How to Design a Fair-Shared City? Prague, Czech Republic

In Central Europe, the architectural and urban planning practice usually serves well those who are healthy and economically active. But when we consider demographics, working and economically active people only make up just over half of urban population. Senior citizens and young people under 18 years of age complete the whole. Trends also show that our population is ageing and when we overlay gender and ethnicity, the user groups significantly diverge. Each of them has different needs.

How do we ensure a city that offers a fair-share to everyone?

How to Design a Fair Shared City? offers 8 simple and captivating stories of different heroes representing wider user groups of our population. Two fictional characters, architect Erik and Sophia will lead us through story of a girl, a mother, an elderly woman or a couple, kids or common visitors using high profile urban areas to remind us of daily situations when design by default can be a significant obstacle. On the other hand, they will offer solutions on how thoughtful design can significantly improve the quality of urban life - with no extra costs necessary.

This publication has been developed in close cooperation with Heinrich Boll Foundation in Prague and is dedicated to architects, urban planners, politicians, anthropologists and a wider public with an interest in urban design. We hope it will spark a deeper understanding of design impacts in our everyday lives. We also hope that while reading it you will have fun, find an interest and pass it on.

Client: WPS Prague, Heinrich Boell Stiftung, Prague office

Published: January 2017

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Envisioning Mill Island in Pardubice, Czech Republic

The publication is an accompanying documentation during the process of envisioning and strategizing the future of the Mills island area in Pardubice, Czech Republic. The area is characteristic by contrasts. The iconic monument, Gocar's Mill house, declining bakery production give background to the one of the most vibrant parks Na Spici on the edge of quiet residential district. The City of Pardubice detected it to be the one of the upcoming transformation zones. In order to keep the values of the area, the commission was carried to gather all the information and stakeholders' visions and organize legal competition architectural workshop. The publication summarizes in-depth dialogues and basic socio-economic mapping of the area. The book served as a grounding, supporting material for the future architects of the regulation plan.

Collaboration: Petr Navrat, ONPLAN

Client: ONPLAN lab, The City of Pardubice

Authors: Petr Navrat, Milota Sidorova, Katarína Vankusova

Published: Fall 2016

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Study of User Needs, Dvorakovo Nabrezi - Na Frantisku, Prague, Czech Republic

The aim of the study is to revitalize this bank of Vltava and to bring it back among places that we choose for pleasant and safe way to work, freetime activities or unveiling many layers of extremely rich, local history. Growing number of individual key investments of local actors and stakeholders became the catalyst for the Institut of Planning and Development to conduct a conceptual and coordination study. The actors involved were property owners, property managers, attached institutions, public - all of them became partners while formulating the vision for the riverbank. Conceptual study will become a base for coordination of future individual investments in the private properties and attached public spaces.

Authors: Milota Sidorova, Jan Kadlas, Petr Navrat

Client: Institut of Planning and Development

Published: April 2016

You can browsee the publication here: 

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Obchodná Street Retail Study, Bratislava, Slovakia

The socio-economic retail study of Obchodna Street is the first of its kind in Slovakia and helps to identify key problems and potentials of this historically important shopping destination. The study was commissioned by the citizens' initiative Obchodna ulica a okolie (Obchodna Street neighbourhood) which brings together business owners and stakeholders with the aim to develop a long-term vision and coordinated concept for a new business improvement district in this part of the city.

The research combines qualitative and quantitative methods based on interviews with more than 120 businesses, providing an overview of the economic and social aspects of the street to inform and steer its future transformation. Engaging visual interpretation of key statistics is complemented by ethnographic profiles of selected businesses that capture the people and local character of this dynamically changing urban space. An audit of public space, access and movement help build up a holistic picture of the area's potentials.

Despite rapidly changing retail trends and new urban developments affecting the city, the study reveals that Obchodna Street has a good basis and realistic potential for positive transformation. The findings show resilience against shopping malls that aggressively expanded into central areas of Bratislava in 1990s influencing general consumer habits. The fact that almost half of the shops on Obchodna Street are independent is precisely its competitive advantage over generic experience offered by the shopping malls.

