Brno - old painting of the Czech city overlooking Liberty Square with trams and people. Janacek connection. (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images)

Regional Signal

Brno’s integrated strategy: using EU funds, connecting urban and rural communities for a brighter future


Brno, Czechia

In the heart of South Moravia, the city of Brno stands as a vibrant hub of culture, education, and innovation.

It is the Czech Republic’s mighty second city.

Nestled within its historic boundaries also lies a tale of growth and connectivity, where urban and rural territories converge to shape a dynamic landscape of opportunity and progress.

Over the past decade and a half, Brno has witnessed a remarkable expansion, not only within its bustling city limits but also across its metropolitan and rural peripheries.

With a population exceeding 400,000, Brno is bigger than any Czech city apart from Prague (1.3 million), drawing individuals seeking a blend of urban amenities and tranquil suburban living.

Its cafes, bistros, and Game of Thrones-style castle have drawn Guardian travel writers. Repeatedly.

Frantisek Kubes, head of Brno’s city strategic development and cooperation department, sheds light on the city’s transformative journey, emphasising the city’s evolving landscape and the challenges it entails.

“Our city has seen unprecedented growth, with an influx of residents seeking a better quality of life,” Kubes remarks.

“However, this expansion has posed significant challenges in maintaining vital links between the city and its surrounding territories,” he cautions.

Indeed, Brno’s growth into a sprawling metropolis has necessitated a concerted effort to foster connectivity and cooperation across its diverse landscape.

Recognising the imperative of inclusive governance, the city embarked on an ambitious journey towards integrated development, aimed at empowering communities and bridging urban-rural divides.

Central to Brno’s strategy is a collaborative approach that crosses municipal boundaries and embraces shared goals and aspirations.

Through strategic partnerships with neighbouring municipalities and stakeholders, Brno has pioneered initiatives aimed at enhancing mobility, social services, and environmental sustainability.

Again, it is EU money that is crucial for the city.

“Investing over €300 million in EU funding, we have laid the foundation for a more cohesive and resilient metropolitan area,” Kubes explains.

“Our focus extends beyond mere infrastructure development; it encompasses a holistic vision of prosperity and well-being for all.”

At the heart of Brno’s integrated strategy lies a commitment to equitable access and opportunity, ensuring that citizens across the region benefit from enhanced transport networks, improved social services, and sustainable urban environments.

From the extension of tram lines to the creation of cycling paths and green spaces, Brno’s initiatives exemplify a holistic approach to urban planning and community development.

“The success of our endeavours lies not only in tangible outcomes but in the spirit of collaboration and mutual support that defines our metropolitan area,” Kubes reflects.

“By fostering dialogue and sharing experiences, we have forged bonds of resilience and innovation that transcend municipal boundaries.”

As Brno looks towards the future, its integrated strategy stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for cities across Europe.

Through relentless commitment and visionary leadership, Brno continues to redefine the contours of urban governance, embracing diversity and interconnectedness as catalysts for sustainable growth and prosperity.

“Together, we embark on a journey of shared prosperity, where cities and hinterlands converge to shape a brighter tomorrow for generations to come,” says Kubes.

“In the tapestry of our city, every thread tells a story of resilience and renewal,” says the city official.