B3.3 CITY GREENERY – RECOVERY

B3.3.1 Recovery of Prague’s Parks and Alleys of Extraordinary Importance

In accordance with the Decision of the Assembly of the City of Prague “Principles of the care for greenery in the Capital City of Prague” the Department of Environmental Protection of the Prague City Hall continues (within the self-government activities) in the inevitable recovery of the parks, street alleys, and in the providing of the greenery development projects, except for the regular maintenance thereof. Gardens and parks have been under gradual recovery on the basis of the approved project documentation as follows: Letenské Orchards, Kinských Garden, Premises of gardens on the Petřín Hill, Royal Game Preserve Stromovka, Park atop the Vítkov Mountain, Game Reserve Hvězda, and Forest-Park Cibulka.

Letenské Orchards

In 2005 the phase III of the renewal of the Letenské Orchards, which encompassed approx. 3 hectares of the park areas in the surroundings of tennis courts in the Letenské Orchards, was completed. This part of the park recovery included the building of the children playground and the start of the construction of a “skating track”. This phase, encompassing the reconstruction of roads, new gardening modifications, utility networks, public lighting, and water elements will be followed by the phase II. This phase was launched in 2006 by the renewal of the important entrance to the Orchards from the Museum of Technology. New paved areas (belvederes and rest areas) and magnificently designed entrance itself were built within the construction works. The renewal includes also small mobile equipment, public lighting, drinking fountain, and reconstruction of the ornamental water reservoir next to EXPO 58. It is certain that the vegetation component of the park is also being taken care for. The vast plantation of ornamental apple trees, new beech alley, and planting of 2,000 square metres of perennials are a unique project.

A new building of social facility for the park visitors is almost completed. The building includes also a small refreshment facility with a summer terrace. For the next period the completion of the extremely demanding recovery of vegetation under extreme conditions of the Letná slopes and the overall reconstruction of the so-called Thomayer’s historic parterre, which is located in between the Letenský Chateaux and the building of EXPO 58, is planned. The project includes the publicly discussed recovery of the historic London plane alley and a new children playground near Kostelní Street. The adverse effects of water deficit are solved by the generous project of vast irrigation systems, which shall help to improve shape of the current vegetation and lawns. The project also includes the construction of an open water reservoir – water storage reservoir, which shall be fed by industrial water from the Prague Castle water mains.

Kinských Garden

The Kinských Garden renewal was started with the capital reconstruction of the children playground at the entrance from Kinských Square. The children playground includes also premises of social facilities. The playground reconstruction was followed with the reconstruction of the Garden historic parterre, which included also the construction of new utility networks serving the exiting premises (Ethnology Museum, Švýcárna (Swiss Hut)) and planned premises. Within the reconstruction the support to the original water motifs was stressed. Thus ponds with waterfalls, fountain with water jet were reconstructed and a new “water staircase” and a new elliptic fountain were built. For all these water elements, including the lawn irrigation system, groundwater from the historic shafts and water reservoirs is utilised. This groundwater is also taken to the irrigation system in the Vrtbovská Garden and the premises of gardens on the Petřín Hill.

The parterre reconstruction will be followed by the renewal of road network, including drainage, in the western part of the Garden slopes. A new public lighting and new park benches were installed along these park roads. The Garden maintenance is supported by the modern back-up facilities of the gardening service, which includes garages for garden technology, workshops, and administrative and social facilities for the gardeners and arborists.

In 2006 the next phase of the renewal of the perimeter and retaining walls of the Kinských Garden was started. This technical equipment renewal of this garden architecture monument is aimed at the renovation of the original Garden’s fencing system. In order to provide for the safe operation and high quality environment large repair of the road network in the eastern part of the Garden is planned. Besides demanding repairs of the existing roads on the slopes there are also new roads with better technical parameters projected. The project of another new children playground on the slope above the premises of the Boarding School for the Sight Impaired is designed for further increase in the Garden recreational potential. The vast project, which is taken into account in the study as well as in the land-use decision concerning the overall renewal, is the reconstruction of the original Orange Garden, of which, unfortunately, solely foundations can now be noticed in the Garden.

Premises of gardens on the Petřín Hill

Recently several important constructions were completed on the premises of gardens on the Petřín Hill, including constructions, which served for the recovery of the existing vegetation. Concerning financial demands the most important is the completion of the reconstruction of the Hunger Wall and building of decent entrance area – the reconstruction of the “Dahlia Garden” at the Petřín Hill foothill.

At present the repaired walls of the Lobkowitz Garden, including adjacent staircases, were approved. The vast majority of the construction was covered by finances from the European Union. Besides the gradual renewal of fruit trees in the Seminary Garden (3.5 thousand of newly planted trees in the course of 20 years), 650 shrubs of vine were planted in the Strahov Garden. By the end of 2006 the children playground Hellichova shall be completed in the Seminary Garden. Out of the long-term development projects the project of the overall reconstruction of the Lobkowitz Garden and the Park near the Watchtower, including a part of the Rose Orchard is very important. At present, detailed documentation is being developed and discussed following the architectural contest (Park near the Watchtower) and a study developed (Lobkovitz Garden).

