From 2001 to 2013, the population of Prague’s suburbs increased more doubled. The reason for that is quite obvious: who wouldn’t like to live with their family in nice natural environment while staying close to the city centre, where you have a well-paid job? However, this urban sprawl is not only about building family houses. It is necessary to take into account all the related services, such as water and electricity networks, infrastructure or waste management. Then you also need schools, healthcare facilities, shops and restaurants. Moreover, lower taxes in the suburbs compared to the city centre attract companies and businessmen. As a result, more and more industrial warehouses of all kinds, new factories and large shopping centres are being built on places, which used to be green…
According to the Prague Institute of Planning and Development, the city will not continue to expand in the following years. The goal is rather to renovate existing unused areas also called brownfields. A perfect example of this is the DOX Centre of Contemporary Art situated in the Prague district Holešovice. The abandoned factory was reconstructed into a multi-functional building, where contemporary art, architecture and design are exhibited. The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture ranked it among the best architectural projects in the world. Instead of destroying the original landscape by building another new complex, an old one was cleverly reconstructed. How cool is that?
If you live in the centre of Prague, you are happy to have at least a balcony with flowers or a park nearby to compensate for the lack of greenery around. But nothing is black-and-white and there are undoubtedly pros and cons when it comes to living in the Czech capital. All the amazing social events, fun activities and breath-taking architecture are in sharp contrast with the hectic lifestyle, busy traffic and grey urban environment.
The good news is that within spitting distance of the city centre, you will find the fairy-tale Průhonice Chateau surrounded by a picturesque park. The local fauna and flora invite all those who like to spend time outside for a nice walk along streams and meadows. All exotic and local plant species are dispersed over the area so that the walk is magical all year round. This Czech National Historical Landmark is also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List, which inspired us to put this beautiful place on our list of ThinkPrague guided tours. It is a quick and easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and go into the wild. In the second part of the tour, there will be time to visit the Prague Environmental Education Centre Toulcův Dvůr.
Just at the imaginary border of the city, you may explore a farm with cows, sheep, horses, goats and chickens. It also includes listed buildings, such as the old stable, where both children and adults can get into closer contact with the farm animals. It is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the surrounding countryside. You can also buy fresh herbs and other local products. No car noise, no rush, no crowds. Instead of impersonal industrial zones, only forests and meadows as if you weren’t even in Prague. So despite of being in a capital city with more than a million inhabitants, countryside and beautiful views are within your reach. Thumbs up for all similar projects preventing Prague from looking like a successfully completed SimCity!