City will have free public deck chairs

A project for accessible chairs and tables launched in 2016 will expand again this year

Finding a place to sit for free in the city can be difficult. A project for public chairs and tables will expand this year and will newly include reclining deck chairs for relaxing in the sun. The project called Prague Chairs and Tables (Pražské židle & stolky) began in 2016 and is overseen by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Praha).

The project is meant to improve public spaces by making them more accessible and user friendly.

During February, IPR Praha used an online form to find people from the city districts, cultural institutions and associations or even individuals interested in placing chairs and tables.

The requirement for the installation of the outdoor furniture was free daytime public access to chairs and tables, on-site supervision and maintenance, and non-commercial use. This means the chairs can’t be used for promotional purposes and people can’t be required to buy something such as a beverage or a snack to sit there.

The first chairs for the spring season have already appeared between the historic and the new buildings of the National Museum building.

This year there should be a total of 2,300 chairs and 575 tables in Prague’s streets and other areas. This is an increase from last year, when there were 1,558 chairs and 393 tables in 58 permanent locations. The project will lend a maximum of 80 chairs and 20 tables to one location. A small number of locations operated during the winter months.

The full list of places for the spring has not been disclosed yet. Mariánské náměstí, in front of City Hall, is one of the places being considered.

The new deck chairs will just be in a few select locations. The ideal pilot locations for placing chairs are Janáčkovo nábřeží, Central Park in Pankrác, Alšovo nábřeží, Puškinovo náměstí and Štvanice ostrov, according to IPR Praha.

In 2016, chairs and tables were placed at just eight locations in Prague, and it has been expanding every year.

Architects from IPR were inspired by similar projects in New York, Copenhagen, Zurich and Stockholm. “We decided we would not lock the chairs and tables this year, just like in Copenhagen or New York. We believe Prague will appreciate the trust of the city,” IPR director Ondřej Boháč said when the project was launched.

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