Royal Game Preserve

Once the vast flood damage was removed almost 50 thousand bulbulous flowers, 20 thousands perennials, approx. 3 thousands rhododendrons and azaleas were planted, approx. 20 hectares of lawns were renewed and in total almost one thousand trees were treated and approx. 300 new tree specimen were planted. Within the framework of the flood damage removal huge areas were reclaimed (the original garden colony and supply garden). Since 2006 there are recreational meadows for taking rest on these lands (8.5 hectare), which are followed with the renewed cut-off arm of Malá říčka (the Small Stream). The flood damage rectification interrupted the original plan of gradual renewal of the Game Preserve, which started with the building of the children playground “Kaštánek” (“Little Chestnut”) and the reconstruction of slope areas below the Summer House; the gamekeeper’s lodge was refurbished for the purposes of the garden maintenance.

In autumn 2006 treated lands of the so-called Old Park and in the vicinity of the Planetarium are given to the public for use. Quality of the road network pavement is also improved within such investments. The impermeable bituminous pavement is replaced with hard pavement paths paved with sand or stone. The fountain and garden house in the Old Park are also reconstructed. In the vicinity of Planetarium flower beds are established and structures for the spring plantation of roses are set. In 2006 the architectural contest for the project of the central section of Royal Game Preserve renewal, the bottom of the former “Lake Rudolf”, was held. The contest conditions included the support to nature and historical values on the territory, including the increased recreational potential of the given area. Besides this vast, long-term project the reconstruction and completion of the former terminal tramway station are under preparation. This building shall serve to the public as a social facility, including refreshment opportunity.

Park atop the Vítkov Mountain

The renewal of the park atop the Vítkov Mountain was concentrated mostly on the improvement of the vegetation state (especially on the troubled parts on slopes). In order to increase the recreational potential of lawns the automated irrigation system was built as well.

For the year 2007 a vast project of the park central section reconstruction is prepared for implementation that should include the construction of new paths the way that in the future a new park route should be formed with garden restaurant, including a belvedere, and expanded points of view and rest. The first phase of the project is the building of children playgrounds.

Game Reserve Hvězda

Construction activities on the Game Reserve Hvězda were opened with the gradual renewal of the historic perimeter walls and then proceeded in the reconstruction of the parterre in front of the Summer House and the discussed renewal of the park main axis. The gradual renewal of the Game Reserve also includes the implemented project of the lake reconstruction.

In accordance with requirements of the City District Prague 6, and namely because of the missing social facilities for the maintenance servicemen as well as the garden visitors, this back-up facilities are to be built next year, including the construction of a new children playground, following the necessary project discussion.

Forest-Park Cibulka

Except for the regular maintenance of forest stands the care concentrated on the conservation of the original sculptures and renewal of the existing water elements.

A project for recovery of the forest-park vegetation, including a vast reconstruction of the road network thereof, has been under preparation and public discussion. Roads shall serve, on certain sections thereof, for maintenance forestry technology means and thus they must be constructed on accordingly firm fundament. The prospective project is the building of social facilities for the park visitors.

Nature-Landscape Park U Čeňku

On the basis of requirements of local self-government the OOP MHMP ordered the development of a nature-landscape study for the revaluation of the aforementioned locality. The second study, developed by the City Development Authority of the Prague City Hall, meets the requirements for vast recreational utilisation of this area. This ÚRHMP study shall be the background material the inevitable changes to the land-use plan and for the development of the detailed economic assessment of necessary costs for the implementation and subsequent maintenance. The optimum procedure of the renewal of this very precious natural territory in accordance with requirements for its recreational utilisation shall be determined in cooperation with the ÚRHMP and on the basis of remarks of City Districts concerned and competent bodies of nature conservation.

Tab. B3.6 Crucial events implemented by the Department of Investments and Greenery Development OOP MHMP (2002–2006)

Dílo
Premises

Rozsah
Scope

Popis
Description

Rok
Year

Finance (tis. Kč)
Finances
(CZK thousand)

Zahrada Kinských / Kinských Garden

Rekonstrukce „dolního“
dětského hřiště
Reconstruction of the
“bottom” children playground

2 000 m2

Nové herní prvky, včetně povrchů
a sociálního zázemí.
New game elements, including pavement
and social facilities.

2001–2002

11 000

Rekonstrukce parteru
před Letohrádkem Kinských
Reconstruction of the
parterre in front of the
Kinských Summer Chateaux

22 000 m2

Nová dešťová a splašková kanalizace,
nové komunikace, nové trávníky včetně
automatické závlahy, nové výsadby, vodní
prvky (kašny), mobiliář, veřejné a slavnostní
osvětlení a rekonstruovaná veřejná WC.
New rainwater and sewage drainage, new
roads, new lawns, including an automatic
irrigation system, new plantations, water
elements (fountains), mobile inventory, public
and ceremonial lighting, and reconstructed
public restrooms.

2003–2004

20 900

Nové zázemí zahradní údržby
New service facilities
for the garden service

4 200 m2

Nový objekt pro zahradní údržbu Kinského
zahrady a zahrad vrchu Petřína.
New building for the garden maintenance
of the Kinských Garden and premises
of gardens on the Petřín Hill.

2002–2003

25 700

Obnova „horní“ části zahrady
Renewal of the “upper”
section of the garden

52 000 m2

Rekonstrukce obou jezírek, včetně vodopádu
s vyhlídkou, rekonstrukce cestní sítě, nové
veřejné a slavnostní osvětlení, nová děšťová
kanalizace, mobiliář, nové výsadby.
Reconstruction of both the lakes, including
the waterfall with a belvedere, reconstruction
of the road network, new public and
ceremonial lighting, new rainwater drainage,
mobile park equipment, new plantations.

