Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 296

Prague Public Space Design

Urban Design Section

Public Space

Prague Institute of Planning and Development
Urban Design Section
Public Space Office

We asked 20 architecture and urban planning experts — In your opinion, what should the target quality be for public spaces (in prague)?
theorists and practising architects with public space design
experience in the Czech Republic and abroad — to provide
professional commentary on the Public Space Design The most important factor determining the quality of public The free movement of able–bodied people, use of public
Manual and proposed Public Space Development Strategy. space is architecture. The layout and design of a space space by both residents and visitors as the city’s “parlours”,
formed primarily by architecture are secondary and cannot and the joy of spending time on cobble–stone squares, busy
The objective behind the request was to supplement fix the deficit caused by poor or inappropriate architecture. streets and extensive waterfronts on the one hand and shady
the theses and rules set out in these documents This almost banal understanding has to be the premise of green parks and small courtyards and arcades on the other.
with the experts’ valuable experience and obtain any public space design manual chiefly for political reasons. Petr Malinský
ideas for additional topics that should have been Ivan Reimann
addressed in the manual but are absent, as well as (German architect of Czech ancestry, professor of
architecture at the Dresden University of Technology)
suggestions for the general layout of the document. In Letters from England, Karel Čapek likened the public
The request for the expert opinions also included spaces in Czech cities to the lively streets of southern
a questionnaire comprising four general questions The target should be a liveable — i.e., functional, Europe. He, like other authors, contrasted this to the
on the major problems with public spaces in aesthetic and safe — environment in the city. English (and northern) inclination to prefer the comfort
Prague, the possible solutions to them and the role Jana Tichá of home. Our public spaces have gradually become
that the manual can play in rectifying them. (editor and translator of architecture publications, increasingly inhospitable, and we have begun to resemble
Editor–in–Chief of Zlatý řez magazine)
our northern counterparts. Public spaces in Prague
should once again entice us outside, as only then can
The primary target quality of public spaces in Prague we overcome isolation and interpersonal barriers.
consists in the following: preserving the city for pedestrians; Petr Kratochvíl
protecting the character of the city and its existing (architecture historian and theoretician)
qualities; and suppressing excessive commercialisation
and tourism: returning the city to its residents. Other than the apparent richness and diversity inherent
Richard Biegel in them because of their history, Prague’s public spaces
(architecture historian and Vice–President have a close relationship to the landscape, with landscape
of the Society for Old Prague)
motifs encroaching into the very centre of the city. Certain
landscape zones or wedges — partially observing
To achieve first–rate public spaces, the focus should be on watercourses, partially the steep hillsides — penetrate deep
liveability. Public spaces should be “given back” to people, into the urban structure. In what other European city can you
i.e., created with people in mind. Automobile traffic — which observe harvesters in the fields during the autumn (on Dívčí
is excessive and egocentric — should be discouraged and hrady) from an intellectual café in the very centre of the city
preference given to a public transport system that thoroughly (Slávia), as David Vávra discusses in one of his interviews.
integrates all its components with railway transport. Michal Kohout
(architect and academic at the Faculty of Architecture
Jaroslav Zima
of the Czech Technical University in Prague)
(architect and urban designer)

