Kateřinice, Zlín Region, Czech Republic

Kateřinice with its some 1.000 inhabitants is located in the East of the Czech Republic in the region of Zlín and is about 20 kilometres from the Slovakian border. It is a street village with scattered settlements that is well included in the hillocked landscape.

One of the remarkable factors about the village community is the strong influence of the Evangelic church on daily life. Main focus lies with the diligence and dedication of the inhabitants, social solidarity, helpfulness, respect for one another as well as the education of younger generations. The active club life is extraordinary, after all there are over 20 different clubs as well as the family center. The club of chimers is internationally recognised, and it is of great value to the village identity. Knowing of the great importance of human potential, these clubs enjoy great financial support from the municipality.

In Kateřinice, there are a total of 442 work spaces available, most of which are within the lumber industry, machine engineering, construction and within the company Gufex, one of the most famous producers of ice hockey pucks world wide.

The village renewal process in Kateřinice began in 1990 when the priest contacted other parishes in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands and initiated first exchanges of knowledge and in collaboration with the municipality created a consciousness process.

Based on an analysis of strengths and weaknesses, the following three priorities were determined with clear and realistic goals: Firstly, the strengthening of the community spirit with special focus on children and youth; secondly, the expansion of transport and technological infrastructure; and thirdly, the protection of the environment. In all three fields, successful projects could be launched within the first development phase. In 2012, a first evaluation took place and the set goals in each fiel were actively strengthened and deepened.

For example, the subject of accessibility was implemented in regards to family-friendliness on the one hand and as an expansion to the quality of life of older generations on the other hand. Thereby, an overall improvement of the road and pathway network was achieved. Aside from maintaining the “original” infrastructure, it was aimed to supply a strong internet connection to the village.

Within the agricultural field, intensive corn farming is gradually being replaced by dairy cattle farming, to achieve more diversity in the soil and to minimise the dangers of flooding. Also, a focus is put on the production and usage of wooden pellets.

Kateřinice is a member of several transregional organisations and communal cooperations. At the same time, there is intense collaboration within the village between church, municipality, kindergarten, schools and associations, which leads to the village being a vivid place of communal togetherness.

Evaluated: 2016