Prague is one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in the world. But what about the current development of the metropolis? Long-term problems include slow construction and a lack of new building plots. The solution lies in the revitalization of the so-called brownfields, ie currently unused places that once served, for example, railway stations or factories. In Prague, the area of the largest neglected localities gives about 250 hectares, which is more than fifty times the area of Wenceslas Square. The lives of locals are often complicated by outdated transport connections and a minimum number of parks and places to relax or for meetings.
According to a number of experts, Prague has just „got stuck“ only on historic real estate and should be modernized. The management of the capital works closely with the Institute of Planning and Development on new projects. Now, are they organizing an interactive exhibition called Prague Tomorrow? Prague priorities, where you will get acquainted with projects that are to change the face of the Czech capital in the future. You can visit it in the Center for Architecture and Urban Planning until the end of December this year. Let's introduce some of them!
When we say the Bubny-Zátory district, many Praguers probably won't even know where to look for it. And it is no wonder. It is the largest and one of the most neglected brownfields in Prague 7 and its transformation has been going on for many years. In 2018, Prague finally announced a tender for a territorial study, and an architectural study was created, which will be approved this year. Approximately 11,000 new flats will be built here for about 25,000 inhabitants and will be complemented by administrative and commercial buildings, some of which will reach the level of the 21st floor. There will also be a central park with an area of 6 hectares. The close proximity to the city center and the rich transport infrastructure further increase the attractiveness of this location. In addition, Letná and Holešovice will naturally connect.
The Vltava Philharmonic should become a cultural landmark. As the name suggests, it is to grow in the Vltavská area in Holešovice. Prague wants to keep up with other world capitals, in which modern concert halls have long stood. The Philharmonic should be a symbol of Prague's construction in the 21st century. So far, however, the entire project is in solution and international architectural competition will be announced for its design.
In the future, however, it will not be the only space in Holešovice that will take care of social life. The Prague Market is awaiting renovation. The revitalization will take place with careful preservation of the listed building of the Slaughterhouse Exchange and various industrial elements. The well-known fruit and vegetable market will remain but will be complemented by other services, shops, and space for cultural and leisure activities.
A similar situation prevails during the implementation of development projects in Smíchov. The transformation of the Smíchov railway station creates new areas for construction and improves the entire infrastructure. The station itself will be transformed into a modern transport terminal facilitating transfers between trains, buses, public transport, and the metro. A new multifunctional district will be built in the location, connected by a long pedestrian city street.
New flats will also be added on Rohan Island and on the territory of the former Žižkov freight station. "We consider the release of unused areas for construction to be a step in the right direction. Systematic cooperation with the public administration on new projects can bring a solution to the current shortage of flats in the capital. At the same time, the overall quality of life will improve, ie the positive effects will be reflected in other parts of the city, “says Jiří Kučera, director of the real estate agency Luxent – Exclusive Properties.
Prague also plans to revitalize public spaces. Restoration awaits all major Prague squares – Wenceslas, Charles, Lesser Town, and Victory Squares. Probably the biggest intervention will be Wenceslas Square, where the zones for various types of transport will be more strongly defined. Above all, trams return to the top part of it, and cars are reduced.
In the transport infrastructure, one of the most discussed projects is the new metro line D. Already in the middle of 2019, the City Council of Prague approved its construction, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, not only construction work was postponed, but also construction tenders or deadlines for tenders were extended. So the excavation will probably start in the spring of next year. Ten stations, including one transfer station, plan to finally connect Náměstí Míru and Depot Písnice.
A new rail connection should simplify transport to the airport. It will be created thanks to the modernization of the existing railway section between Masaryk Railway Station and Kladno Ostrovec and the construction of a new exit to Václav Havel Airport. The completion of the City (inner) Circuit will significantly facilitate car traffic in Prague. So far, only 70 % of it has been implemented. The construction of the Dvorecký Bridge between the Zlíchov and Podolí embankments will ensure a better connection of the banks of the Vltava river for public transport, cyclists, and pedestrians.
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