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ISSUE N°15, MARCH 2021
 

INTERNATIONAL NEWSLETTER

 

Dear Friends,

A new year, a new edition of our newsletter!  This time, you’ll read exciting news about the city’s plans for a new concert hall on the Vltava River, get to know the director of IPR Prague’s new Department of City Development, learn about our analysis of industrial sites in the city, and more!
 
Best regards,
The International Relations Team, IPR Prague

Prague City Council approves continuation of Vltava Philharmonic project

The construction of the world-class Vltava Philharmonic concert hall in Prague’s Holešovice neighborhood is one step closer to realization, as Prague city councillors have approved the continuation of the project. The approval was based on a usability study completed by an international consortium led by the renowned Henning Larsen studio, in collaboration with AEA and Buro Happold. The project will now move to the Prague City Assembly; if it gets the green light there, preparations will begin for an international architectural competition. The competition would be announced in the second half of 2021. It will be preceded by a detailed analysis on the financing of the Philharmonic’s operations.

According to the recommendations from the analysis, the Vltava Philharmonic building should include three halls: a main concert hall for 1,800 people, a small hall for chamber music with a capacity of 500, and a multifunctional hall for other genres and types of events with a capacity of 700. The main concert hall will offer world-class acoustics and facilities meeting 21st century standards, making it the cultural center for musical life in Prague.

The use of outdoor public space for cultural programming is also anticipated. The entire area should thus become a vibrant place used daily and all day. Estimates indicate that the Philharmonic will attract over 600,000 visitors annually, with the outdoor and adjacent spaces bringing up to 1.2 million more.

More information is available here.

Prague to prepare an analysis of its industrial sites, including Malešice, its largest 

Covering 650 hectares, the Malešice-Hostivař district is the largest industrial site in Prague, and the location of a large number of the capital city’s technical facilities. This site is currently the subject of discussions relating to several residential development projects which, however, lack coordination and, if implemented, could inappropriately restrict the operation of the existing facilities. The Prague City Council has therefore requested that IPR Prague undertake a complete analysis of the needs of industrial sites in Prague. The analysis will then be applied to the Malešice site.

The analysis will examine how Prague's industrial sites have contracted or expanded over the last decade, and will determine what their needs may be in the future. An important part of the analysis will be a mapping of the demands placed on these sites from the perspective of modern technologies, and their environmental impacts, including noise and pollution. The analysis should also assess whether these sites are suitable for conversion to mixed residential/industrial districts. The current land use plan for Prague allows such mixed-use construction in certain industrial locations, while the draft of the new Metropolitan Plan currently anticipates preserving exclusively industrial uses in these districts. 

IPR Prague Director, Ondřej Boháč, comments on the new task ahead: “Our data tells us that 14 selected industrial sites throughout Prague host about 2,000 enterprises, employing more than 50,000 people. These sites are today’s representatives of Prague’s industrial and technological tradition, and provide a home to many innovative enterprises. We therefore consider it very important to examine the function of these sites in detail.”

You can read the full article here.

 

Call for Horizon Europe partnerships 

As the draft work programs for Horizon Europe make their way around Europe, we have been avidly looking for calls that would support our daily goals and long-term initiatives. 

If you are interested in investigating a potential partnership with us, please get in touch at international@ipr.praha.eu. We have experience working on EU-funded projects and are open to different types of partnerships consistent with what we do.

 

Prague's new Metropolitan Plan to be approved in 2023
 

Prague’s new land use plan, referred to as the Metropolitan Plan, is anticipated to be approved in 2023. The plan was created through close collaboration between IPR Prague and Prague City Hall. Comments submitted by 56 of the 57 city districts are currently being incorporated into the document, and an impact assessment on sustainable development is being finalized. Key negotiations are also being held with ministries and different city departments, and have focused largely on height regulations and the use of agricultural land. The revised draft plan will be published at the end of this year for another round of comments. 

You can browse through the current iteration of the Metropolitan Plan here (CZ only).