2004–2005

42 500

Královská obora / Royal Game Preserve Stromovka

Odstranění povodňových škod
Rectification of flood damage

530 000 m2

Odstranění naplavenin, uhynulých dřevin,
rekultivace ploch.
Removal of sediments and of dead tree
specimens, reclamation of areas.

2003–2004

18 200

Rekonstrukce dětského
hřiště „Kaštánek“
Reconstruction of the children
playground “Kaštánek”
(“Little Chestnut”)

6 000 m2

Kompletní rekonstrukce dětského hřiště,
včetně sociálního zázemí pro návštěvníky.
Nové herní prvky, povrchy, víceúčelové
hřiště na míčové hry, pítka, výsadby.
Complete reconstruction of the children
playground, including social facilities
for visitors. New game elements, pavement,
multipurpose playground for ball games,
drinking fountains, plantations.

2004

12 000

Rekonstrukce svahů
pod letohrádkem
Reconstruction of the slopes
below the Summer House

15 000 m2

Celková rekonstrukce komunikací,
včetně opěrných zdí a zábradlí.
Complete reconstruction of roads,
including retaining walls and railings.

2002–2003

7 000

Oprava č.p. 11 –
Dům oborníka
Refurbishing of the house
No. 11 – Gamekeeper’s House

2 500 m2

Celková rekonstrukce objektu pro potřeby
zahradní údržby, včetně zpevněných ploch
v jeho okolí a oplocení.
Complete reconstruction of the building
for the garden maintenance, including
paved areas in its vicinity and fencing.

2005

4 500

Rekonstrukce „Starého“ parku
Reconstruction of the “Old”
Park

52 000 m2

Obnova cestní sítě, fontány a vegetačních prvků.
Reconstruction of the road network, fountain,
and vegetation elements.

2006

8 500

Zahradní úpravy v okolí
Planetária
Garden modifications
in the surroundings of
the Planetarium

11 250 m2

Opravy povrchů, nové veřejné a slavnostní
osvětlení, nové výsadby, včetně rosária,
nové trávníky s automatickou závlahou.
Repair of pavement, new public and
ceremonial lighting, new plantations,
including the Rose Garden, new lawns
with the automated irrigation system.

2006–2007

8 100

Letenské sady / Letenské Orchards

Obnova Letenských sadů –
III. etapa
Renewal of Letenské
Orchards

48 000 m2

Obnova komunikací, sadové úpravy,
nové veřejné osvětlení, nový mobiliář, nové
inženýrské sítě, pítko.
Reconstruction of roads, orchard modifications,
new public lighting, new mobile park equipment,
new utility networks, and drinking fountain.

2004

28 200

Dětské hřiště „U hrocha“
Children playground
“U hrocha”
(“Rhino’s Ground”)

5 000 m2

Kompletní rekonstrukce dětského hřiště,
nové herní prvky, povrchy, mobiliář.
Complete reconstruction of the children
playground, new game elements, pavement,
and mobile park equipment.

2002–2003

1 800

Sociální zázemí
pro návštěvníky parku
Social facilities for the park
visitors

800 m2

Nový přízemní objekt veřejných WC
a občerstvení pro návštěvníky parku.
New ground floor building of public restrooms
and refreshment for the park visitors.

2006

8 700

Nástup do Letenských sadů
od zámečku
Entrance into the Letenské
Orchards from the Little
Chateaux

5 700 m2

Rekonstrukce povrchů, nové veřejné osvětlení,
nové inženýrské sítě, trávníky a výsadby.
Reconstruction of pavement, new public
lighting, new utility networks, lawns,
and plantations.

2006

5 300

Petřín / Petřín Hill

Rekonstrukce jiřinkového
sadu na úpatí Petřína
Reconstruction of the Dahlia
Garden at the foothill
of the Petřín Hill

7 000 m2

Oprava komunikací, sadové úpravy,
automatická závlaha, nové veřejné osvětlení,
mobiliář, včetně modelace terénu.
Repair of roads, orchard modifications, auto-
mated irrigation system, new public lighting,
mobile park equipment, including landscaping.

2002

11 000

Oprava Hladové zdi
Repair of the Hunger Wall

500 bm

Oprava opukové zdi z doby Karla IV.
Repair of the argillite wall from the times
of Charles IV.

2002–2005

47 500

Oprava ohradní zdi
Lobkovické zahrady
a přilehlých schodišť
Repair of the perimeter wall
of the Lobkowitz Garden
and adjacent staircases

750 bm

Oprava kamenné ohradní zdi s oplocením včetně
vápenných omítek, rekonstrukce schodiště
z Vlašské ulice a schodiště v Petřínských sadech.
Repair of the perimeter stone wall with the
fencing, including lime plaster, the reconstruc-
tion of the staircase from the Vlašská Street
and the stairway in the Petřín Orchards.

2005–2006

17 000

Obora Hvězda (NKP) / Game Reserve Hvězda (National Cultural Monument)

Rekonstrukce ohradní zdi
obory
Reconstruction of the Game
Reserve perimeter wall

450 bm

Rekonstrukce historické opukové zdi, včetně
nových dubových bran a nátěru proti graffiti.
Reconstruction of the historic argillite wall,
including new oak wood gates and protective
coating against graffiti.

2004–2005

8 000

Rekonstrukce parteru
před Letohrádkem Hvězda
Reconstruction of the parterre
in front of the Summer House
Hvězda

5 500 m2

Nová modelace terénu, nové komunikace,
mobiliář, sadové úpravy, automatická závlaha.
Newly modelled terrain, new roads, inventory,
garden modifications, and the automatic
irrigation system.