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL


The public realm is a multi–layered structure supporting The world sees Prague as one of the most beautiful cities There is absolutely no discussion taking place about
life in the city. It makes it possible to meet and share in the world. People — tourists or residents — should projects with the greatest impact on the way the city
information. It elicits emotions. Its beauty brings joy. feel safe, feel that they are surrounded by a design functions, that is, on transport planning. This phenomenon
It inspires and titillates the senses. It gives historical and that may be subtle, but contemporary, functional and was described perfectly by the former mayor of Bogota,
present–day feedback about society. In this sense, it is of high quality, something that they are used to from Enrique Peñalosa: “There’s no point in talking about public
a cultural space comparable to a theatre, museum, concert other, much less charming cities. That is what should be transport until we know what kind of city we want. Do we
hall or the imaginary world of a novel or film. The public the objective of the whole process, and although it may want a city for cars or a city for people? The main question
realm is, of course, real, but there are no arguments that be beginning late, there is still a chance to catch up. is not about infrastructure, but how we want to live.”
would support its placement outside of the cultural realm. Zdeněk Lukeš And Peñalosa again: “An advanced city is not
If we ignore the purely functional aspects, it is without (architecture historian and columnist) a place where the poor move about in cars, rather it’s
a doubt a medium that strongly influences and completes where even the rich use public transportation.”
the cultural profile of humans and society. That should With the starting point that the city and public spaces We can define the Public Space as the Private
be reflected in the design of the public realm in Prague. should truly be for everyone, it is necessary to work with Property of the Public, because when using it, everyone
The public realm is a three–dimensional space. This the hierarchical structure of these spaces. The lack of should treat it as if they were the owners.
means that the quality of the horizontal “floor” is no such order is, at the same time, the greatest weakness of Jakub Cígler, Assoc. AIA
less important than the quality of the vertical “wall” the present state. The character of the various spaces is (architect)
(of architecture). In other words, public (or publicly essentially blurred. International or global elements are used
permeable) space is defined by both of these elements, in spaces with an entirely different character, and so on. In terms of the quality of public space, the target should
which are inseparable. It is certainly detrimental if these The city needs its foyers, display cases, living rooms, essentially be the desire to spend time in it, to keep going
two elements are split apart, even administratively. corridors, service rooms and so on. The degree of this mutual back. The objective is then not to create a space that is
Jiří Klokočka order is proportionate to the institutional character of the just beautiful to look at, but a space whose beauty makes
(architect and urban designer, academic at Sint–Lucas space. We do not expect to see Scouts from Dobříš or Tel you want to live, learn, work and have fun in it. All in
Architectuur in Ghent and at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture
at the Technical University of Liberec) Aviv having a picnic on the Ramp of Prague Castle, which connection with active and inactive social interaction,
perfectly fulfils its role as the city’s foyer. At the same time, we direct and indirect communication, perception of the space
understand that there have to be significant administrative through the senses and, consequently, experiencing it
In order to create quality public spaces, the target restrictions on the use of such space. On the opposite end spiritually and intellectually, as is stated in the manual.
should be liveability. Quality public spaces attract of the spectrum there should be spaces with a minimum Miroslav Cikán
residents to use them regularly and naturally, not only amount of “official” or “institutional” architecture or, in other (architect, co–author of the UNESCO Management Plan
for Prague)
out of necessity, but especially for leisure time and words, with maximum freedom of use. These spaces should
social activities. What is more, they should be located at not only be the domain of the outskirts, although they appear
an accessible distance in the quarter where one lives. more frequently the further one moves out from the centre.
Robert Sedlák Petr Hlaváček
(architect, urban designer (architect, Vice–Dean and academic at the Faculty of Architecture
and public space design consultant) of the Czech Technical University in Prague)

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016


Where and in what do you see the primary role and use of the public space design manual?

At this moment, the manual is a compendium of the latest Terms such as visual and functional quality pertain to
knowledge and information about designing quality public the way a space is perceived and works. Whereas the
space in cities. In terms of its position in the overall context way space works can be relatively objectively assessed,
of urban planning, its use as a guideline and the degree to the visual quality of a space is much more subjective.
which it can be practically applied to the smallest detail, it It depends on the perception of the observers. Each would
is, in our environment, a revolutionary document that has describe the quality differently. Nevertheless, it is
a chance of making Prague one of the best cities in the possible to find a certain intersubjectivity, a common
world to live in. This manual (in whatever form) should denominator. Finding such common denominator is
be mandatory reading for everyone involved in designing the basis for the creation of tools like the manual.
public spaces in, but not only in, Prague (beginning with Although objectively quality design does not exist, the
politicians, officials, planners, and architects), i.e., for all manual tires to provide a spectrum of concepts that
Prague residents and anyone who visits and uses the city. have a timeless character that could be described
Every resident should understand that the city is a shared as “pragmatic minimalism” (less is more), which
living space. With a little modification, this publication I consider to be the right direction to take.
could be published as a textbook, made available as Jiří Klokočka
a public document available for download from the (architect and urban designer, academic at Sint–Lucas
Architectuur in Ghent and at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture
Internet and become the subject of a special website. at the Liberec Technical University)
Osamu Okamura
(architect, expert consultant for the magazine ERA21,
programme director for the reSITE conference)
The manual should be an important aid for the city council
and for the officials of both the city and the various municipal
It is important that the document not only be districts, as well as for civic associations and groups, and
formally approved. It should be implemented by even for all residents of the city who care about public spaces.
the City and by the various municipal districts. Zdeněk Lukeš
It should play an integral role in awarding public (architecture historian and columnist)
contracts. It should also act as an incentive for the
managers and administrators of technical and urban
infrastructure (greenery, roads) to work more closely
together. Last but not least, it should be a manual for
the day–to–day decision–making of the building offices.
Petr Hlaváček
(architect, Vice–Dean and academic at the Faculty of Architecture
of the Czech Technical University)

