Changes for Malostranské náměstí could start next year

Prague representatives have approved a basic concept for the square in Malá Strana

Prague representatives have approved preliminary ideas for the future appearance of Malostranské náměstí and the city could obtain a building permit this year. Work would not begin until 2018. The plan calls for fewer cars and more culture. A fountain will also be installed.

Cars have been banned from the lower part of the square since July 2016. The city now plans to move forward with plans to revitalize the square, despite a recent announcement that the lower house of Parliament was planning a safety zone that would extend to the square.

The plan rejects the possibility for cars to drive on tram tracks, as this could lead to long lines of cars blocking the street.

Deputy Mayor Petra Kolínská (Greens) said that a solution for cars and trams that is friendly to pedestrians was being sought. Cars will have to go past the square at slow speeds for pedestrian safety.

She also said that a large part of the square would be one level without unnecessary curbs.

Kolínská also said that the number of lanes would be reduced and that drivers would discover that alternative routes are more convenient, hopefully avoiding driving through Malá Strana. Some parking spots for residents might remain at the edge of the former parking lot, she added.

Parking spaces will also largely disappear at the top of the square in front of the St. Nicholas Church, and the area in front of the plague column will be left open and could host art exhibitions.

Deputy Prague Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said that the Prague 1 district wants to explore the possibility of underground parking for the top of the square. Some parking spots could also remain in front of the Lichtenstein Palace, which is home to part of the Academy of Performing Arts (AMU). New trees should also be planted at the top of the square.

The full extent of changes to the square is still under discussion. The large sycamore tree in the square is certain to remain and a fountain is likely to be added. Cultural events on the square could start in July on a trial basis. Whether or not the statue of Marshall Radecký, which had been on the square until the start of the First Republic, will be returned has not been determined

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