2004–2005

7 100

Vítkov / Vítkov Mountain

Automatická závlaha
Automatic irrigation system

5 000 m2

Automatický závlahový systém trávníkových
ploch u památníku.
The automatic irrigation system of lawn areas
at the Monument.

2003

2 000

Source: OOP MHMP

Modification to vegetation

Except for gardening modifications within the respective constructions, vegetation has been continuously recovered in the parks. Since 1 January 2003 till these days the plantations included:

Old trees in the parks of category I are also continuously treated. The arborists treated 2,651 specimens of these trees in the last four years.

Project documentation

The crucial projects discussed at present are as follows:


B3.3.2 Alleys

Since 1995 when the City of Prague launched the project Prague for Tress – Trees for Prague, in which street and road alleys became to be recovered and revitalised, it was managed to plant over 2,700 new tree specimens in the alleys falling under the I category of the alley classification system.

In 2006 the gradual recovery of street alleys has been continuing. The Prague City Hall concluded the agreement on “Provision of services for the care of selected roadside vegetation“ with the Technical Administration of Roads, in which subject matter is to provide for regular management of alleys of I category. The management shall mean the recovery of alleys, i.e. inevitable felling, replacement of removed specimens, and additional plantation of trees to alleys (in the current as well as newly built niches) and the care of the existing tress as well as new plantations.

The number of newly planted trees in street alleys always significantly outnumbers the number of the felled trees!

Alleys of I category renewal in 2006:

Březinova Street, Prague 8

This was the second phase of this alley recovery (I phase was carried out in 1999). In total four trees were felled and twelve were planted, out of them eight were placed onto completely new tree positions on the western side of the street. There the plantation included eleven specimens of the “narrow crown” variety of European ash (Fraxinus excelsior ‘Atlas’) (girth 16–18 cm) and one specimen of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Skyline’) (girth 20–25 cm).

Evropská Street, Prague 6

In spring 2006 the plantation of twenty-two specimens of London plane (Platanus acerifolia) (girth 18–20 cm) was carried out into newly built niches along the park.

Evropská Street, in the area of Vítězné Sq., Prague 6

In autumn 2006 the alleys in the green belt in the area of Vítězné Square were recovered. Five specimens of the existing and dying silver lindens (Tilia tomentosa) were replaced with five specimens of London plane (Platanus acerifolia ‘Tremonii’) with planting size of the girth of 35–40 cm.

Korunní Street – the section between Kolínská Street and Jičínská Street, Prague 3 and 10

The next phase of the gradual revitalisation of this alley was carried out in the autumn of 2006. Additional planting into vacant tree positions was performed and nine new were positions were created. Within this phase one tree was felled and nine specimens of black locust variety (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Monophylla’) (girth 18–20 cm) and eleven specimens of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) (girth 20–25 cm) were newly planted.

Modřanská Street, Prague 4

Seven specimens of small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’) (girth 16–18 cm) were planted into the green belt along the cycling route on Modřanská Street in spring 2006.

Pod Kaštany Street, Prague 6

In autumn 2006 the additional plantation into the green belt along this heavily traffic loaded road and into newly built tree positions in the area of newly reconstructed section of the road was carried out. There were twenty-eight specimens of the pink blooming red horse-chestnut (Aesculus carnea) and thirteen specimens of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) (girth 16–18 cm).

Rašínovo Embankment, Prague 2

In autumn 2006 ten specimens of dead trees were felled and eleven specimens of lime tree (Tilia europea ‘Pallida’) (girth 18–20 cm) were planted on the embankment.

Sokolovská Street, Prague 9

In autumn 2006 the first phase of this alley revitalisation was carried out. For the reason of intensive occurrence of the wood-destroying fungus white-pored chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) the existing black locust plantation was replaced with the planted twenty-five specimens of alike looking Japanese pagodatree (Sophora japonica) (girth 16–18 cm).

Starostrašnická Street, Prague 10

In autumn 2006 the final II phase of the overall recovery and revitalisation of this alley was carried out. Thus in 2036 thirteen trees were felled and immediately followed the plating of nineteen specimens of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Bessoniana’) (girth 18–20 cm). The specimens are as in the first phase protected by the walk-on grate and a tall metallic trunk cover.

Šrobárova Street, Prague 3 and 10

In autumn 2006 the second phase of the plantation into this alley was carried out. Three existing tree specimens were felled and then the plantation into the existing as well as newly built tree positions and into the green belt along the Vinohradská Hospital was performed. In total there were 32 specimens of narrow-crown London plane (Platanus acerifolia ‘Pyramidalis’) (girth 16–18 cm) planted there. In the area of car parking the trees are protected by a drive-on grate and a tall metallic trunk cover.

V Olšinách Street (in the area in front of the school), Prague 10

In the area in front of the school three existing specimens of black locust were removed, which due their bad shape could pose hazard to pedestrians, and immediately afterwards four specimens of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) (girth 18–20 cm) were planted instead of them and the surface of the tree positions is protected by the walk-on grate.

All new plantations remain under the care of the Department of Environmental Protection of the Prague City Hall, which shall provide for the implementation of follow-up intensive care for the trees planted.

In 2006 the resources spent on the recovery and renewal of the Prague alleys of I category accounted for approx. CZK 6.5 million and their maintenance required approx. CZK 6 million.

Fig. B3.5 Alleys renewal category I.

Figure B3.5 Alleys renewal category I.

