Prague is planning to grass over some of its tram lines as part of a program to make the city greener.
Green tram rails are becoming more and more popular in Europe, and Prague wants to follow this trend. As part of the project Gene Funds for Cities and Landscapes, the Prague Public Transport Company is testing new unique mixtures of plants for evergreen tram tracks.
Not only are grass tracks aesthetically pleasing, but they also go some way to supporting town landscapes that lack green space. This can have significant benefits for health and well-being, making cities more attractive.
Moreover, grass tracks can reduce traffic noise, improve air quality, and cool the summer heat.
“Embedding rails in grass acts as a better absorber of sound and vibration than traditional light rail embedment materials such as concrete and other hard surfaces,” said Prague’s Deputy Mayor for Mobility Adam Scheinherr
One more benefit is the fact that the repair of the tram line on the grassy surface can be carried out faster than the repair of the paved line, which takes significantly more time, is more expensive, noisier, and duster.
The researchers, in cooperation with the transport company, sowed the first three test fields in the tram loops of Sídliště Řepy, Spořilov and at the metro depot in Hostivař with a total area of 270 m2. The seeds come from resistant plant varieties, which experts have collected over the past 25 years at various locations in the Czech Republic.
“This year, we have repaired 12.5 km of tram lines, we are preparing and building new ones, but we are paying attention to the aesthetics and the ecological-climatic side. We want to make Prague a smart city in the 21st century. I believe we will be able to obtain almost maintenance-free and evergreen tram tracks that will reduce dust and temperature in the streets of Prague, and improve the microclimate in the capital,” added Scheinherr.
“We will further expand the grass tracks in Poděbradská or Koněvova streets, everywhere where it fulfills an urban function, ” added Jan Šurovský, member of the DPP Board of Directors.
Green tracks can be seen in pretty much every European city from Barcelona to Frankfurt, Milan, St-Etienne, and Strasbourg.