Approaches in Urban Development

Every city on this globe has different potential opportunities to develop and satisfy the local demand for the basic urban  functions justifying the existence of that city.

Inside the developed countries of the EU the most predictable and sustainable approaches to the urban development of its cities are to:

  • Maintain, renovate, and, only sometimes demolish existing buildings and build new buildings on the demolishment sites. All this existing urban tissue is located inside a sustainable public space bordered by accessibility and transport schemes. These buildings presently have sustainable and economically viable urban functions such as residential functions, working space, culture & education, healthcare, amenities, and/or retail. Necessary extra public spaces & green, accessibility-improvement projects and other necessary sustainable urban activities can be added at the cost of the existing urban tissue.

  • Re-use and/or redevelop existing Brownfield Sites - such as railway emplacements, post-industrial vacant sites, old breweries in disuse, vacant transport and storage facilities and similar plots of land - into retail-led mixed use sustainable projects offering the necessary greenery and public space.

Prague, compared to other EU cities, has the advantage (as per IPR's (Prague Institute of Planning and Development) September 2018 publication of their strategy - Strategie revitalizace transformačních území) to have a potential of cca 939 Ha brownfields of a relevant size. For example, a city as Barcelona has, after the renovation of its last brownfield, no space left for urban redevelopment. Many other capitals inside the EU face a similar fate. Therefore the redevelopment of Prague's Brownfields could/should become one of the city's major priorities in its future development.

Examples of brownfield site redevelopments I worked on

Paul Vincent Koch | Czech Republic & Netherlands

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