 

IPR Prague contributes to EU-India dialogue on sustainable urban water management

IPR Prague was pleased to contribute to a virtual event focused on sustainable urbanization and urban water management, organized under the EU Public Diplomacy Project in partnership with Xavier University in Bhubaneswar, India. Kamila Lohrová, IPR Prague’s specialist in water management, presented the Czech Republic's experience with urban water management, touching on a variety of issues including drinking water supply, the modernization of water treatment plants, the revitalization of rivers and small watercourses in the capital, and an IPR Prague project focused on blue-green infrastructure in the city center.

Kamila tells us, “it is important look outside of your city and even outside of your country, because there are many of us around the world aiming toward sustainable development, and we can all learn from each other to make better places to live.”
 
The event was launched by the Ambassador of the European Union to India, Ugo Astuto, and was attended by Indian dignitaries from the state of Odisha, representatives of the EU delegation to India, and members of the university community.

SPOTLIGHT ON TOMÁŠ HUDEČEK, DIRECTOR OF THE NEW DEPARTMENT OF CITY DEVELOPMENT

In our December 2020 issue, we brought you news of changes to IPR Prague’s organizational structure, intended to create a better connection between strategic and spatial planning by combining the two departments into the Department for City Development. This time, we bring you an interview with Tomáš Hudeček, a former mayor of Prague and the founder of IPR Prague, who has been selected to lead the new department. Tomáš has also recently published a book titled “City Management and Administration”, which is available free for download in English here

1.  You have taken on the challenge of combining two, previously independent departments at IPR Prague into one, coherent department.  Can you describe your methodology for this process?  Your ultimate goals for the new department?

The independence of these two departments was just imaginary. In fact, planning is a complex process that cannot be divided into separate parts. Planning is our effort to establish a certain order in an uncertain future. We plan because we are afraid of what is to come. Planning means prioritizing future development options. And the planning of a city is the same. The goal of the new department is, therefore, to put together components of city planning that naturally belong together, and my personal goal is to change the thinking of my colleagues at IPR Prague so that they begin to agree with this direction. 

2. Which lessons learned or experiences from your time as mayor do you think will serve you best in your new role? 

The more experience politicians and city planners have in each other's shoes, the better they can cooperate.  This is something that I can bring to IPR Prague – having been previously engaged in the political sphere, I bring the knowledge of what politicians want from the institution. And this is something that I appreciated when I was the mayor of Prague.

3. Eight years ago, as mayor, you transformed the City Development Authority of Prague into the Prague Institute of Planning and Development.  New name, new mission.  What do you see as the greatest strengths of this transformation?  Challenges or weaknesses?

IPR Prague is not a small institution. It has 230 employees and an annual budget of almost 15 million Euro. As a result, it is a little weak in providing fast solutions to different kinds of problems. This was the case during my term as mayor, and, unfortunately, it still is. I don’t know if I can change this, even just a little, but I am going to do my best. However, IPR Prague is strong and helpful in the long-term processes that ensure the development of Prague.

4. Tell us about your book. 

The intent of the book is to raise awareness about the work of the responsible city administrator; point out key issues in city administration and management; summarize the reforms I made to the territorial development policy in Prague between 2012 and 2014; and describe crisis management in a city of more than one million inhabitants, based on my experience as mayor during the floods of 2013. I have tried to set these topics into a more general framework of the development of our world, as well as the role of people and the decisions we make.
 

VIDEO


CAMP online

Tune in to the latest feature from Urban Talks, a series of online lectures by world-renowned architects and urban planners, organized by CAMP. In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this month, have a look at this interesting lecture given as part of the Urban Talks series by Dr. Leslie Kern, writer and associate professor of geography and environment and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Allison University.

Dr. Kern seeks to address questions such as do we all perceive the city in the same way? Do we design them for cars or bicycles? For women or men? Are we creating a friendly or hostile environment for ourselves? Why is it necessary to plan cities for everyone? And what should cities look like to make women feel good in them?

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  

"Where the '15-minute city' falls short" 

Here in Europe, we’re all about the 15-minute city. However, this article warns us that this model should not be blindly replicated elsewhere, where it may further exacerbate economic and racial inequality. An interesting take on a concept that many of us have begun to take for granted…

Photographer: Maria Contreras Coll

CONTACT US


Thoughts, feelings? Feedback or suggestions?
 
Please contact us at international@ipr.praha.eu.






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Prague Institute of Planning and Development · Vyšehradská 57 · Prague 12800 · Czech Republic