B3.4 CITY GREENERY
This chapter gives information on the recovery and care for the City greenery (parks, alleys), furthermore, on activities related to the management of landscape and care of greenery, including forests, creeks, and protected areas, which are managed by the Department of the Environment of the Prague City Hall (OOP MHMP).
B3.4.1 Recovery and revitalisation of Prague parks of extraordinary importance (category I)
The resolution of the Assembly of the Capital City of Prague “Principles of Greenery Management in the Capital City of Prague” (hereinafter as the Principles) sets the system of greenery management. Parks and areas under park management are subdivided into four categories. Parks of category I (so-called areas of extraordinary importance”) in the City property are under the management of City of Prague (the management is provided by the Department of Environment of the Prague City Hall). Parks of category II and category II and so-called park treated areas (category IV) in the City property are given to the management of City Districts where they are located.
The total area of gardens and parks of the City property is roughly 2,649 hectares, out of that approximately 232 hectares in category I, 71.4 hectares in category II, 188.1 hectares in category III, and 2,157.2 hectares in category IV.
Fig. B3.4.1 Gardens and parks of category I – plan
Source: OOP MHMP
The Department of the Environment of the Prague City Hall continues, besides of regular maintenance, in the inevitable recovery of parks, street alleys, and provides for greenery development projects. The care is carried out in accord with the document “Principles of the Care for Greenery in the Capital City of Prague”. Gardens and parks of category I are being gradually revitalised and recovered, on the basis of approved project design files, as follows: Letenské Orchards, Kinských Garden, premises of gardens on the Petřín Hill, Royal Game Preserve, and the park on the Vítkov Hill.
In 2009, the same way as in the past, planting of trees, shrubs, and bulbous plants, revitalisation, arborist’s works, construction works, etc. were carried out in parks of category I. Information on respective parks is given in detail in the Yearbook electronic version.
Since 1995 when Prague launched the project of Prague to Trees – Trees to Prague, within which the systematic renewal of street alleys was started, the City managed to plant over 3,210 new trees in the alleys of the system of alleys of importance category I by the end 2008.
In 2009 the gradual recovery of street alleys of category I has been continuing. The Technical Administration of Roads provides the management for alleys on the basis of a contract with the Prague City Hall. Doing the renewal emphasis is put on efforts to expand the current number of plantation points also in sections where there are no trees in the streets at present. The number of newly planted tree specimen in street alleys is always significantly higher than the number of felled trees. In 2009 there were 83 trees felled and 159 trees planted.
In 2009 works were carried out especially in localities: U Nemocnice and Lipová – Prague 2, Korunní – Prague 2, Francouzská – Prague 2, Škroupovo Square – Prague 3, Hořejší Embankment (section Vltavská–Palackého Bridge) – Prague 5, Janáčkovo Embankment – Prague 5, Střešovická – Prague 6, Českomoravská – Prague 9, Estonská – Prague 10, Sokolovská – Prague 9, Tupolevova – Prague 18 - Letňany.
Fig. B3.4.2 Renewal of alleys of category I
Source: OOP MHMP
Fig. B3.4.3 Examples of renewal of Prague's parks of category I
Source: OOP MHMP
Fig. B3.4.4 Examples of the renewal of alleys of category I in 2009
Source: OOP MHMP
All forest on the Prague territory are enlisted in the category of forests of special purposes as suburban forest with more intensive recreational function (Section 8 paragraph 2c of the Act No. 289/1995 Code on forest in valid wording). Forests are one of the most respected and protected categories of greenery in the development of the Land-Use Plan.
The forest area on the Prague territory has grown in the last hundred years by almost one third. At present, forests stands occupy approximately 10% of the City total area. The character of newly afforested areas has been changing over years as reasons for forestation has been changing from prevention of erosion, through efforts for adding beauty to the Prague surroundings and making the stay of inhabitants in nature more conformable, to ambitious establishing of forest-parks as places for short-term recreation of the inhabitants of newly developed housing estates.
On Prague’s territory there were 5,030 hectares of forest land as at 1 January 2010. The City of Prague by means of the Department of the Environment of the Prague City Hall provides for administration and management of forest plots owned by the municipality having area of almost 2,700 hectares. Further approx. 1,700 hectares are owned by the Government and approx. 630 hectares are owned by natural and legal entities. Forest management is regulated by the Forest Act and by the respective forest management plan, which is developed for the period of a decade. In January 2004 the new forest management plan began to be effective for the period 2004–2013.
Forest management of forests owned by the City of Prague
In 1994 the Assembly of the Capital City of Prague approved the intention to purchase forests owned by natural entities. By 31 December 2009 the municipality purchased over 209 hectares of forest and this way proper forest management is secured on these lands. In forests owned by the City activities of forest development and recovery (for instance conversion of spruce, locust tree, and pine monocultures of bad shape into mixed stands), renewal and maintenance of roads, picking of papers, emptying of dust baskets, and mowing of meadows. Forests are added with recreational elements, which are now registered at the number of over 3,700 pieces (namely benches and bars, baskets, pavilions, gaming elements for children, welcome boards, etc.).
The important trend in recent years, besides the permanent increase in the number of visitors, is the move to friendly, sustainable, and nature close forest management. In 2007 the forest property of the City of Prague was certified both by the system of the Pan European Forest Certification Council and in 2007 then also by the system of the Forest Stewardship Council.
In 2009 there were newly forested 149,700 m2 of originally agricultural land in the Cadastral Districts of Běchovice (12.56 ha), Dubeč (0.75 ha), and Řeporyje (0.18 ha), Klukovice (0.30 ha), and Kbely (1.18 ha). In total there were planted over 136,000 seedlings; out of that 75% were deciduous tree species. Meadow turf was also established on the area of 10,86 hectares with plantations of respective solitary trees.
