Public participation is helping to shape a new, sustainable neighborhood planned for Letňany.
Prague is planning a new innovative district on unused city and state land in Letňany. The new district is expected to be sustainable and, in many ways, self-sufficient. IPR Prague is presenting a draft of the land use study for the area, which has been partially shaped by local residents. Cooperation with the public will continue to be an important part of the process.
The Letňany-Kbely development area, near the Letňany metro station, is made up largely of municipal and state-owned land, and boasts unique transport connections to the rest of the city. The City of Prague is planning to create a modern and sustainable neighborhood here, which will take into account the needs of both people and nature. IPR Prague has published a working draft of a land use study that sets out the exact requirements for the area. The study is intended to serve as the basis for future construction, which could begin by the early 2030s.
"Designing a new urban district from the ground up is not only a unique opportunity, but also a responsibility which we must use to respond to the challenges of this century. I appreciate that the land use study also comes with the constraints imposed by the nearby airports, with a high density/ low height typology more common in the Netherlands than in Prague. This will create a district of affordable housing in accordance with the guidelines of a city of short distances. The new district in Letňany could become a model for sustainable urban planning beyond Prague," says Petr Hlaváček, Deputy Mayor for Land Use and Strategic Development.
Vision and structure of the new district
The aim of the design is to create a modern and lively district that supports various types of round-the-clock activities and minimizes the need to commute to other parts of the city. The focus of the district is the Main Square, which is an important transport hub allowing easy transfers between the bus station, the final stop of the metro, and the newly proposed tram or trolleybus stop. The plan will respect the principles of a city of short distances, with an emphasis on active mobility, including safe sidewalks and bike paths, public transportation, and a reduction in individual car traffic.
The area has been designed as a compact city with a block structure. The maximum number of stories has been determined by the presence of airports in the area - the Prague-Kbely Airport radar limits the height to four to five stories in most of the area, and the Letňany Airport has a take-off area which affects the northern part of the site. If some of these limits were to be eliminated in the future, it may be possible to increase development in the area near the metro during the next phases and build additional affordable housing for the city.
The draft study comes up with solutions for climate change adaptation within the built-up area and the public realm. The landscape design of the neighborhood is linked to the area’s natural conditions and incorporates elements of blue-green infrastructure, including green courtyards, roofs, and stormwater management tools. More than a third of the site will remain undeveloped, allowing for two new parks and an increase in the diversity of plants and animals in the area.
Involving local residents
In addition to new housing, the neighborhood will also offer 8,000 jobs, a secondary school, a clinic, and opportunities for recreation and other services to the residents of neighboring areas.
"Finding answers to the immediate needs of the locals and involving them in the process is as important to us in designing the new neighborhood as finding sustainable solutions. That is why we are also involving the existing residents of the surrounding districts, especially from Kbel and Letňany," says Ondřej Boháč, Director of IPR Prague.
During the spring of 2023, local residents had the opportunity to share their opinions on the values, challenges, and potential of the site. Nearly 500 suggestions were generated on the topics of greenery, transport, the community, housing, public amenities and services, public space, and sustainability. The results of the community planning discussions were verified in an online survey completed by 297 people.
The public can comment on the draft study during the participation phase, which has just begun. A series of events has also been planned for the residents of Letňany, Kbely, and the surrounding areas, including an information container, guided walks around the area, and community planning workshops.
More information on the vision for the new neighborhood, the participation of local residents, and the draft land use study can be found on the project website (CZ only).
The land use study is being prepared with representatives from the districts of Prague 18, Prague 19, Prague 9, and Prague Čakovice so that their conditions regarding transport infrastructure, education and sport, and health and social issues, are carefully considered. The aim is to find consensus on the development of the wider area and to agree on the phasing in relation to major infrastructure developments.