helps to spread our principles – at any time during the year.

Who is the organizer?

ZMJ is coordinated by the NGO AutoMat and organized, above all, by dozens of local organizers in individual zones (a group of friends, local organizations, clubs, active citizens etc.)

Want to bring ZMJ to your street?

Join hundreds of local organizers and create your zone! Anybody who is passionate about turning their street into a pleasant, vibrant space for themselves and their neighbours should apply by the end of May. Contact us at zmj@auto-mat.cz by May 31 with your application, or just if you’d like to know more.

Each local organizer sets up an organization team and a program for his or her zone. They can also seek funds depending on the complexity of the event.

How can we help you, the organizer?

The AutoMat team promotes the festival, creates a unified graphic design, maintains the ZMJ web platform, and makes sure there is full compliance with the festival’s Code of Conduct. We will also be happy to advise you on anything about which you may not be sure. 

In Prague, we can assist you in working with the city administration to procure a public space.

Want to give the organizers a hand?

Contact details for organizers in individual areas will be published on the ZMJ website. Find your favourite area, and contact the organizer.

Only looking to participate?

Simply choose one of the dozens of areas and come along! And not just in Prague; ZMJ takes place in tens of Czech cities as well. All events are free.

ZAŽÍT MĚSTO JINAK Code of Conduct

1) The ZMJ festival aims to revitalize and strengthen local communities. Individuals, organizations, and businesses within a particular area are encouraged to share their mutual experience, transform a public area, and develop a deep connection for the foreseeable future. The event’s organization is based on the goodwill of volunteers and local organizers.

2) Local character is the essential ingredient that separates ZMJ from your usual street festival. The local flavour of your neighbourhood should not be sacrificed for any kind of grandiose spectacle. The festival’s program is completely in your hands, but we’d suggest involving local organizations, residents, businesses, associations, clubs, parishes etc. as much as possible. The street’s the limit.

3) The ZMJ festival is not a political event. Please do not use it as a platform for political parties, movements, or to push any extremist agendas.

4) Do not organize an event with the intention of making money; the primary goal of ZMJ is not for local organizers or participants to profit. The event’s proceeds should, above all, cover event costs.

5) Do not count on the event speaking for itself. Your neighbourhood must learn about the event with plenty of time to plan for it, especially if there might be traffic restrictions, etc. Inform those who park their cars on the selected street that you plan to use that space for the festival, e.g. via a leaflet under the windshield wiper. Explain the meaning behind the event and always be friendly and inviting.

6) Please be environmentally conscious. Preparing for the event– as well as its execution–should be economically and ecologically prudent; minimize and separate waste, consume as little electricity as possible, and refrain from car use.

7) If music is to be played, it must not exceed noise levels as defined by the law, and it must not interfere with other programme items either (e.g. public reading, children’s theatre performance, etc.) The night programme must not disturb the locals. Electric cables should be safe and such that there is no risk of injury.

8) The public space you use must be in the same state at the festival’s end as prior to its beginning. Clean it up and dispose of waste in the appropriate place.