Fig. B3.4.5 Development in newly afforested areas, 2002–2009
Source: OOP MHMP
Recovery of forests has been carried out in strictly small-area manner – average area of the recovered land was 10 ars in 2009. The average yearly exploitation in forests owned by the City of Prague was 2–4 m3.ha-1 of forest in recent years, which is about a half of the increment. Forest management in forests owned by the City of Prague is strictly controlled by environmental principles. In current forests there were afforested 6.13 ha of clear areas and in total 48,470 pieces of seedlings planted. When improving older forest cultures 39,600 pieces of plant seedlings. In the exiting forests natural recovery of stands) mostly by natural rejuvenation of oaks) was achieved on above average large area of 12,400 m2 (17% of the City total area). Therefore forest stand was renewed in the existing forests on the area of 73,700 m2.
Forests on Prague’s territory are mostly used for the forest non-production functions, namely recreational function. This is especially due to extremely high frequency of visitors (visitors survey revealed it is 2,250–7,400 persons per 1 hectare of forest per year). In order to support the recreational functionality there are a great number of small equipment allocated in the forests. For the reason of maximised recreational functionality of forests their selected parts bear the character of forest-parks, forest with park structure, that means portions of forest land is not afforested. Forest recreational meadows under regular management are on 130 hectares. Vast new meadows were established especially in the forest-parks of Letňany (15 ha) and Vinice (10 ha).
Fig. B3.4.6 Young plantations; non-production function of forest – recreational function
Source: OOP MHMP
B3.4.4 Renewal and revitalisation of Prague’s creeks and reservoirs
Creeks and water management works administered by the City of Prague
As at 31 December 2009 Prague’s territory as home to approx. 290 hectares of water bodies, out of that there were 182 lakes with area of 180 hectares, 3 dam lakes with area of 57 hectares, and 37 retention reservoirs with area of 29 hectares. The City of Prague, represented by the Department of the Environment of the Prague City Hall, managed 47 lakes, 4 water works, and 33 retention reservoirs as at 31 December 2009. The most important basins are Dam Hostivař (34.9 ha), Dam Džbán (13 ha), Dam Jiviny (9 ha) and Lake Počernický (19.4 ha), which is at the same time the most vlauable water body concerning occurrence of fauna and flora.
Prague’s territory is, beside the Vltava River and Berounka River, flow through by 360 km of smaller watercourses. Out of them 249 km and approximately 120 hectares of greenery along these creeks are managed by the City of Prague. The most important Prague creeks are: Rokytka Stream, Botič Stream, Litovicko-Šárecký Creek, and Kunratický Creek. Brusnice Creek is important from historical point of view.
Since 2003 the long-term project of the Renewal and Revitalisation of Prague’s Reservoirs has been implemented in cooperation with the company of Lesy hl. m. Prahy (see www.lesypraha.cz). The Project objectives are set in three categories: environmental, technical, cultural-historic, and social. The Project is planned to be completed in 2010. Till the end of 2009 there were repaired, mud removed, or built 27 reservoirs within the Project. Repairs of other five reservoirs are to be launched in 2010.
Since 2007 there has also been the long-term project of the revitalisation of Prague’s creeks (www.lesypraha.cz). Revitalisation of technically treated water course beds in natural localities is an important step of environmental protection and improvement to the environment, namely in urban agglomerations. Revitalisation does not only give the creeks their life back to yet also their natural beauty. In 2009 projects were implemented or completed on creeks as follows: Dalejský Creek, Cibulka Creek, Litovicko-Šárecký Creek, and Botič Stream.
In accord with the Act No. 254/2001 Code on water (Water Act) there are flooding areas determined also at smaller water courses. By the end of 2008 the flooding areas were established at catchment areas of the Botič Stream, Litovicko-Šáreckého Creek, Dalejský Creek, Motolský Creek, and the Rokytka Stream. In 2008 the flooding territory in the catchment area of the Kunratický Creek. In the course of 2009 the General Plans of the Drahaňský Creek, Vrutice Creek, Lipenecký Creek, and Kyjovský Creek were completed.
Fig. B3.4.7 Water courses and water management works on Prague's territory
Fig. B3.4.8 Renewal and revitalisation of Prague’s creeks and reservoirs
B3.4.5 Management of protected areas
Prague protected areas were created by human activities, who for centuries, at some localities for millennia, affected landscape, which is nowadays called cultural landscape. At some sites (as, for instance, the Nature Reserves of Divoká Šárka, Prokopské údolí, protected areas in Troja, or Nature Monument Hrnčířské Meadows) the current management can be called care for natural areas of the City by traditional methods towards recovery and maintenance of historic landscape. It is managed that the unsuitable and aggressive tree species are gradually suppressed and conditions for return and respreading of plant communities have been created yet also appropriate to the composition of tree species of forest stands. The City of Prague is aware of the value and importance of its surviving nature localities. The care for these areas also includes education and awareness development.
In 2009 the continuous maintenance of nature trails was carried out and the Internet pages of www.prazskestezky.cz was still developed further. Among other activities there are maintenance of spring wells and springs, allocating of information boards, information posting on the City internet pages, transformation and new plantation of stands, meadow management, controlled pasture on selected lands, maintenance of orchards, rock profiles, and removal of illegal dumpsites, etc.
Fig. B3.4.9 Example of the web application on nature trails in Prague (www.prazskestezky.cz)
Source: OOP MHMP
Fig. B3.4.10 Controlled pasture of goats and sheep (Nature Reserve Divoká Šárka)
Source: OOP MHMP