Source: OOP MHMP


B3.3.3 Forests

A) New forest areas

1. The Forest-Park Dolní Počernice land 1493/2 c.d. Dolní Počernice and 1856/75 c.d. Dubeč: plantation of forest on the area of 25,000 m2 (10,000 oak specimens, 2,500 lime tree specimens, 1,500 Norway maple specimens, 900 hornbeam specimens, 200 wild cherry specimens, 1,500 pine specimens, 500 larch specimens, and 1,000 Douglas fir specimens).

In autumn 2006 silvicultures planted in 2005, which were damaged by the long winter season 2005/2006, were vastly recovered and revitalised. The most severe damage demonstrated oaks and Douglas firs on localities of Šeberov and Dolní Počernice (p. No. 1330/65 – approx. 50% died).

In total there were 25,000 m2 of new forests planted on agricultural land.

B) Forest renewal

In the existing forests the area of 111,400 m2 was newly planted within the forest recovery, tree species composition (in total seventeen tree species) was as follows:

Dřevinná skladba / Tree species compositions

Počet kusů / Number

Borovice lesní

Scotch pine

Pinus sylvestris

5 600

Borovice vejmutovka

Eastern white pine

Pinus strobus

900

Buk lesní

European beech

Fagus sylvatica

8 600

Douglaska tisolistá

Douglas fir

Pseudotsuga manziesii

4 100

Dub zimní

Sessile oak

Quercus petraea

36 500

Habr obecný

Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus

1 500

Jasan ztepilý

European ash

Fraxinus excelsior

900

Javor mléč

Norway maple

Acer plananoides

1 400

Jedle bělokorá

European silver fir

Abies alba

2 500

Jeřáb břek

Wild service tree (checker tree)

Sorbus torminalis

300

Jilm habrolistý

Smooth-leaved elm

Ulmus carpinifolia

850

Lípa malolistá

Small-leaved lime

Tilia cordata

9 300

Modřín opadavý

European larch

Larix decidua

6 000

Olše lepkavá

Black alder

Alnus glutinosa

300

Ořešák černý

Black walnut

Junglans nigra

200

Smrk omorika

Serbian spruce

Picea omorika

350

Třešeň ptačí

Wild cherry

Cerasus avium

700

In total there were 80,000 specimens of tree species planted, out of that 24.3 % coniferous trees and 75.7 % deciduous trees.

C) Forest management

Forest management was carried out pursuant to the approved management plan and in accordance with principles of sustainable forestry. Due to the adverse weather conditions (high temperature, low precipitation) the so-called accidental felling are still represented at high percentage. That means of trees, which are ill or dyeing, are felled, in total dead trees accounted for 37 % of the felled volume, of course in older stands (over approx. 100 years) this share was 55 %. Majority of dead tress were spruces and pines. In the end of 2006 the forest property of the Prague City Hall and its management was certified applying the very strict system of the (Forest Stewardship Council). In the framework of the support to non-production functions of forests the system of regular supervision, maintenance, and revisions of children playgrounds and small movable equipment in forests (there are 2,620 elements installed in total) forest. The little zoo at the Kunratická Gamekeeper’s Lodge was reopened following its overall reconstruction. Within the forest road repair, two larger projects, besides the regular maintenance, were completed – the capital repair of the 1,800-metre-long backbone forest road in the Xaverovský Grove and the complete repair of the bitumen–paved roads in the Chuchelský Grove.


B3.3.4 Project for the renewal and revitalisation of Prague’s reservoirs

Project objectives:

1. Environmental objectives

To provide for environmental protection and increasing number of species of fauna and flora bound to aquatic ecosystems – improvement in biodiversity in the City of Prague, protection of protected species, increased purity of water in Prague’s watercourses and lakes.

2. Technical objectives

To provide for safety and security of water works at floods, to carry out reconstruction and repair of all functional structures of water reservoirs.

3. Cultural, historical, and social objectives

Increased awareness of the Prague inhabitants on Prague’s lakes, on their importance in urban landscape, and on their history. The renewal of historical lakes and monuments related to them.

The ongoing at present:

2006/2007 – Repair of the Retention Reservoir Černý Bridge.

Lakes and reservoirs were repaired within the project as follows:

2006

2005

2004

2003

Under preparation is:

One of most important projects, which the City of Prague is preparing at present, is the revitalisation of the dry polder Čihadla where a great number of new creek beds, pools, cut-offs, and wetland areas shall be formed.

The repair of all lakes located on protected areas in the City of Prague is planned as well.

1. Completion of the reconstruction of and sludge removal from Lake Velký Počernický

The reconstruction of Lake Velký Počernický was induced by the long-time inappropriate shape of its dam, all functionality structures and elements, bypass dyke, and overall load of Lake with sludge. The Lake dam was fortified with stone pavement and the safety overflow was revetted in stone. The shore walls and creek bed under the overflow were also repaired. The historical sandstone bridge was entirely taken into pieces and assembled again following to the reinforcement of all structures. The sluice gate and subdividing dam in between Lake and the bypass dyke were also completely reconstructed.

The last part of the reconstruction was the sludge removal and the construction of a small island. There were several pools also excavated in the Lake vicinity for the development of amphibians and invertebrates. The project significantly contributed to the increased recreational potential of the whole area, while respecting the cultural and historical heritage of the City District and last, but not least, also revitalised an important nature locality.

The reconstruction was launched after the autumn fishing at the end of 2004 and was completed in July 2006.

