Prague reveals new look for expansive riverside park between Karlín and Libeň

The long-neglected Rohanský ostrov area in Prague 8 will be completely redeveloped, but plans to recreate the original island have been abandoned.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 24.09.2023 16:12:00 (updated on 14.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A major transformation is on the horizon for Prague's long-neglected Rohanský ostrov (Rohan Island) in Prague 8. A Czech-Belgian team has won the design competition for the revitalization of this area along the Vltava River, with plans that promise to turn the bleak brownfield into a vibrant park while preserving its biotopes.

The Rohanský ostrov project aims to create a 56-hectare park in Prague 8, which will begin to take shape in approximately three years. The construction process will extend over multiple decades, starting with a building permit for the first stage within the next few years.

This project is one of two dozen large developments associated with the Vltava River in Prague, which are currently showcased at a unique exhibition at the Center for Architecture and Urban Planning (CAMP) by Karlovo náměstí.

The ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive urban space with various recreational facilities, including sports fields and playgrounds.

Unlike the previous plan to restore the original arm of the Vltava River (which is where Rohan Island gets its name), the winning proposal suggests lowering the ground level and creating promenades along the riverbank. This alternative approach not only preserves the area's biotopes, but also offers significant cost and time savings.

The design competition brought together multidisciplinary teams to develop proposals for the project. After careful evaluation, the winning design, put together by architects from four international teams, convinced the jury with its innovative flood protection solutions and commitment to preserving local biodiversity.

Prague's renewed interest in the Vltava River and its surroundings is evident in this project and other developments. A new exhibition at CAMP, titled Prague Tomorrow? The City and the River showcases 25 river-related projects. This exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to explore the city's plans for the Vltava River, which include suburban parks, infrastructure improvements, and public buildings along its banks.

The winning design for the Rohanský ostrov project emphasizes circularity and sustainable practices, with a focus on reusing existing materials and incorporating historical heritage.

It proposes repurposing a concrete plant into a multifunctional cultural area and commemorating church bells confiscated during Nazi occupation. The project aims to create a harmonious coexistence between urban life and nature, aligning with Prague's broader vision for the river.

The international competition brought together stakeholders from various fields, emphasizing the involvement of local residents and experts from Prague 8. This collaboration will continue throughout the project's development, ensuring that it meets the area's specific needs and maintains open communication with the local community.

The revitalization of Rohanský ostrov is poised to create a remarkable green space that connects Prague's residents with the river, enhances flood protection, and preserves the region's unique biodiversity.

This ambitious project demonstrates Prague's commitment to balancing urban development with the responsible stewardship of its natural resources. Visitors can explore the exhibition at CAMP to gain insight into these plans and the broader vision for the Vltava River.

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