For more than 1,000 years, Prague has been the cultural, political and economic core of the Czech Republic. In recognition of Prague’s medieval urbanism in its historic centre, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. As the city entered into the twenty-first century, political, social and economic shifts significantly influenced the urban development of the city and its spatial planning. The concentration on the city centre and unbalanced investment in certain areas has resulted in the city being hampered by transport congestion, with often outmoded infrastructure and a lack of available housing. The transition from a monocentric to a polycentric structure of the city is at the core of Prague’s strategic priorities. The Prague Strategic Plan for 2009–2015 outlined guiding principles of the spatial planning policy directed at regulating land and building uses as well as achieving greater balance between green and built-up areas in the city. The objective is to reduce the pressure on the city centre by opening up usage of the overall city area. Yet the city and its inhabitants are also faced with a conflict between the needs of modern life and the tangible and intangible legacy of the past. This has often led to the interpretation of the city’s cultural heritage as an obstacle rather than an opportunity to further the city’s regeneration. Large-scale developments such as skyscrapers have further compounded these issues, pointing to the need to encourage an approach guided by the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.
Source: IUAV, report for Study Area 3