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL


The Public Space Design Manual is first of all a recognition For me, the manual is a huge achievement. Pavla Melková The manual should turn the attention of primary
of the importance of the public realm in the city. It is also and her team have managed to compile information about stakeholders to the important aspects of the city and
a proposal and recommendation for how to approach positive trends and changes affecting cities in Europe help improve coordination of the various public realm
public spaces and achieve quality systematically. that may perhaps already be at our doorstep, too. projects. The document should help to inspire better
Last, but not least, the manual has an educational Personally, I believe that an active architect should public space design, or at least warn against the worst
importance. It should lead to the integration of the know or at least be aware of most of the information offences. The decisions with the greatest impact, however,
various elements that comprise the public realm and contained in the manual. They should try to apply take place at the more general level of city management
be aimed at the public and public administration, as these assumptions automatically in their work. and urban planning, because citywide relationships and
the clients and the users of the public realm. However, what I see as more important is that the manual processes — from the citywide public transport solution
Robert Sedlák can get into the hands of the State administration, local to the distribution of functions (housing, services, work
(architect, urban designer and public space design consultant) governments and citizens. It can help them understand facilities) within the city — are reflected in the form and
an issue that is common to them all, something that function of public spaces. Of course, the manual cannot
Because the presented material is so comprehensive, public space design of course is. Adoption of the manual resolve this, but a wise urban development strategy can.
it should form the basis of an important, generally shared by the Prague City Council as a binding document would Petr Kratochvíl
social agreement on the form and use of the public substantially increase the chances that something will (architecture historian and theoretic)
realm. The objective should be to enshrine in legislation be done with Prague. Officials would receive a well–
the process of approving and executing the renovation organised and easy to understand cookbook that they
and design of public space, so that the principles and could refer to when discussing public realm solutions
procedures set out in the manual become legally binding. with architects. Residents who are interested in their city
Boris Redčenkov would have a guide as to what they could demand from
(architect, academic at the Faculty of Architecture their representatives and what they can fight against.
of the Czech Technical University in Prague)
Jaroslav Zima
(architect and urban designer)
The manual, which focuses on the design of public
space, should be supplemented with a comprehensive It is literally an initiatory document that can
study of the use of public space that could show the substantially help to change the general understanding
possibilities for using the public realm. This would open and use of the city — provided, however, that it is
the doors leading to the broadest discussion among patiently and thoroughly explained (and provided
politicians, the public and experts — urban designers, that the responses to it are listened to carefully).
economists, sociologists, anthropologists and so on. Richard Biegel
(architecture historian and Vice President
Petr Hlaváček
of the Society for Old Prague)
(architect, Vice–Dean and academic at the Faculty
of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague)

