New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic

Říčany, photo: Miow Miow, Public Domain

A new ranking of the best and worst places to live in the Czech Republic has just been published. The country’s major cities and surrounding municipalities generally performed well, while towns in the poorer regions of the northwest and northeast tend to lie at the bottom of the table. The index primarily aims to provide people with a list of locations that have a high quality of life, while also giving municipalities the means through which to better target their public spending.

Říčany,  photo: Miow Miow,  Public Domain
More than 200 municipalities were measured according to UN and OECD methodology in a joint effort by big data analysis company Obce v Datech and consulting firm Deloitte.

Using government statistics, as well as open sources from the internet as a data resource, analysts first selected the top municipality in each category and then compared the others in relation to the one that performed best.

Deloitte manager Filip Neterda summarised the regional pattern of the best performing areas.

“In terms of regions, it is the two biggest cities, Prague and Brno, as well as their surroundings. Then we have a sort of belt stretching from the south to the north with Prague in the middle.”

When all categories were combined, the Central Bohemian town of Říčany, which lies on the outskirts of Prague, came out on top as the location with the best quality of life, retaining its title based on the same index published last year.

Mayor Vladimír Kořen was understandably satisfied with the result. However, he stressed that the town is also focused on improving those areas in which Říčany did not score so well.

“I am of course very happy. But the index is especially important to me as an indicator of where we have to improve, for example, in categories such as transport, accident rates, or the capacity of kindergartens and elementary schools.”

Better identifying the relative deficiencies of municipalities is one of the main aims of the index, says Deloitte manager Filip Neterda.

“Our major goal is to actually help the cities to get their strategic priorities right, to better target the areas into which public investment is required. Sometimes we see a mismatch between public investment and regional needs. We would be really happy if it could serve as a tool for public investment on the basis of a city.

Říčany,  photo: Štěpánka Budková
“It would also be great is if the cities with similar structural problems could use the data when talking to the government or regional authorities in order to secure specific public sector funding.”

With property prices rising, the managing partner in Deloitte’s Advisory Services, Pavel Šiška, told the Czech News Agency that the index also serves as a guide for people choosing a place to live.

However, the influx of new citizens can also be a problem for municipalities, says the mayor of Říčany, whose town population has grown from 14,000 to 16,500 since he entered office nine years ago. He says the key to avoiding infrastructural problems caused by overpopulation lies in effective territorial planning.

“When the population increase is not regulated, this can have a negative impact on municipal capacities, such as education, transport and sanitation.

"In Říčany we are fighting this and trying to slow it down. Our territorial plan is based around the philosophy that we first have to create the necessary infrastructure and only then give larger developer projects the green light.”