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.

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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.

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What we do

What AutoMat achieved in the jubilee year 2023

2023 was a special year for us at AutoMat, as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our efforts for a better public space for all.

We not only organized a celebratory party, but also gave ourselfs annual merch and an annual website, on which we reflect together with various personalities and with you on the future of the capital city, recap our activities, evaluate and remind AutoMat’s cooperation with artists. How far have we come in two decades and what awaits us? Take a look and share with us your vision of Prague in 2043.

Our achievements in 2023

LAB (Sustainable urbanism laboratory)

In addition to annual activities, our LAB has been closely following the events in and outside the capital throughout the year and has published a number of outputs. He implemented a large (and the first of its kind) questionnaire survey on the perception of cycling infrastructure, in which 1,200 respondents participated. We compiled the results into a research report, summarized them in an article and sent them to journalists and politicians. The research continued with group interviews, observations in selected locations and submission of more than 80 proposals for infrastructure improvements. At the same time, we successfully participated in the first part of the CEAML Central European research project. We have launched a new geodatabase in the City by Bike map and are tracking problem spots for cycling. We have prepared an analysis of traffic accidents involving cyclists in the capital for 2022 and a brochure entitled Pandemic as an opportunity to change traffic habits. We have also submitted a number of comments, for example in the context of the EIA procedure regarding the continuation of the construction of the Prague ring road between Ruzyně and Březiněves, the spatial study of Palmovka and the change of the zoning plan in Hradčanská, or the form of reconstruction of the cycle path in Podolí. At the national level, we were actively involved in commenting on the new building ordinance. Thanks to our efforts, the basic number of parking spaces for cars has been reduced and, on the contrary, parking spaces for bicycles have generally appeared. We also prepared an analysis of non-motorized solutions for the reconstruction of the Railway Bridge and sent an open letter to the capital’s climate commitments, to which we patiently await the promised response.

World Critical Mass and festival Through the City

On World Bicycle Day on June 3, we organized the already traditional World Bicycle Ride, for 2023, associated with Cycle Ringing. Both events together attracted approximately 700 cyclists of various ages, who rode through Prague in the company of representatives of the UN and many embassies, including the Dutch one. In this way, we celebrated the means of transport that the UN declared to be the official tool for combating climate change. In the fall, our autumn show of documentary films about transport and urban planning in Through the City took place. As part of our anniversary this year, we dedicated its 4th year purely to the issue of bicycle transport, which is a topic that attracted an enormous number of spectators. We screened a total of four foreign feature films and one Czech short film. There was also great interest in two subsequent debates with filmmakers, politicians, experts or the Dutch ambassador.

None of the outputs of our LAB would have become a reality without our experts, friendly organizations and other collaborators, but also without our donors. You can support our long-term efforts for better cities at www.nakrmteautomat.cz. Thanks!

Zažít město jinak (Take Back the Streets)

This year’s neighborhood festivities Zažít město jinak was also a jubilee. They were held in almost 200 locations across the country for the eighteenth time! On that occasion, we interviewed witnesses who were at the first year in 2006. For the jubilee neighborhood chirp, we chose the motto Ulice do gala! And a large part of the organizers took him as their own. All over the country, streets, backyards, parks, clearings and squares have been transformed into welcoming public spaces for everyone. In Prague alone, we covered more than four Wenceslas Squares, which thanks to the festivities were transformed into places for community and neighborhood meetings, culture, but also education and civic activism. The festivities, which are unparalleled in their scale in Europe, attracted a number of regular and new organizers this year, to whom we thank them very much. Without their enthusiasm and hard work, the third Saturday in September, which is traditionally the main date of neighborhood fun within the framework of the European Mobility Week, would not be exceptional in our cities.

It was challenging, but beautiful! We at AutoMat thank you very much! Without you visitors, performers, local organizers and donors, the Experience the City festivities would not be possible. The event could not remain independent, non-commercial and accessible to all. Help us overcome neighborhood barriers too. Support the organization of the event at www.nakrmteautomat.cz. Thanks!

