AutoMat is a Czech NGO that promotes a better environment for a good-quality of life in the city.
We support sustainable city development with the main focus on public, pedestrian and bicycle traffic (as well as the rational use of cars), human-oriented public areas and thoughtful urbanism solutions. We are inspired by European capitals and we encourage people to make a positive change to streets and public areas. We supervise and co-operates with local politicians, transport experts, architects, non-profit organizations, researchers, urban cyclists, seniors, artiststs and interested public to create a city we want to live in.
AutoMat was founded in 2003 as an informal platform, which in 2007 was transformed into a civic association. Currently, we are part of an international initiative to improve the situation in the cities part of the World Car-Free Network and the NGO Green Circle Association. We are also committed to the environmental organizations Code of Ethics and to the Principles of Transparency for NGOs.
Please support AutoMat in our effort to make life in Prague and other cities happier, healthier and more neighbourly. We belive that a sustainable transportation and communities are the key.
We monitor the activity of Prague’s politicians. We study their professional documents, statements, plans etc., in order to find out whether a city is planning projects that could harm the public‘s interest or public areas. In addition, we are lobbying for the improvement of transport policies in Prague and to persuade politicians to make Prague a modern Western type city.
Do you feel that your neighbourhood is currently not for people but rather for cars and that you rarely meet neighbours and friends outside? Neighbourhood festivities Zažít město jinak opens the streets to the people of Prague for one day. Thanks to it you can see the city where cars are not parked on pavements, but instead where coffee houses have their tables and where children play in the streets.
The campaign Bike to Work is intended to promote the bike as an ideal means of transport for going to work. Following the example of urban-type Berlin or Copenhagen we want also to encourage companies and employees to experience cycling (or walking, skateboarding or running) to work at least for a month.
We educate at schools. Prague transport and its dismal state only reflect the deep-rooted habits and stereotypes of the inhabitants of Prague. AutoMat is fighting exactly against these social conventions. To solve this it is not possible without changing the daily transport behaviour of those who drive a car around Prague. And changing the behaviour can ultimately only be done through education.
Městem na kole (City By Bike) is an online magazine for everybody who is moving through Prague and other czech cities by bike or would like to start doing it. You will learn about the latest news from the world of urban cycling, you can easily find your route on the detailed cycle map or you can search for it. We will advise how to do it – how to start riding a bike around the city or even how to solve a problem.
Sustainable Urbanism Lab
After 6 years of courts and negotiations with the city district, we helped to return important two-way bicycle lanes to Karlín. We prepared the Ideal Program, a summary of thirty topics for Prague in the upcoming election period. We handed over the analysis, including recommendations on (sustainable) transport, affordable housing, a city for all and citizen participation to the newly elected representatives.
We processed a total of 95 objections to the new Master plan in the areas of transport and building regulations and, thanks to the signatures obtained, we submitted them as representatives of the public. We demanded the provision of principles leading to more sustainable construction and transport. As part of the long-term monitoring of accident rates, we prepared and published a summary analysis of Prague accidents involving bicycles for the entire year 2021. We negotiated with the Ministry of Transport and BESIP with the aim of stopping the upcoming restriction of the side distance rule, which would lead to its de facto unenforceability. The Minister of Transport withdrew the proposal for the time being.
We organized a screening of films about the transport of urban planning Městem, where we brought three previously unscreened films to the Czech Republic and debates with the filmmakers and experts. Together with 800 people on bikes and representatives of 9 embassies, we rode through Prague as a Critical Mass Ride. We commented on the territorial studies of Nové Dvory, Palmovka and Kolovraty-sever, as well as proposals for changes of the Master plan for the Bubny-Zátory and Florenc areas.
Together with other volunteers, we commented on a number of proposal of municipal ordinance, which lacked suitable measures for pedestrians and cyclists, or we tried to change them through direct negotiations with the authorities. We organized two cycling workshops – educational meetings for beginners and experienced urban cyclists. We prepared a comprehensive lecture on Prague’s cycling infrastructure and prepared an analysis of the shortcomings in domestic cycling legislation. As part of our neighborhood festivities Zažít město jinak and the European Mobility Week, we organized an urban walk around Bubny and a ride around the cycling infrastructure in the center of Prague. Together with other volunteers, we cleaned up a section of the A2 bike path in the fall, and we also tried out an experimental technique. We have prepared roughly a dozen road marking projects, which we applied either as part of comments or in agreement with the authorities as the basis for new municipal ordinance. We have prepared a cycling accessibility map for OC Zličín. We are updating the cycling infrastructure database for IPR.
Take Back Your Street
The neighborhood festival Zažít město jinak broke all previous records again this year! Despite the not-so-favorable weather, streets, backyards, squares and parks came to life in almost two hundred locations throughout the country.