The total budget expenses accounted for CZK 56.3 million. The project was co-financed by the European Union within the programme JPD2 and it was the first project of Prague, which received any subsidy within the measure. The lake reconstruction is the most important and most demanding water management construction, which the Department of Environmental Protection of Prague City Hall completed in cooperation with Lesy hl. m. Prahy in recent years.

Fig. B3.6 Reconstruction of Lake Velký Počernický

Figure B3.6 Reconstruction of Lake Velký Počernický

Source: OOP MHMP

2. Repair of Lake Čimický

In June 2006 the repair of Lake Čimický was completed, which was started by the Department of Environmental Protection of the Prague City Hall in April 2005.

The first notes on Lake Čimický come from 1890. In the 1960s, however, the development in urbanisation of the municipality of Čimice accompanied with vast taking watercourses into underground pipes and construction of utility networks, limited substantially recharging of groundwater with rainwater. The last stroke to Lake Čimický was the construction of the sewer F in its close vicinity. Once the sewer was completed the lake could not be swollen and was devastated and then scattered ruderal vegetation covered area was on its location instead of a water body.

The lake repair included the removal of all old and non-functional structures and premises. On the place of the old overflow a new sluice gate was built and the dam was fortified with stone pavement. Sludge was excavated from the lake, shores were modified and at the inflow a small island bearing a group of willows was constructed. On the left shore shallow parts with reed growth were left because they are inevitable for the reproduction of amphibians and the waterfowl nesting. This way the lake functions, not as solely landscape forming and aesthetic factors, yet also as an environmental factor as well. In 2006 works on the sealing of the vicinity of the sewer F, which took all groundwater aside the lake, continued. Immediately once the sealing was completed water level in the lake became to swell significantly and one month after the measures were completed the water level in the lake attained the original water level value that means to the willows on the lake left shore.

Unfortunately, water taken into the lake from drainage contains increased nitrogen and phosphorus content, which causes excessive occurrence of algae.

Therefore it can be stated that another water body, including the little creek flowing from the lake into the Čimické Valley, has been saved in Prague.

The construction was performed by Lesy hl. m. Prahy for the price of approx. CZK 6 million. The project was co-financed with the European Union within the framework of the Programme JPD2.

3. Repair of the little forest lake under Diana

The water management system on Cibulka has not been maintained for a long time and majority of structures on the park was in very bad shape. For this reason the Department of Environmental Protection of Prague City Hall launched as early as in 2005 the overall reconstruction of water management facilities on the Cibulka Creek. The complete reconstruction started with the repair of the small lake Pod Dianou and the repair of devastated culverts under roads.

The repair of small lake Pod Dianou was completed in June 2006 and represented the overall reconstruction of the small lake, including the construction of a new dam, overflow, and sluice gate. The small lake was newly shaped in an oval and its shores are inclined and fortified with stone pavement. This way the water regime was interconnected with the surroundings which will appreciate no solely visitors yet also aquatic animals and amphibians. As the lake damming structure a half-circle stone overflow was built following to the vault bridge with wooden railings.

The small lake surroundings were treated the way to recover the original view from the garden shed over the small lake to the Diana sculpture. All stony structures were built of siliceous porphyry, which is stone in colour and texture similar to sandstone that is original at this locality. The construction was carried out by Lesy hl. m. Prahy. Costs: CZK 2.4 million.

4. Repair of Lake U Vodotoku

The repair of Lake U Vodotoku was forced by the near-accident shape of the lake, of which all structures were damaged – the dam was leaking and the lake suffered from the lack of water. The repair, which was started in autumn 2005, included the overall reconstruction and sealing of the dam body, removal of the old dysfunctional concrete joint structure, and the construction of a new stone overflow.

Local shape modifications were carried out of its bottom, sludge was removed from the lake and its shores were cleaned from litter within the overall repair. The lake bottom was treated so the lake will be able to provide for not solely landscaping and aesthetic functions yet also the environmental one. Shallow parts at the inflow were left including reed growths, which are inevitable for the reproduction of amphibians. The bottom section of the lake was shaped the way to prevent vegetation growth in there and thus free water level would remain in this section.

In 2006 works proceeded by repairs to the air face of the dam. The mouth of rainwater drainage and lake outflow were revetted and there was a stone paved boil area built to mitigate the force of water outflowing from rainwater drainage into the Zátišský Creek. The construction was completed in December 2006 and was carried out by Lesy hl. m. Prahy (Prague Forests Co.).

The activities carried out within the framework of regular maintenance are as follows:

PRAGUE CREEKS

1. Repair of the weir in Petrovice

In June 2006 the repair of a weir on the Botič Stream in Petrovice, started in March 2006 by the Department of Environmental Protection of Prague City Hall, was completed.

The Petrovice weir was built in 17th century to raise the Botič Stream level and thus water could be taken through a flume to a mill in Petrovice. At the beginning of 2004, however, there was merely a torso remaining of the original weir and remnants of the side walls were threatening to fall down. The weir repair included sludge removal off the area above the weir and remediation of the undermined banks. The original classic structure of the weir was replaced with a rocky chute with several pots serving as fish crossing. The chute height reaches to the level of the preserved part of the original weir namely to prevent change in the shape and acreage of the flood area in Křeslice. The original side walls were disassembled and newly revetted of new stone. The wall height was determined by the requirement for the future placing of a pedestrian bridge across the Botič Stream for the newly proposed cycling route.

The construction was performed by the company of Nowastav, a. s. for the price of approx. CZK 5 million. The project was co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the Programme JPD2.

2. Repair of the little weir on the Botič Stream, including fish crossing facility

The little weir (U Břehu Street) was already for a long term in very bad shape and virtually out of function and therefore in April 2006 its repair started.

