May 05, 2024

This Street in Brno Says Goodbye to Cars and Turns into a “Living Room”

Starting May 3rd, Vachova Street in the heart of Brno became a pedestrian-only zone in the middle of the city centre.

Cars have been replaced with comfortable seating areas and new greenery, while a rich cultural program curated by local businesses will animate the street for the next six months.

This project is coordinated by designer Veronika Rút from the non-profit organisation Naše kultivovaná města (‘Our cultured cities’). “Inspired by similar projects in Milan and New York, we believe this intervention will be a huge success,” says Rút.

“My vision was to unite the businesses on one street and create a shared summer living room,” explains Rút. “We convinced city officials, and Vachova Street was chosen. From May 3rd, it will be closed for six months, offering space for commercial and non-commercial gardens for everyone to enjoy.”

Vachova Street was strategically selected for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a dead-end with minimal car traffic, minimizing disruption. Additionally, it had a limited number of parking spaces, with dozens more available in the nearby street.

The street also boasts a diverse mix of shops and restaurants, from boutiques to pizza places and pubs. “We want something for everyone,” says Rút. “There will be children’s seating, soft drinks, and even an esoteric shop offering fortune-telling on opening day.”

READ ALSO:   Victor Lustig, the Czech Con Artist Who Sold the Eiffel Tower

Tactical urbanism has proven successful abroad. It involves small, temporary interventions that transform spaces and gather public feedback.

“Cooperation with local entrepreneurs and restaurant operators is the key to creating an attractive and functional urban space,” said the Mayor of Brno-střed, Vojtěch Mencl. “We emphasize quality restaurant gardens, comfortable furniture, plenty of greenery, and safe pedestrian zones.”

“Similar successful interventions exist in New York and Tirana,” adds Rút. “My goal is to spark a public discussion in our country – to make people think about how we use public spaces and their potential to add new value to our cities.”

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