Paper published in Children´s Geographies

PhD student Pavel Frydrych had an article published in the impacted journal Children’s Geographies: Changes in children’s rhythms of everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic in a small town in the Prague metropolitan area.
The restrictions imposed in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected people’s everyday life, including those of children. For an extended period, children had to deal with the closure of schools and subsequent online teaching, which disrupted their daily rhythms.
  • This study aimed to determine how children coped with the changes in the rhythms of their everyday life.
  • It provides insight into the diverse coping mechanisms employed by children during challenging times and highlights the importance of rhythm in establishing a sense of normalcy and stability in everyday life.
  • The study is based on semi-structured interviews with children aged 12–17 years living in a small town in the Prague metropolitan area.
  • The results show that the coping strategies adopted in response to the change in baseline rhythm varied greatly among children. Introducing new rhythms into everyday life was a long process, and some children tried to maintain the rhythms created even after returning to classroom teaching.
Read the article here.

We have completed the Final Report for the START project!

We have successfully completed one of the outcomes of the project START (START Programme) – the Final Report, which links and summarises all the results of this project. The project and the report share the same title: ‘What about your locality? Life-course differences in experiencing and perceiving residential neighbourhoods. The project officially ended at the end of March 2023, and all four researchers Pavel Frydrych, Niloufar Ghafouriazar, Marie Horňáková and Jan Sýkora worked on the project and this Final Report. The project aimed to examine how various residential groups experience, perceive and are satisfied with their neighbourhoods. Specifically, we analysed individuals’ functional and emotional links to residential surroundings in different life-course stages living in different neighbourhoods. The groups included older children from the suburbs, young families from housing estates, and older adults from the gentrifying inner city. This allowed us to examine the topic from various perspectives leading to a comprehensive knowledge of the complex person-place relation.   In Final Report, we posed the following research questions:
  • How do distinct life-course groups living in different neighbourhood types experience and perceive their neighbourhoods?
  • How are residents functionally and emotionally attached to their neighbourhoods?
  • Which are the factors that influence the residents’ attachment to their neighbourhoods?
You can read the whole report here.

Successful finalisation of the 4EU+ UNREAD project’s second edition

The final conference of the 4EU+ course “Urban Regulations and Political Memory” was held in Prague at the Faculty of Science on the 23rd and 24th of March 2023. Course „Urban Regulations and Political Memory: Towards understanding Spatio-Temporal aspects of Urban Development” (UNREAD) is one of the educational projects developed under Flagship 1 of the 4EU+ alliance. A team of historians, lawyers and geographers from University of Warsaw, University of Milan, and Charles University conducts this interdisciplinary course. The first edition started in October 2021 and was finalised in March 2022, while the second began in October 2022 and was completed in March 2023. The topics of this course are driving forces of urban changes, the development of smart cities and interdisciplinary methodologies of urban studies applied to cases in Czechia, Poland and Italy. The final conference was organized by the Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development. Two members of our research team (Martin Ouředníček and Adel Petrović) together with master students of geography (Jakub Kraft and Daniel Bečvář) and the head of the Map Collection (Eva Novotná) prepared the whole two-days program. Students of the course presented their research project outcomes: suburbanisation, smart villages, social housing, spatial planning, urban green areas…These are some of the topics presented by students during two panels on the first day of the conference. On the second day, the main coordinator of the project dr. Karolina Wojciechowska led a panel discussion and asked the participants for feedback. The positive aspects pointed out that the course is interdisciplinary, interactive and international, providing hands-on knowledge and preparing students for not only academic but also professional careers. The students mentioned that meeting in person, not only at the end but also at the beginning of the course, would make the research and their engagement easier and smoother. Throughout the two days, the participants could enjoy a guided tour around the inner-city of Prague, visit the map collection of the Geographical Institute, and participate in workshops aimed at integration with colleagues from other universities and developing international contacts.

4EU+ UNDREAD Conference

We would like to invite you to the March conference, which is the outcome of the interdisciplinary course of the same name, Urban Regulations and Political Memory.
  • When: 23.-24.3.2023, Where: Faculty of Arts, Albertov 6, Leva Rýsovna
Detailed programme here.

Study PhD with us!

Are you thinking of studying for a PhD? Are you interested in urban studies?

Come study with us!

We currently have 5 interesting topics listed in the areas of everyday mobility and commuting, migration processes, use of urban space, crime and segregation.