Nowadays, the weir serves for slowing down the water flow and preventing of bank entrainment. The water retained, moreover, creates a locality suitable for fish and other aquatic animals. The water oxygen saturation that happens when water overflows the weir is also very important. The integrated part of the repair was also the building of fish crossing – the first fish crossing in Prague. Under current conditions this was rather an example of the fish crossing construction because water quality of the Botič Stream does not enable long term development and migration of fish. In future, however, it is believed that water quality in Prague’s watercourses will be improved so much that it will provide conditions for fish living as well.

The construction was performed by Lesy hl. m. Prahy. Costs: CZK 1.5 million.

3. Safe taking of rainwater from the Branched Creek catchment area

The Branched Creek is a tributary of the Motolský Creek having its mouth into at the crossing of 5. máje Street and Plzeňská Street in Prague 5. The creek, about 7,000 metre long, flows from the Retention Reservoir U Hájů where all springs and rainwater drainage are taken into. In the bottom, developed area the Branched Creek is taken into underground pipes. This section is critical with often happening floods of adjacent lands and houses even at smaller rain or thaw. The main reason for such trouble was the fact the creek bed was, due to the area urbanisation, relocated out of the natural valley line and taken into pipes in inappropriate way.

Within this project the minimisation of flooding of adjacent lands in the developed area of the Branched Creek was addressed. The original low-throughput pipes were removed and replaced with new pipes that has open sections, which serve for further taking of rainwater into the creek.

The new pipes are made of plastic and designed the way not having any sharp elbows and changes in gradient that reduce the pipe throughput. Compared to the original project the lengths of sections taken in pipes were shortened at expense of open bed and small water pools. Thus the project contributed not merely to the improved conditions under flood conditions yet also to the overall environmental revaluation of the creek sections formerly taken in underground pipes.

The construction was completed in December 2006 and was carried out by Lesy hl. m. Prahy (Prague Forests Co.). Costs: CZK 4.8 million.

4. Repair of the bed of Dalejský Creek in Řeporyje

The Department of Environmental Protection of Prague City Hall, in cooperation with the City District Řeporyje, continued in the repair of the Dalejský Creek bed. This time the repair included the embankment walls in the municipality developed part. The embankment walls were made as a replica of the historical embankment walls from the first half of 20th century when there was active limestone quarrying in the Prokopské Valley. Stone for the repair was acquired from the last active quarry in the surroundings due to the effort of personnel at the City District Authority.

The repair also comprises the construction of a small sediment trap, which shall be contributing to improved water quality in the Dalejský Creek.

The construction was completed in December 2006 and was carried out by Lesy hl. m. Prahy (Prague Forests Co.). Costs: CZK 2.5 million.

The activities carried out within the framework of regular maintenance are as follows:


B3.3.5 Specially protected areas in Prague

Contemporary people enclosed in technical sphere have the opportunity to find out the function of nature ecosystems rather from books and television than from their direct physical contact. Landscape has become cease to be home to them where they live and work yet is becoming a strange place where they go for a visit from time to time. That means elements of nature landscape, which have been preserved ion the urban structure till these days and which represent valuable heritage from our ancestors from the relatively near times, before the human started to extradite themselves, either deliberately or accidentally, from nature and landscape, are even more precious now.

As in the larger portion of Europe and in the Czech Republic the protected areas in Prague were created by human activities, which for centuries, and somewhere even for millennia, affected landscape, which is now called culture landscape.

History of the SPAs in Prague

Settlement of the Prague’s area is dated back to 6th millennium before Christ. Significant effects on landscape on the territory of the today’s City however started around the half of 19th century. When foundations of the first industrial companies and adjacent worker neighbourhoods were laid down namely in areas of current Karlín and Smíchov. Railways routs were created, which wind through the city till today, the exploitation of building materials as sand, sandstone, limestone is developed. It is the time when various strata of rich and diverse geological bedrock of the City is exposed, the time of famous discoveries of fossils of Joachim Barrande. A number of these geological localities have in Prague status of important specially protected areas of European importance.

The great City development continued n the first half of 20th century, namely in between the World War I and II. The near vicinity of the City yet still preserved its character of countryside landscape with intensive agriculture. The important change occurred in 1948 following the political change and advance of communist administration of the state with elements of dictatorship. The general nationalisation of property therefore agricultural land as well the society underwent a shock which consequences we still feel today. Agriculture, soil, and landscape have gradually ceased to be the object of and source of living, social certainty, as well as spiritual element. Fields are consolidated; many lands showed as uneconomic for socialist agriculture mass production and therefore remained unmanaged. Formerly sensitive attitude to soil and professional pride is often turned into ignorance. In the 1970s and 1980s the era of a great sprawl of the City begins – housing estates, which occupied significant areas of land, are built. It fortunately also time when first specially protected areas in Prague are established. Their formation was terminated to today’s shape in the first half of the 1990s.

Prague’s nature has been formed by human since the ancient times

Due to agricultural activities and respect of our ancient ancestors to landscape plant communities have been preserved at numerous locations in Prague and on these localities the biotopes of insects and animals which are to a certain extent bound to certain types of agricultural activity. The examples are nature reserves of Divoká Šárka Valley and Prokopské Valley. On both these territories there was dense settlement as early as before Christ and in 8th and 9th centuries there were huge Slavic fortresses there which importance faded when the Prague Castle was established at the beginning of 10th century in the course of the Czech state creation.

