Urban Alternatives is launched by a collaboration of different actors which are united in their efforts to create a more democratic, just and sustainable world. This map seeks to highlight initiatives that work towards this goal. Proposal for initiatives not listed yet can be made directly on the website. This process is open to new collaborations.

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Prazd ne domy

Inclusive Housing & Public Space

What challenges did this initiative look to address?

There’s a large number of empty and dilapidated houses in the Czech Republic. They are mainly located in the northwest, the former Sudetenland, where many original property ties have been broken in the past.

Reasons for the widespread vacancy can be traced back to nationalization, where original owners confiscated their property but – since living elsewhere – could often not manage or maintain the property which consequently fell into a state of disrepair. Other cases of vacancy are based on real estate speculation or unclear ownership status.

Prazd ne domy wants to map empty buildings in the Czech Republic in order to understand the structural challenges that cause vacancy.

What has changed?

Through the online map the community does not only quantify and illustrate the problem of vacancy but also works towards building an archive of Czech building culture. Furthermore, they provide a platform and online community through which potential future users can connect.

Prazd ne domy creates a database of abandoned and dilapidated houses. Through crowd-sourcing they continuously build an archive of photographs and histories of historic building culture that may soon disappear forever. Currently, they have 2,735 empty homes in their database, of which 224 are known to have been sold by the owners and there is an attempt to revive them.

How did it happen?

Prazd ne domy originated in 2015 as an online community around the topic of vacant homes in the Czech Republic. Since 2016 they organize guided tours, through which they have created increased awareness of the importance of the local building culture and existing building stock.

The map works through crowd-sourced information on vacant homes. People can post images, share information on the condition of the houses as well as their ownership status. Others can add, adjust or update information if needed. If a house is successfully being renovated or finds a caring new owner, it is still kept in the database to showcase positive examples of careful renovation or creative interim use.

The community always looks for the cause of the vacancy; they try to find out who the owner is and fight against the purposeful deterioration of buildings. They also publish cases where a dilapidated house can be saved by an interested group or motivated individuals. Through a vivid online community – with currently has about 26,000 followers on Facebook – they want to establish connections between people active in the field of reviving old building stock and bringing life to formerly vacant homes and industrial spaces.

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