Topics and supervisors

Daily mobility and commuting within the Prague metropolitan region (Martin Ouředníček) The project is based on the main ideas of time-space geography, daily paths, rhythms, and commuting within the urban environment. As an alternative to traditional commuting data from population censuses, mobile phone data is employed together with questionnaires and qualitative methods of daily mobility pattern investigation. For the project, the mobile phone operator´s data is prepared. Potential research questions should be formulated as follows: (1) What are the typical spatial patterns of daily mobility within the metropolitan region? (2) How does the concentration of residents, daily users, and jobs change throughout the day? (3) What is the balance of centripetal and centrifugal processes within the metropolitan region? (4) What can we learn from the daily rhythms, and how would these outputs be used to plan different parts of metropolitan regions? And, (5) what novel methods can be employed in the analyses, visualisation, and modelling of daily patterns? Migration processes in Czechia (Martin Ouředníček) The main objective of the project is to describe and explain contemporary development of migration processes within the settlement system in Czechia. Till now, urbanisation and urban processes were investigated separately and for individual metropolitan regions. We can argue that gentrification, international migration, suburbanisation and counterurbanisation are interconnected processes which function as actions and reactions within the settlement system and are mutually dependent. While international migration and migration of young people are concentred more to the centres of large metropolitan areas, deconcentration processes as suburbanisation and counterurbanisation could be seen as reactions to these processes. The starting points for the theoretical basis of the proposed project would be theory of differential urbanisation and stages of urban development. The empirical analyses will first use data from migration database in the detail of Czech municipalities and then would be extended to selected case studies with more attention to qualitative research, mapping, and terrain work. Everyday life in a city: Conception, experience and use of urban space (Lucie Pospíšilová) The project is focused on unique conceptions, experiences and uses of urban spaces. Using qualitative research methods, the experience and spatial practices of women/children/people with disabilities in urban environment are studied and the theories and concepts of feminist geographies/children geographies or disability geography are used to understand the experience and practices. By studying unique experience in specific urban environment the existing theory can be also developed. The choice of experience as well as concrete focus of the thesis (e.g. material and discursive barriers and possibilities that shape an everyday life) can be discussed with the supervisor.  Geographies of crime and public policy (Martin Šimon) This research project provides an opportunity to explore and advance spatial criminology in Czechia. We know the crime clusters in time and space, therefore they can be targeted by place-based crime prevention strategies and policies. Traditional focus on spatial and temporal patterns of crime within cities has been increasingly linked to studies on police demand, public safety and prevention tools applied in urban space. Only recently, detailed data on crime became available for researchers and policy makers. The PhD project can use open data on crime provided by Czech police or detailed crime data with GPS coordinates, which are available to all cities and municipalities on request. Thus, pilot studies on crime prevention and field research experiments with local stakeholders are enabled. The research activities should be focused on a) criminological theory, b) crime data analysis, c) crime prevention praxis and evaluation or d) related case studies. Urban segregation of minority populations (Martin Šimon) Uneven distribution of social groups over space is a key characteristic of contemporary cities. Both position in social structure and residential location can have significant impact on daily life and life opportunities. Growth and diversification of minority population in Prague has been described, however, further insights into reproduction of segregation and complexities of segregation in daily life are needed. How do migrants look for housing? How are peer-networks developed? Do immigration experiences differ between generations and cohorts? Such research questions could be addressed for a selected minority population. Applicants are invited to identify a focus for their PhD within this area, preferably using mixed methods design and capitalising their language abilities. Theoretical framing could build on three main explanatory factors of residential segregation, which are (1) economic conditions, (2) preferences and (3) discrimination. The research project could benefit from register data on foreign population in Czechia and from previous surveys of minorities. You can find out more about the topics here, but feel free to contact the supervisors directly. PGS PROMO

A paper in Cities on housing estates in Czechia and Estonia

A paper focusing on housing estates’ trajectories was published. The authors of the paper are Kadi Kalm, Petra Špačková, Jan Sýkora and Ondřej Špaček.

The paper explores the trajectories of housing estates from 1989 to 2011 by examining neighbourhood transitions in Estonian and Czech cities based on socio-economic, demographic, and ethnic characteristics of their residents.

The authors use data from population censuses and clustering techniques to create typologies of housing estate neighbourhoods.

The results suggest that the main development trajectory of Estonian and Czech housing estates has been stability with neighbourhoods remaining in the same housing estate type and developing similarly as other urban neighbourhoods. This is mainly related to housing market specifics of post-socialist countries, and ageing being the main mechanisms of residential change of housing estates.

Other types of trajectories are differentiated along two lines: the position of the city within the settlement system and the location of heavy industry in the city during the socialist period, indicating persistent impact of socialist urban development for housing estates.


The critical catologue for NAKI project is done

We have completed work on the critical catalogue Prague suburbs: the dynamics of social environment within the growing metropolis, which complements the finished exhibition and is one of the important outputs of the NAKI project of the same name. The full catalogue can be read on the project website. We are still waiting for the printed version. But the printer is already hard at work on it!

The 4EU+ course will re-open this academic year

We are excited to share with you that last year the 4EU+ course „Urban Regulations and Political Memory: Towards Understanding Spatio-Temporal aspects of Urban Development was a great success and will continue in the new academic year too.
  • The course is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of historians, lawyers, and geographers, and it’s organised by three universities: University of Warsaw, University of Milan, and Charles University.
  • The course will be held online, except for the final stage, which will be held at Charles University, where the participants can meet the lecturers and students from other universities in person.
  • The course is open to students of all levels. If you are interested in joining the course, please send a short CV and Motivation Letter to unread@wpia.uw.edu.pl.
  • The deadline for sending the document is the 25th of September, 2022.

More information about the course, programme and how to apply:

Or you can also contact Adela Petrovic via email (petroviade@natur.cuni.cz)

We attended the ENHR conference in Barcelona

Five members of our team attended the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR) Annual Conference. This year it was entitled „The struggle for the right to housing. The pressures of globalisation and affordability in cities today“.

Who was presenting and what about?

  • From childhood to old age: Life-course differences and similarities in the perception of the residential environment (Frydrych, Horňáková, Sýkora)
  • Revisiting residential satisfaction in a post-socialist city: the case of Prague, Czech Republic (Dilnoza Tasheva)
  • Gentrification as rejuvenation of consumption, but also its population? (Adela Petrovic)


Urban and Regional Laboratory

Department of Social Geography
& Regional Development

Charles University in Prague
Faculty of Science

Contact us

Albertov 2038/6
128 43 Praha 2 - Nové Město

Contact person
Jiří Nemeškal
211 951 972

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