Floodplain Park Prague
Prague (CZ), 2023
‘Floodplain Park’ is a designed urban landscape within Prague, integrating flood control in the natural and industrial heritage waterfronts of the Vltava River. Outside the dikes and within the city, the development intensifies the relation between the nature of Prague and its inhabitants. Water safety provides a basis for the landscape and urban strategies.
As part of the water safety program of the Vltava River, the City of Prague together with IPR aim for a development strategy for the Rohan & Libeň Islands area and a design for the adjacent Maniny Park. A long-term landscape proposal was requested, integrating a new park and a housing development. And a new river arm had to be incorporated into the park design.
Flip the flow
Since the last big flood in 2002 the area became influenced by the riverbed morphology, meaning that it floods when the water rises. In the north of Prague, the Vltava River has a sharp bend, and the riverbed profile is narrow. This congestion point causes extra water level rise in the area. From there onward, our intervention allows the water to gradually flow from the north back into Maniny Park. We thereby flipped the proposed flow direction!
Furthermore, we intended to turn Rohan Island and Maniny park into a series of floodable fields, covered by local herbaceous plants that will be grazed by sheep.
Additionally, rainwater management is part of the solution: at the south end of Maniny park, we collect and treat the rainwater from the city, in the midst of industrial heritage. A rainwater creek leads the surplus through the fields towards the river north of the site. The sand that was dug out for the valley is used to shape a hill to flee onto in the case of sudden river water level rising.
On Libeň Island we drew up a building development that increases the quality of life of all living beings in the Vltava valley. We designed the new buildings to be nature-inclusive, part of the larger ecological functionings in the area. Here, the high-quality public space design was inspired by flood prevention, it prioritizes pedestrians and celebrates communal gardening. At the river’s edge we proposed the Corso: a long, paved dike lined with trees, serving as a seating, and strolling edge to the city.
Our development offers a sustainable landscape for programming. For this we set up an elaborated participation strategy with neighbours, based on foundations, the herding of sheep as a social integration program, and more. The result is a vast and narrative landscape in the centre of Prague, for both mankind and the nature of Vltava.
|Floodplain Park Prague
|Rohan & Libeň Islands, Maniny Park, Prague (CZ)
|Urban strategy, Park design, Mixed-use neighbourhood
|56 ha, Park: 21 ha
|City of Prague, IPR Prague Institute of Planning and Development
|Jos-Willem van Oorschot, Cecilia Gross
|DS Landscape Architects