The concept of the Metropolitan Plan, which was published today by the municipality of the capital, is to cease to protect not only the areas around the Hvezda Game Reserve (Prague 6), Parukarka Park (Prague 3), and the slopes around the botanic garden and the zoo in Troja (Prague 7) but also hundreds of other parks and green areas all over the city from being built on. Schools, kindergartens, and sports areas are to lose their protection as well. According to the Arnika’s Citizens Support Centre, the plan does not include any rules to limit this building. Prague citizens and city districts can post their comments on this project during July.
The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) is giving developers a free hand and wants to allow practically anything to be built almost anywhere. It proposes thickening the built-up area of Prague at the expense of parks, green areas, sports areas, and even public zones. It ignores the needs of the inhabitants and creates a basis for worsening the conditions for life in the capital. Vendula Zahumenska, Arnika’s attorney, claims after reading the published project that everybody should go through the Metropolitan Plan and make some comments in his own interest.
The change of unbuilt-up areas to built-up ones is an irreversible step. In the future one tiny modification to the local plan might lead to the development of any kind of building instead of parks or garden villages. On the contrary, it is basically impossible to change built-up areas back to parkland. Prague would have to spend hundreds of millions or even billions of crowns to repurchase the estates.
The map below illustrating the scope of buildable areas in the project of the Metropolitan Plan is an attachment to this press release. All the areas inside the dashed line, including green areas, parks, and public areas, are to be built on.
“Prague’s Mayor, Adriana Krnacova, considers the publishing of the Metropolitan Plan to be a historical event. This is not fully true. The measure of transparency is truly unique. The people of Prague have never had an option to familiarize themselves with a local plan for longer than one month, as they do now. However, the Prague Institute of Planning and Development is not able to prepare a plan which would ensure that Prague can keep up with progressive cities of Europe even after six years of work,” states Martin Skalsky from Arnika.
Arnika, in cooperation with a team of experts, has prepared detailed comments on the main risks which are connected with the project of the Metropolitan Plan. An article on one of the following topics gets published in Czech on Arnika’s website every week: parks and green areas; transport in the city; schools, nurseries and other public amenities; monument protection and skyscrapers; accessibility of housing and finally the use of brownfields, such as the plots of land belonging to Prague’s freight stations. Arnika has also created a manual for the people of Prague to write their comments on the Metropolitan Plan. The Arnika is also prepared for answering a volume of questions on this issue until the end of July.
The Metropolitan Plan will become the most important document for the decisions of the building authorities and will influence the surface of Prague in the upcoming decades. It will have a major influence on the lives and surroundings of all the inhabitants of Prague, who will have an opportunity to exert an influence on the final result in July. They can browse through the plan even now and they can see how it will affect the place where they live. The period for posting comments is the 30 days from 27th June until 26th July. Arnika explains the contexts of the Metropolitan Plan to the people of Prague at the website www.zmenyprahy.cz.
English subtitles available in the video