Smíchov City designed with public input

Developer Sekyra Group spent eight months tweaking the project

Private developers don't usually let the public design their projects. When the Smíchov City project was first shown to the public by Sekyra Group last year, there was criticism from both the public and politicians that it was too dense. A new plan has been unveiled after eight months of discussions.

Cooperation on the project took place between Sekyra Group, the Prague 5 district, the City of Prague and the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR). Over the course of eight months, more than 1,300 citizens have had a role in planning the new neighborhood, according to daily Pražský deník.

People during that time people filled in questionnaires and participated in an exhibition, discussions and walks.

“At the first meeting it turned out that people were most often bothered by buildings being too high, street sizes and the lack of greenery," Prague Deputy Mayor Petra Kolínská (Greens), responsible for territorial development, said according to the daily.

In response the developer reduced the number of floors from eight to five and expanded the green areas. The size of the planned school was also found to be inadequate and was made larger.

Kolínská said that next step is to incorporate the changes into a contract with the developer so that the promises actually happen.

The city will be investing in transport infrastructure, the renovation of a tram line and the construction of the P + R parking lot, Kolínská said, adding that the developer should be involved in financing the construction of the school.

Sekyra Group previously said the project would include smart city elements, such as systems for public lighting management and stop light management, and “intelligent furniture.” The concept of intelligent furniture includes solar-powered benches with WiFi and phone chargers, for example, and trash cans that notify the collection agency when they are full. Sekyra did not give specifics, however, of what they were planning to install.

There are many more steps before the project becomes a reality. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is underway, and decisions on permits should start to be made in September. Construction should start a year after that, Igor Klajmon of Sekyra Group said.

According to Sekyra Group approximately 3,300 residents will be housed in Smíchov City, and the project will also offer 190,000 square meters for services, shops and offices, which will in turn provide modern facilities for 9,000 jobs. The project covers 20 hectares.

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