B3.2 SUSTAINBALE USE OF THE TERRITORY
The basic prerequisite for sustainable use of land is the permanent effort to harmonise private and public interests with the objective to satisfy entitled economic and social interests while keeping high quality environment. In the last two decades the City of Prague has principally changed the character of its development from growing quantity (reduction of area occupied by new development, increased share of recovered already developed areas) to increased intensity and quality of usage of the current premises and lands. From monofunctional zones of residential housing estates, manufacturing, or warehousing premises to greater varieties and mixed functionality minimising demand for transport services and helps to convert such areas into fully functional city structure. From anarchy of the new development of isolated colonies of family houses, shopping centres, and warehouses built from scratch outside the developed areas, towards stricter nature conservation and landscape protection and controlled functionality and spatial arrangement.
Usage of brownfields (non-used and devastated areas and premises)
The valid Land-Use plan of the City of Prague deals with, inter alia, embedding of degraded and non-used industrial, agricultural, transport, or military areas into the City organism and creating this way more effective opportunities for investors inside the City and reducing encroachment of so far not developed areas for new purposes.
In the last twenty years brownfields have found new use in Prague namely in Smíchov in Prague 5 (new centre of the City District on locations of former industrial sites with area of almost 7 hectares) and in Vysočany in Prague 9 (multipurpose hall on former premises of ČKD machinery company and following projects transforming the land of total area of 21 hectares). On the Rohanský Island and Maniny in Prague 8 there was the renewal of the Vltava River embankments launched (as of yet they have been implemented on 2.6 hectare of 22 hectare area). Some smaller reconstructions were done in relation with fixing of flood damage in Karlín and Holešovice. A new residential set was built on the site of the former malt works in Prague 6 - Podbaba.
The share of the brownfields’ transformation implemented so far accounts for 3% of the total area dedicated to the new usage yet a great majority of areas out of almost the total 750 hectares in Prague is in focus of investors and project of the new utilisations are under preparation.
The most important Prague’s brownfields intended for change are the vast areas of the former Station Praha - Bubny, Cargo Station Praha - Žižkov, former Docks in Libeň, premises of the former sugar mill in Modřany, and continuing transformation of Smíchov in the area of Station Praha - Smíchov, furthermore, in the area of Malešice and Hostivař, in Jinonice, Radlice, Nusle, and on other sites.
Besides the usage of brownfields and new development on free lands majority of important buildings were reconstructed. Urban developed areas were mostly principally renovated (District and local centres in Vysočany, Uhříněves, Suchdol, or Vinoř, for instance). At some places the reconstructions are being completed (for example, completion in National Avenue, Spálená Street, Smíchov, Těšnov, and Albertov).
Further indicator of the land use is population density on urban developed areas. Average development density of new residential localities is within the range 200–350 inhabitant/ha while the apartment resident number is 2.0–2.5 inhabitant/apartment. On localities of low-rise family development the average density is 50–150 inhabitant/ha while apartment resident number is 2.5–3.5 inhabitant/apartment. The population density increase results from the fact housing estates are concentrated by further residential development, completions, and by additional structures to the current buildings yet also by construction of high-capacity of residential, office, and commercial areas on mixed lands.
In relation with the land use commuting to work and school can be also evaluated. The importance of workforce mobility has been ever increasing, the number of commuters has been growing. Approximately 550 thousand persons, who live in Prague, commute to work across Prague and over 150 thousand persons, who come from other localities.
Objectives and measures planned
The fundamental long-term measure is the adopted principles of the land development by means of functional and spatial control anchored in the valid Land-Use Plan of the Municipality of the Capital City of Prague, or in the Principles of the Land Use Development of the Capital City of Prague. They are in detail reformulated in the concept of the new Land Use Plan of the Capital City of Prague (completed in August 2009). Other documents affecting sustainable development of the territory are the Strategic Plan of the Capital City of Prague and the prepared Management Plan of the Historical Reserve of the Capital City of Prague, registered in the list of world heritage of UNESCO.
The preparation of land includes the determination of areas for public infrastructure dedicated to the municipality development, or as public benefit structures and beneficial measures of non-construction nature. The concept of the Land-Use plan respects the approved Prognosis, Concept, and Strategy of Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Capital City of Prague. For decisive intentions the measure of construction closure is declared or considered to be declared as a protective measure.
Prague must also deal with a principal conceptual change in the transport system service. It is proposed to complete the formerly developed system of two ring roads and radial roads connected to the national highway and road network, yet also much higher involvement of railway transport into passenger transport inside the City, significant support to rail transport (new underground line D, prolongation of the line A, development of tram routes), and, at the same time, progressive control of entry of individual automotive transport into the downtown areas of the City.
In order to fulfil the vision of the long-term sustainable development of the City protection of greenery in the City shall be stricter and added greenery to deficient areas and its incorporation into the wholesome system based on the principle of the green belt around the City. The obligatory proportion of greenery in the new development shall be determined in the control regulations of the Land-Use Plan.
Fig. B3.2.1 Lands for recovery or reuse of degraded areas, state as at 2010
Lands of troublesome use occupy 1,707 hectares of developed areas,
out of that brownfields account for 747 ha,
converted lands 508 ha,
and devastated areas 452 ha.
Brownfields are lands of abandoned industrial and warehousing premises and buildings, agricultural premises and buildings, greenhouses, sections of railway system, military premises, and others originally developed areas, for which new usage shall be found in accordance with the City sustainable development and efforts for improved quality of urban environment.
Converted lands have characteristic of lands, sets of buildings, or buildings inside developed (urban) areas. Their function and operation related to these functions is not appropriate to the site location and potential of the plots, or their developed state is not appropriate to the function they serve for. These lands have usually higher economic potential than that they have at present.
Devastated areas are deprived or mismanaged lands without buildings and structures (they are often formed in relation to construction activities in their vicinity), which must be recultivated, used for further development, or returned to state of undeveloped areas, greenery areas, or into urban landscape potentially.