However, the content and spatial diversity of the retail offer is often negatively interpreted through formal inconsistency, lack of parking or lack of greenery. Paradoxically, diversity, inclusiveness and good public transport accessibility are fundamental qualitative parameters for long-term sustainability of this unique place. 

Collaboration: Marko&Placemakers

Authors: Petra Marko, Milota Sidorová, Igor Marko

Published: November 2015

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Places Closer to Cities. Summary from Evening Symposium on Creative and Cultural Industries and Urban Development, Prague, Czech Republic

Creative and Cultural industries have become real engine of urban economy in many European cities. Museums, theaters, co-working spaces, exhibition areas are now residing in many formerly disregarded brownfields. Through physical revitalization, the culture comes now into the direct intersection with urban planning. These buildings are now new centers of cultural and social life. 

Currently, there is more than 108 of brownfields only in Prague.  On the other side the demand for affordable work spaces from creative collectives or individuals has been growing. The neural point where the bottom up can merge with top down policymaking is emerging. So are the tools how to regulate such spaces - we can name just few of them, rent regulation, financial support or support of intersectoral projects. 

How can the municipal or private offer of brownfield to creative collectives be beneficial for the city development? What steps should creative actors and the municipality take in conversion of these buildings? How to approach management, financing and contracting? What kind of communication/collaboration would be the most efficient among the actors? Do existing and emerging creative clusters cooperate with each other? How can the collective still deliver high quality program while dealing with management of the building?

Authors: Milota Sidorova, David Kaspar

Client: 4+4 days in motion festival, Prague

 

 

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Evaluation Study: Current Practice of Prague Municipal Districts with Public Participation in Urban Development, Prague, Czech Republic

The study evaluates the awareness and use of public participation methods and tools among municipal districts in Prague. It was an important research material for Manual of Participation in Prague that was later on published and became the official guideline in the city of Prague. The aim of the study was mapping existing know how of municipal districts and identify the needs of employees and politicians if the participation is to be done properly. The evaluation study mapped the state zero, when only a little practice was applied among municipal districts. The outcomes contribute to more efficient process planning of strategic documents. For the future it will serve well as an indicator for the further evaluations. 

Authors: Martina Macakova, Milota Sidorova, Petr Navrat

Client: Prague Institute for Planning and Development

Published: August 2015

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Catalytic Impacts of Markets on Public Space, Doctor Thesis

Dissertation thesis examines impacts of markets in public spaces. In the first part it maps market evolution, transformations into indoor market halls, its era of decline and comeback in the form of flea and farm markets into the urban space. Thesis tracks the role of markets as catalytic elements of social and economic climate. In its methodologies the thesis examines characteristics of 18 markets in Prague and Berlin with the aim to describe characteristics of what is a successful market.

3 case studies are developed of markets in public spaces of different qualities (Jiri z Podebrad square, Prague, Kollwitz Platz, Berlin and Svatoplukovo square, Nitra). In the theoretical part the thesis also introduces the definition and principles of catalytic design as a way to plan the city with the focus on evolving process in time and space.

In connection with the issue the author raises the following questions: What defines a successful market? How can markets influence social and economic life in public spaces et vice versa, how can public spaces influence market qualities? Can a high quality designed public space increase positive impacts of markets? How can urban designers, landscape architects and urbanists creatively use the element of the market in urban renovation in wider and long-term planning strategies?

Client: Slovak Agricultural University, Nitra

Published: April 2014

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One More Tree in the Streets of Prague 7

What are benefits of trees in the streets and what do you need to do, if you want to plant one - in Prague 7? I edited and fundraised for the street manual One More Tree in the Streets of Prague 7 during my times in reSITE. Well established cultural institutions of Prague 7 district -  BIO OKO, Alfred ve Dvore, urbanACT, Coll Coll got together and prepared a small guide book summarizes all the important facts you need to know if you decide to plant a tree (on the street). The book contains architectural study how to plant the tree in front of popular cinema BIO OKO (Letna, Prague 7). 

Authors: Milota Sidorova, Lucie Roubalova, Martin Gaberle, Marie Davidova, Kristof Hanzlik, Marek Prokupek, Tomas Hajek, Petr Navrat, Ladislav Bakay 

Client: reSITE

Published: May 2013

 

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