Nitra is the fourth largest city in Slovakia, and capital of the Nitra region. It lies in the valley of the river Nitra, in western Slovakia, between flatlands and mountains. It is also one of the oldest cities in the country. In terms of settlement structure of the Slovak Republic, the city of Nitra is defined as a centre of supraregional to nationwide importance and in some specific functions of international importance. It is considered an important growth pole in regional context, however, due to its proximity to the capital city of Bratislava, there are polarisation and agglomeration effects currently present with a high probability of becoming stronger. The economic base of the city is predominantly industrial. The city of Nitra is dubbed as the location of the largest agricultural centre of the Slovak Republic as well as a university city. Its landscape and surroundings as well as demographic situation have changed considerably in the last three decades. During this period, Nitra has experienced net population loss (since 1997 Nitra has lost almost 6.4 thousand residents) mainly because of suburbanisation processes as well as outmigration from the region and, in recent years, foreign immigration.
The Municipality of Nitra represents the lowest level of territorial unit and self-government in Slovakia. The city is governed by the Mayor (Marek Hattas) and the City Council. The Mayor is the head of the city and its chief executive. The city council is the legislative body, with 31 council members. The head of the Nitra City Hall is the Head of Municipal Office, responsible for operations for the majority of departments at the city hall.
The recent increase in economic activities and immigration has led to problems of congestion, public services provision and inclusion. The city is trying to resolve these problems by promoting alternative modes of transport – mainly bicycle transport. City management have also vowed to be the first city in Slovakia to prepare a comprehensive migration policy. The first step was establishing a Community Centre for Work and Knowledge Mobility, the first of its kind in Slovakia. They also implemented participatory budgeting through the programme “I’m changing my city”, financing innovative public benefit activities, revitalisation of public spaces and creative ideas of Nitra’s citizens. In 2019, Nitra City organised a participatory workshop “Hackathon” with the chief architect of the city, other experts and citizens aiming to revitalise and redesign the pedestrian zone.
NITRA will be actively involved in all tasks in WP4, Reversible Multifunctional Open-source Urban Landscape in Nitra.