Brownfields belong to the major urban problems in Czechia. These derelict areas are characterized by decayed, abandoned buildings and sometimes by contaminated land.
Now Prague authorities are aiming to give these areas a new lease of life in an attempt to ease an acute housing shortage, create jobs and attract investment in projects.
Brownfields are located in places with already existing public transport and are connected to other infrastructure. For the city, support for private construction on brownfields is the best solution to the current housing crisis, according to Central Group.
Unused “brownfield” sites in the center cover an estimated 940 hectares, the equivalent of 1,000 soccer fields. Proposed projects include converting an abandoned milk factory into shops and apartments, and turning part of a derelict train station into office and residential space.
Czech developer Central Group has acquired a brownfield site in Prague’s Zličín district and plans to use it to build a new neighborhood with up to 6,000 apartments and tram service.
Penta is planning to build up to 500 apartments on the currently unused four-hectare brownfield of the Nákladové nádraží Žižkov. The new urban district will have a high-quality architecture, greenery and civic amenities.
However, it is not easy to conduct extensive construction work in a historic, UNESCO-protected city center. Navigating a lengthy permitting process, complicated by the fact each of Prague’s 57 districts wield their own power, has slowed progress for local investors and largely blocked foreign investors so far.