To work by bicycle, scooter, on foot or by jogging. This has been the motto of the challenges organized by the AutoMat association for 12 years. How did we manage this year? Almost 25,000 enthusiasts from all over the country participated in the „flagship“ May challenge Bike to Work. They were either excited to try sustainable modes of transport for the first time, or as experienced cyclists and pedestrians, they wanted to highlight the importance of active mobility for our cities. In addition, with anonymized data or their route, they contributed to the identification of problem areas of the city’s infrastructure.
It has been a great year for Automat. Let’s take a look at what our association has been involved in during the year. What worked and which events of Automat were presented in the public space to push forward people’s lives? What did we do in the LAB, Bike to Work, Different Work Experience and education?
At LAB we supervise the events in the transport and public space field. The lab actively participated in making sure the law about security distance of 1,5 meters when passing a bicycle was being respected.
The 3rd of June we organized the critical mass ride with hundreds of participants; among them, ambassadors and representatives of 12 embassies. The ride went through the city thanks to the support of the vice mayor Adam Scheinherr and the UN Information Center of Prague.
We published an animated video series: AutoMat’s Guide to Sustainable Mobility, which explains the principles of transport and sustainable urbanism in an accessible way. It can also be used for educational purposes.
We organized online and offline sessions of AutoMatí Cykloporadny. We share our knowledge about how to drive safely in the urban traffic.
For the sixth consecutive time, we won the demand against Prague 8, which has been taking bikes from Karlín illegally. In an effort to make a satisfactory solution, we met with the representatives of the district.
We were the first ones in quantifying the CO2 emissions of the big transport structures of Prague and pointed at the city’s compromise to reduce by half the the emissions of the city is unattainable.
We organized the film projection about urbanism along the city and participated in the autumn festival For Sustainable and Close Prague, which presented to the general public the current development problems of Prague.
As a response to IKEAs inquiry, we developed a concept to make Zličín complex more accessible for bicycles.
We collected impressions about the new bikeways, from the questionnaire we had 125 answers and a scheme of modifications of some localities.
Last but not least, we recorded podcasts about urban themes, we have been discussing systematically the shape of measures for cyclists and new urban districts, and we continue bringing insights about urban studies (in 2021, for example, Žižkov charging station.
We beat another record with the Different City Experience event. The festivities of this year took place in 163 spaces, in streets, squares and other public places. Each celebration looked different, as it was always organized by locals with Automat´s assistance. Nevertheless, everyone had the same goal in mind: to bring communities together and to revitalize the neighborhood.
HUGE THANKS to all the volunteer organizers. 2021 was the biggest year of festivities in its 16 years of history. The occupation for the event reached almost 100.000 square meters (24 football pitches). This year, aside from Prague, other 42 cities and towns of the Czech Republic took part.
This year’s motto was Assembly Instructions. We wanted to emphasize that, after the pandemic, that changed how everything worked, we can rebuild our cities according to our own ideas. And it worked! The slogan also referred to “Do it yourself”, that is, the fact that the program is prepared by volunteers in the localities in a selfless way.
The accompaniment program of the 26 places included special programming in galeries, artistic representations, theater outside, adventure walks or open days. We also prepared our own with Automat. The 15th of September we built an improvised living room in Anděl in Smíchov as part of the Ascent on Anděl proyect. It offered artistic activities of all kinds and showed passersby a completely new vision of the space.
You can go down memory lane thanks to photos and videos.
Even the Bike to Work Challenge, to our surprise, has beaten another record this year. We started preparing the event with some worry, due to the epidemiological situation and the constans changes in measures. During May, however, more than 22.000 people moved in the city with us in a sustainable and active way. Altogether, they made 5,5 million kilometers and saved almost 700 tons of CO2. That is how much 700 trees can absorb in a year! We are pleased that the interest in sustainable ways of transportation (and epidemiologically safe) keeps on increasing.
Due to the fact that a great part of the population stayed at their home office this spring, we allowed participants (like last year) to register not only the trips to and from work, but also walks, buying and posting trips. We analyzed the anonymous data about their routes and could help city representatives to identify critical places or infrastructural deficiencies for pedestrians and riders.
We motivate cities and employers to support sustainable transport. The title of Cyclist City of the Year was given to Otrokovice, and the ÚJV Řež Group was the Cyclo-employer of the Year.
We know, through the participants, that the call contributed to the mental and physical wellbeing and helped bring the teams together, whose cohesion was sometimes significantly tested due to the pandemic. 64% of participants of the challenge want to continue with sustainable transport outside of the call with the same level of intensity, and 36% a little bit less. Nobody wants to give up ecological transport. And that is what matters the most to us.