Increased importance of Prague’s nature within the City

As it is clear from the previous text human was at the formation of so far preserved parts of the Prague’s nature environment as early as in ancient times with its aimed agricultural den pasture activities as in the case of majority of similar localities ion the Czech Republic or in Europe. The last two decades of 20th century are the period when the professional public is aware of the history of creation of the contemporary protected nature localities as a result to human activities over centuries and often for millennia. Simultaneously it is demonstrated that Prague is not merely a city of unique historical monuments, a location of “genius loci“ residence, yet it also has valuable nature localities often connected to its ancient history, which our ancestors continuously managed for centuries. This way communities of fauna and flora were created especially on non-forest areas which are significantly bound to this way of management and would vanish without it. It was shown that localities protected within the status of specially protected are requires not merely a high level of protection yet also professional and regular management which would in very sensitive manner simulated the former agricultural activities and which was entirely missing for over 40 years. Therefore the turn of millennium is the period when the management of protected areas is further progressing in Prague.

There are in total 88 specially protected areas in the City, out of which the Prague City Hall takes care of 77 falling into the categories of nature monument and nature reserve.

Undesirable tree species and plants affecting the protected nature environment in Prague

In order to create conditions for recovery and return of meadow, steppe, yet also forest ecosystems, first, it is necessary to stop advancing of aggressive succession of bushes and tree species and certain other plant species, namely black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). Blackthorn is a heliophyte bush species occurring naturally in the Bohemian landscape and occupying mostly fallows, edges of forests, or areas with regular management; black locust is an introduced tee species originating from North America, at the beginning planted in parks and private dendrologic collections only. At the end of 19th century and in the first decades of 20th century black locust was planted in masses by foresters namely on steep slopes and poor, exposed localities. In the course of the second half of 20th century it started to spread spontaneously namely onto areas without any management for a long term. Nowadays, its continuous stands occurring often at localities of natural importance present a great warning as the commemoration and monument of human disrespect to landscape.

The known story is that of giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), dangerous and poisonous plant, which occurrence is successfully minimised within the City. Relatively frequent is giant knotweed (Reynoutria sachalinensis), which is spreading namely along water courses and in recent time also ornamental jewelweed (Impatiens glandulifera). These are plants which are able to displaced the autochthonous flora very fast and occupy their sites and thus affect insects and animals bound to the original site. All the aforementioned plants are regularly reduced. The high occurrence of ornamental jewelweed has been currently observed in Šárecké Valley where it is eliminated in systematic manner by regular cutting and weeding out.

Management of SPAs, landscape management

We can state that at certain locations, as for instance in the Nature Reserves of Divoká Šárka, Prokopské Valley, specially protected areas on the territory of Troja, or the Nature Monument Hrnčířské Meadows the management of protected areas can be called management of the natural environment of the City by traditional methods leading towards the renewal and preservation of historical landscape. Here, the inappropriate and aggressive tree species are suppressed and conditions for the return and re-spreading of plant communities yet also appropriate tree species composition of forest stands are created.

Contribution of pasture to the formation of Prague’s nature environment

Terrain relief of the City is rather broken, the difference in between the point of the lowest altitude and the highest one is 222 metres. Namely on steep slopes exposed to the South and on drying up localities with minimum quality soil plant communities of “xerothermal grasslands” have developed over centuries as secondary communities yet occupying these sites for many years. Because of the former countryside character of the settlements in surroundings of the today’s downtown the breeding of livestock, also goats and sheep, was a part of that time agricultural management. We can estimate thousand of them were bred then. They moved and pasture mostly on areas which could not be used as fields of meadows. Their flocks regularly reduced grasslands, especially goats by eating bushes at their beginning of growth prevented the succession of bush and tree species onto the areas. The animals, by small disturbances to soil caused by their hoofs and by simultaneous fertilising, created conditions for the growth and reproductions of a whole number of specific grass and herb species. This state was in the 1950s stopped due to the social auricular mass productions and changes in land property, expansion of construction development and gradual change in lifestyle. In order to preserve these localities within the City we started at selected localities al least a partial and sensitive simulation of the forms landscape management. This is done by controlled pasture of a flock of goats and sheep on selected localities fro the seventh consecutive year. At present two flocks of these animals manage 21 localities on 16 protected areas from May to October every year. The flock in on the locality only for limited time to keep the pasture extent at its optimum.

SPAs are indispensable

Therefore there is all evidence is that this type of management is very beneficial to the management localities and in significant way contribute to the preservation of the historical feature of the preserved parts of Prague’s landscape and to the stabilisation of its fauna and flora. It is good that toady’s Europe and the City of Prague, as the centre of the Czech Republic, weights and accentuates the preservation of nature heritage, culture heritage, culture monuments, etc. For instance majority of the European jewels of historical monuments enlisted on the UNESCO list are documented in so perfect way that in case of need these structures can be rebuilt in their original shape with no problem. The loss of historical ecosystems the way of leaving them to natural succession or even to damage by construction development is irreplaceable.

Current technology is able to re-establish the damaged landscape relief or to rebuilt a cathedral damaged by earthquake, yet to re-establish a whole system of complex relations of organisms of unique ecosystems that have been created over centuries it will never be able to do… Such loss would be irreversible.

If there is no protection and management of specially protected areas in Prague irreplaceable looses would occur.

The Capital City of the Czech Republic Prague realises the value and importance of its preserved nature localities and therefore it is expected that the way towards preservation of specially protected areas in Prague will be further developed in successful manner.

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