Bike to Work

Over 25,600 people from 2,500 companies and 52 host cities were active in this year’s 13th year of the country-wide May challenge. Together, they covered more than 5,729,000 km and thus saved 739 tons of CO2 (compared to the same distance traveled by car). Typographer Jan Charvát was the author of the design of this year’s May Challenge. In the Cycle Employer of the Year 2023 poll, we honored 17 companies across the Czech Republic. Hradec Králové became the Cycling City od 2023, Ostrava is historically the second Cykloskokan, and Otrokovice entered the Hall of Fame for the second time. As part of the evaluation of cycling cities, this year we also used the unique tool CykloRank Česko for the first time, a ranking that ranks Czech cities according to the ratio of cycling infrastructure to the length of the road network. We also directly participated in the creation of CykloRank. The 6th year of the January Challenge attracted over 2,000 people across the country, and the 7th year of the September Challenge, which this year was favored by exceptionally warm weather, covered a total of almost 114,000 kilometers as part of 12,600 active routes registered in the Bike to Work system.

None of the Bike to Work challenges could take place without active local and corporate coordinators, participants, but also without our donors. You can support the challenge and long-term efforts of the AutoMat association for better cities at www.nakrmteautomat.cz. Thanks!

Education

education
In March, we established cooperation with ZŠ Grafická in Prague’s Smíchov. Together with our Laboratory of Sustainable Urbanism, we have planned routes for individual classes. During April and May, there were interactive walks for first grade classes. For each class, the program was prepared according to the age and number of children after consultation with the class teacher. On the walk, the children learned to cross safely in places without pedestrian crossings. They also participated in a survey of the types of means of transport and the number of their representation in the given locality. They played games during which they realized the space requirements of passenger cars, bicycles and trams. They found out the advantages and disadvantages of individual modes of transport and their impact on the environment. And they also learned something about the history of Smíchov and its development in terms of transport, infrastructure and civic amenities. In May, a series of videos, AutoMat’s guide to sustainable mobility, was shown for secondary school students, followed by a discussion with transport expert Vratislav Filler from the Laboratory of Sustainable Urbanism. After the screening and discussion, the children were given space to fill in a worksheet so that they could better remember the new knowledge and come back to it.

In May, we also organized a project day focused on safe cycling for children in the Na Dvorečku forest nursery school. The children learned, for example, what belongs to the mandatory equipment of a cyclist, got to know the basic traffic signs and tried to ride an obstacle course with a slalom.

During the summer holidays, we processed the feedback from the participants of the educational programs and updated the tools and worksheets.

From September to November, interactive walks took place in Prague 8 for classes from ZŠ Nad Šutkou. Mrs. Rambousková, the principal, approached us at the initiative of one of the parents of the school’s students.

Our educational programs are in accordance with RVP for primary schools. They follow the theme Man and his world and the sub-theme The place where I live. The programs also fulfill a preventive function in the area of ​​children’s safety when moving in traffic, whether as pedestrians, passengers in public transport or as cyclists. The project also fulfills the content of environmental education.

None of our educational activities could take place without active teachers and other school workers, parents and children, but also without our donors. You can support the long-term efforts of the AutoMat association for better cities and a sustainable future at www.nakrmteautomat.cz. Thanks!

What did we achieve in 2022

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.

Bike to Work

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.

Our achievements of 2021

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?

Sustainable Urbanism Lab

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.

Take Back Your Street

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.

Bike to Work Campaign

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.

Other activities

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!

Achievements of Automat

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).

 

Contact Us

Site office

Mailing address (including invoices)
Auto*Mat, z. s.
Slezská 11, 120 00 Praha 2
e-mail: auto-mat@auto-mat.cz
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
BIC/SWIFT: FIOBCZPPXXX

Bank info (supporters gifts)
If you want to support us other way than via „donation form“ please contact Ondřej Suk (ondrej.suk@auto-mat.cz)

Bank account of AutoMat’s donors club (Fio Banka): 2400063333/2010

 

Statutory bodies

Managing Director
Martin Šotola

Financial Director
Barbora Michková

The executive board
Tereza Vohryzková
Michal Křivohlávek
Martin Šotola

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.

Other contacts

Zažít město jinak (Take Back Your Street)

Barbora Hradečná

Do práce na kole (Bike To Work)

Dominika Lenthárová

Sustainable Urbanism Lab
Michal Kalina

PR
Anna Kociánová
Natálie Veselá

Donors club
Ondrej Suk

Donations of companies and institutions
Hana Hakl

GenerationU (education projects)
Kateřina Jarošová