We also highlighted the gender inequalities in cycling and did a series of interviews with Automat women. You can read the interview with Bára, financial director, PR director Anička, Linda, member of the Bike to Work campaign, urban planner Zuzana, coordinator of corporative associations Míša and Eliška from Different City Experience Team.
We have been guiding children to sustainability for a long time in the Generation U proyect. And the Automat Friends Club has 198 more donnators. You can see Martin Šnajdauf here
None of Automats activities could be done without our donors and sympathizers. You can also join at https://www.nakrmteautomat.cz/. Thank you!
Since 2005 we have coordinated the biggest neighborhood festivities in the Czech Republic. In 2020, they happened in almost 100 places in Prague and 31 other cities.
We organize the national motivational campaign, Bike To Work. In 2020, even in the middle of the pandemic, almost 16.000 cyclists, runners and pedestrians participated, of almost 3.000 companies and institutions in 48 cities, that almost saved 500 tonnes of CO2.
Taking into account the data base of the anonymous data of the participants, we revised ciclist infrastructure for cities and specific regions.
We helped better the conditions of “cycling workers”: we awarded cycling employers and cycling cities of the year.
We organized a trip to Denmark to the representatives of the four Cyclo-Cities in 2019, looking for inspiration to solve the problem of public space and bicyclist infrastructure.
We organize the only cinema festival with films about sustainable movement and urbanism. We organized the film projection about urbanism along the city and participated in the autumn festival For a Sustainable and Friendly Prague, which presented to the general public the current development problems of Prague and other international examples.
More than 10.000 children have participated in our educative projects (since 2019, Generation U).
The Administrative Supreme Court gave the reason for our case about the cancellation of bikes in Karlín.
After winning the demand, cyclists can again circulate in Prague 1. We made a video with our decent rider, Vašek, and won the first prize in the Public Benefit category of the Donor Forum Award 2018. Our petition against the prohibition was signed by 5000 citizens.
We were present at the birth of “City by bike” to provide information and resources for urban cycling.
In collaboration with Prague by bike and GRADA editorial, we published a guide of urban cycling in 2018.
As part of the project Popular School for Urban Cycling, we organize a series of talks for professional public and schools about safety and bicycles, as well as the cyclist infrastructure of the city. We also published six original infographics about urban infrastructure (2018).
We organize the Cycling in Hilly Cities international conference, where representatives of Berna, Lisbon and Vienna shared their experiences (2018)
Along with Prague´s Senators Forum and Arnika Association, we organized a seminar about the Practical Experience in Negotiations with Developers.
During 6 Saturdays in 2013, we transformed the ever congested Smetana Embankment into a pedestrian walkway with a cultural program.
Since 2004, we have been calling media attention about the bicycle as an urban transport through big mass rides. Currently, our biggest event is the Great Spring Bike Ride in April or May.
We applied the modifications to the confusing intersection at the Kapitána Jaroše Embankement, where the founder of Automat, Jan Bouchal (2012) did not survive a vehicle collision.
We published and distributed the first Green Map of Prague. It shows (not) friendly public space, traffic jams or selected companies. The map was part of the global network Green Map (2010).
We translated to Czech Cycling Fallacies, which erases the most common myths about cycling (2019).
The Automat documentary (2009) of the director and founder Martin Mareček was awarded as the best czech documentary of the decade at the Jihlava Film Festival in 2010. The film shows the first years of the initiative and presented to the general public the quality of life in the city, sustainable transport and active citizenship. Its content resulted in many discussions and reactions, which provoked interest not only in AutoMat, but also in the quality life of the city in general (trailer).
Mailing address (including invoices)
Auto*Mat, z. s.
Slezská 11, 120 00 Praha 2
phone: 212 240 666
Registered office of the association (i.e., address and taxpayer)
Auto*Mat, z. s.
Vodičkova 36, 110 00 Praha 1
registered with the Ministry of the Interior of 19. 09. 2007 under number VS/1-1/68 776/07-R
No: 22670319 / VAT: CZ22670319
Bank info (other than supporters gifts)
2601085491/2010 (Fio Banka)
IBAN: CZ57 2010 0000 0026 0108 5491
Bank info (supporters gifts)
If you want to support us other way than via „donation form“ please contact Ondřej Suk (email@example.com)
Bank account of AutoMat’s donors club (Fio Banka): 2400063333/2010
The executive board
Expert advise of AutoMat
Members – Hana Hakl, Václav Kugler, Daniel Mourek – guarantee the ideological development of AutoMat and also perform supervisory functions of the association.
Zažít město jinak (Take Back Your Street)
Do práce na kole (Bike To Work)
Sustainable Urbanism Lab
Donations of companies and institutions
GenerationU (education projects)