Prague's newest green space is planned for a recreated island in the Karlín and Libeň districts

An international competition to design a park on a re-created Rohan Island will take place next year.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 22.12.2020 13:00 (updated on 22.12.2020)

A large new park is planned for Prague’s Karlín and Libeň districts. The park will be created on a 56 hectare area in the Vltava river. The city plans to partially preserve the area’s wilderness aspects and gradually adjust most of it for leisure activities. It will also help with flood protection in Prague.

The Rohanský ostrov (Rohan Island) project was presented for the first time by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Praha) in early December via an online stream from the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP).

The form of the park will be decided on the basis of an international tender with a competitive dialogue. The tender will be announced in the autumn of 2021 and will last approximately one year. During that time, the final concept for the island park will be created.

“We are currently preparing documents and assignments for the announcement of the competitive dialogue. The process will be based on the involvement of the public and local stakeholders. At the same time, we want to introduce the area to the citizens of Prague in more detail in the coming months and discuss their needs. … We are preparing guided walks, workshops and an exhibition,” IPR Praha director Ondřej Boháč said.

The park, which cover an area approximately half the size of Stromovka, will be one of Prague's largest. It will be created next to the new district that is growing in Karlín and Libeň.

The neglected location will become an attractive place not only for living and working, but also for relaxation. The areas of Palmovka, Karlín and the lower part of Holešovice currently lack a large public space for sports and meetings.

“In developing the area, we want to expand on the area’s history and traditions. We also expect to restore the island, which had been there for centuries, although in a different place,” Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček (|United Force for Prague), responsible for territorial development, said.

Rohanský ostrov had been an island in the Vltava until it and other nearby islands were connected to the Karlín mainland in the 1920s when the river was regulated. While the area is still called an island (ostrov) on maps, it is not currently surrounded by water.

“Our aim is to get back to the original river landscape, and thus support human contact with the river,” Hlaváček said.

In addition to the park, the area will also have thousands of new flats and administrative premises, which are being created along Rohanské nábřeží as part of the Rohan City development, and other planned developments in the Karlín and Libeň area.

“The [Rohanský ostrov] project will bring not only additional recreation opportunities to the city center, expand biodiversity and restore direct contact with the river, but also protect the city from floods,” Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček (United Force for Prague), responsible for the environment, said.

“The aim of the project is to reduce the level of the Vltava during floods, and especially to slow down the river. We will achieve this by lowering the terrain level and creating a new bypass arm for the river. Following the landscaping, the area of the new Rohanský ostrov between the existing cycle path and the Vltava riverbed will be adapted for recreation,” Hlubuček said.

The Rohanský ostrov concept also envisions the renovation of the bridge Libeňský most, which dates to 1928. The study calls for the historical bridge to be repaired by 2022. As part of the renovation, sidewalks will be widened and cycle lanes will be created along the entire length of the bridge, and completely new barrier-free ramps will be built on Rohanský ostrov. A second bridge will also be created.