Two Prague’s neighborhoods will get their own “New York Highline”
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A four-kilometer-long Railway Promenade between Prague’s Vršovice and Strašnice neighborhoods is planned along the former the Benešov line railway corridor. It should open in 2024.
The promenade will be surrounded by a linear park, connected by three new bridges and new places for leisure, recreation and culture. People can look forward to a continuous park between the existing natural areas and other locations in the Prague districts 2, 4, 10 and 15. Existing trees, meadows, lawns and the central vegetation zone of the promenade will be protected. New trees will be planted at the promenade’s access and rest areas.
“We will get new barrier-free places for meetings and for social and cultural activities for everyone, regardless of age and agility. It will offer Praguers plenty of space for walking, cycling or skating. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr said in press release.
A stone underpass from the 19th century, a riveted bridge from 1918, a footbridge at the Strašnice train stop from the 1930s and part of the platform from the second half of the 20th century will remain along the promenade route.
“We have brought together inspirations from the New York High Line and Paris’s Promenade plantée with Dutch bicycle highways and German city parks created from railway brownfields. Prague will again have one more unique element in the world,” Scheinherr said.
Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, added that it was not intended as a tourist attraction but for city residents. “We certainly do not want the promenade to cause gentrification of the surroundings, as has happened elsewhere in the world (reducing accessibility and increasing the price). That is why our promenade should primarily serve Praguers,” he said on Facebook.
The railway promenade will become the green motorless backbone of Vršovice and Strašnice, according to City Hall. A four-meter-wide belt will be divided into two lanes for cyclists and skaters in both directions. Another lane for pedestrians will be 3.2 meters wide and will be separated from cyclists by a green belt, paving or the original rail track, depending on the location. The outer edges will have a parallel network of unpaved footpaths.
The larger recreation places include an area at the Strašnice stop and a location near Eden, which has the potential to become similar to the Karlín’s Přístav 18600.
Scheinherr said the city has finished the concept for the documentation for the zoning decision. “The plan is to obtain a zoning decision next year and a building permit in 2022. Then a competition for a construction contractor will start. In 2024 at the latest, Praguers should be able to start using the green motorless backbone in Prague 10,” Scheinherr said.
Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček said the project combines respect for the historical footprint of the original railway with contemporary public space architecture. “It will undoubtedly become the new backbone of public life in the city district and a popular destination for Praguers, which is why with some exaggeration we call it the ‘New Prague High Line,’” he said.