Bratislava criticised for its transport and traffic jams

Slovakia's capital ranked 84th in the 2019 Smart City Index.

Bratislava came 84th in the 2019 IMD Smart City IndexBratislava came 84th in the 2019 IMD Smart City Index (Source: Sme)

Bratislava residents have expressed their criticism towards the city management for the capital's failure to become smarter.

It suffers, for example, from low-quality health facilities, poor cleanliness of the city in its poorest parts, and the poor reception of minorities and foreigners in the city.

This stems from the latest Smart City Index, in which the Slovak capital ranked 84th out of 102 monitored cities around the world.

Within the central European Region, Bratislava ranked the worst, the TASR newswire reported.

Horrible tailbacks and public transportation

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Bratislavans perceive the transport within the capital as the worst, especially when it comes to traffic jams and poor public transportation. The lack of green spaces is also perceived negatively, TASR wrote.

Of the five areas evaluated - health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities (work and education), and city administration - Bratislava received a significantly negative assessment in all but two of them.

These include accessibility to good schools and job creation in the opportunities area and public safety and air quality in the health and safety area, TASR reported.

Difference not felt yet

The city of Bratislava has said the capital's infrastructure is moving ahead, but it will take several years for citizens to feel the difference in their lives.

"Investments in the reconstruction and construction of tramway radials, the renewal of public transport vehicles, cycling lanes and stopping the growth of cars through an approved parking policy will bear fruit gradually over the years, not in a few months," said Bratislava spokesperson Peter Bubla, as quoted by TASR.

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At the same time, they made the environment one of their priorities. This includes the zoning of the Bratislava forest park, which has already been introduced. The Bratislava city hall is also aware of the fact that it will have to increase the proportion of greenery in the city.

"As far as public spaces are concerned, they will also undergo the greatest changes in history in the coming years,” Bubla added, as quoted by TASR.

To achieve a higher level of safety in Bratislava, a higher number of municipal police officers and better involvement of active citizens are indeed needed.

“Health care and quality education are also important for people's satisfaction with living in their city, but Bratislava does not have any tools to directly intervene in this respect, "Bubla said.

The Smart City Index is published by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre's Smart City Observatory in cooperation with the Singapore University of Technology and Design. It focuses on assessing how citizens perceive the scope and impact of cities' efforts to be smart and to balance economic and technological aspects of the development with human aspects, which are important to the lives of their citizens.

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