We worked on and participated in a number of initiatives in 2021.
The city's participatory budget, for example, is well worth mentioning. It concerns the inhabitants of Písek's ability to decide on the use of a portion of the city budget's cash. The downside of the pilot year beginning in 2020 was the requirement for personal identification, which required persons interested in participating in the experiment to visit the town hall. In this regard, simplification occurred last year when our office introduced the option of identifying via the so-called e-identity system. So you can do it from the comfort of your own home, without having to leave.
Last year, energy was a hot topic. In the spring, Smart Písek created a new job position, Energy Manager, with the help of a Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs subsidy. Our new colleagues' major responsibility will be to look for ways to save energy in the entities that fall under the administration of the city of Písek. However, it also contributes to the development of new energy sources, particularly in the field of community energy, which we at Smart Písek value highly.
The persistence of shared cycling might be highlighted in the field of mobility. Between May and November, Nextbike Czech Republic s.r.o. was able to transport hundreds of bicycles. In Písek, alternative public transportation has clearly taken hold. Over 20,000 blue and white bicycles have been borrowed, demonstrating this. From April of this year, it will also be able to travel in this manner in Písek.
The cultural offer in the city was also increased with the support of the Smart Písek office. On the premises of Sladovna, an amazing interactive installation called Urbania was organized in collaboration with them. It provided tourists with an intriguing look into the inner workings of the metropolis.
The Do It! (Podnikni to!) program aided business development once more. It was a series of business courses for individuals who were interested. They learnt from experienced lecturers-entrepreneurs what to avoid when starting a business and what, on the other hand, contributes to a faster achievement of the goal, namely, their own successful firm. The participants met in the Písek Municipal Library for several autumn weeks, and our office oversaw the project's successful execution. The classes drew extraordinary interest, and many will be happy to return in February of current year.
The pilot year of the event Head in the Sand (Hlava v Písku) was one of the office's most conspicuous operations. At the end of October, it was a weekly event that allowed the public to learn about their city from a different perspective. Anyone with a curiosity could peek into areas of the city administration that are not ordinarily open to the public. People, for example, went on a guided tour of the Písek Mountains or visited the city heating plant, composting plant, water treatment plant, and trash sorting facility. The award-winning lecture by climatologist Václav Cílek was also one of the highlights of the program. The high level of interest in the Head in the Sand event among the town's residents and visitors secured its continuance in 2022.
From the perspective of the Smart Písek office, the previous year was a success. Especially since, despite the difficulties brought on primarily by the epidemic, we were able to deepen citizen collaboration and strengthen their participation in the city. We intend to keep this pattern going this year as well.