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016


A Introduction 9 B Typology 25 C Layout 57

A.1 Purpose of the manual and its use 11 B.1 Traditional types of public space 33 C.1 Layout of the streetscape 63
A.1.1 Implementation of the manual, primary stakeholders B.1.1 Streets 33 C.1.1 Shared space 66
and their relationship to the manual 14 B.1.2 Squares 36 C.1.2 Quiet and traffic–calmed streets 70
A.1.2 Definition of public space and public realm 16 B.1.3 Waterfronts 37 C.1.3 Important traffic–calmed streets 72
A.2 Navigation through the document 19 B.1.4 Parks 40 C.1.4 Streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic 74
A.3 Quality of public space is the foundation B.2 Specific and additional forms of public space 43 C.2 Parts of public space 77
for quality of life in the city 23 B.2.1 Shopping arcades and passageways 43 C.2.1 Pedestrian space 77
B.2.2 Spaces on higher levels 45 C.2.2 Roadways and lanes 83
B.2.3 Publicly accessible courtyards 46 C.2.3 Intersections and crossings 88
B.2.4 Public space surrounding solitary buildings 48 C.2.4 Tram and bus stops 93
B.2.5 Public space of public buildings 49 C.2.5 Cycling infrastructure 101
B.2.6 Restricted spaces — grounds 50 C.2.6 Parking 107
B.2.7 Public space of housing estates 51 C.2.7 Playgrounds 112
B.2.8 Public space of transport infrastructure 54 C.2.8 Stormwater management 116

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL


D Elements 119 E Annexes 279

D.1 Materials and surfaces 125 D.5.4 Public transport stops 219 E.1 Bibliography 281
D.1.1 Floor of public spaces 127 D.5.4.1 Shelters 219 E.2 Authors 289
D.1.1.1 Pedestrian and shared surfaces 132 D.5.4.2 Stop markers and
D.1.1.2 Driving surfaces 137 information displays 221
D.1.1.3 Tram lane surfaces 142 D.5.5 Water elements 222
D.1.1.4 Surface edges and boundaries 145 D.5.6 Orientation and information elements 224
D.1.2 Materials and surfaces of elements 147 D.5.6.1 Identification elements 227
D.1.3 Examples of surfaces and their use 150 D.5.6.2 Street clocks 230
D.2 Trees and vegetation 157 D.5.7 Barriers 231
D.2.1 Trees 158 D.5.7.1 Railings 233
D.2.2 Rows, alleys and groups of trees 165 D.5.7.2 Bollards and posts 236
D.2.3 Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes 170 D.5.7.3 Fencing 238
D.2.4 Lawns 174 D.5.8 Construction site fencing 242
D.3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 179 D.5.9 Noise barriers 244
D.3.1 Underground utilities 180 D.6 Buildings and facilities for services 247
D.3.2 Aboveground elements 183 D.6.1 Kiosks 248
D.3.2.1 Traffic lights 187 D.6.2 Public toilets 250
D.3.3 Traffic elements and signs 190 D.6.3 Markets and market stands 252
D.3.4 Temporary traffic control devices 193 D.6.4 Petrol stations 254
D.3.5 Road safety elements 195 D.7 Structures to facilitate movement and access 257
D.4 Outdoor lighting 197 D.7.1 Stairs, footbridges and
D.4.1 Street lighting 198 underground entrances 257
D.4.2 Architectural lighting 203 D.7.2 Underground parking entrances 260
D.5 Street furniture 207 D.8 Outdoor advertising 263
D.5.1 Seating 209 D.8.1 Large–scale advertising 264
D.5.2 Bicycle stands 212 D.8.2 Advertising on street furniture 266
D.5.3 Waste containers 214 D.8.3 Cultural advertising 269
D.5.3.1 Litter bins 214 D.8.4 Shop signs 270
D.5.3.2 Waste containers 216 D.9 Art in public spaces 273

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

A Introduction 9
A.1 Purpose of the manual and its use 11
A.1.1 Implementation of the manual, primary stakeholders
and their relationship to the manual 14
A.1.2 Definition of public space and public realm 16
A.2 Navigation through the document 19
A.3 Quality of public space is the foundation
for quality of life in the city 23

B Typology 25

C Layout 57

D Elements 119

E Annexes 279

Introduction A 11
Purpose of the manual and its use 1

A.1  Purpose of the manual and its use

The Prague Public Space Design Manual (the “manual”) Creation of the document
and the proposed Public Space Development Strategy Unlike most developed major cities, Prague to date has not
(the “proposed Strategy”) are independent documents. officially had a document of this kind. There is therefore
The proposed Strategy does, however, form an integral no experience with creating or using one. Not only was it
part of the manual, as it provides the intellectual necessary to develop the content of the manual, it was also
foundation for it, i.e., the necessary reasons and objectives; necessary to set the basic attributes of the document, such
as such, it needs to accompany the manual. For more as its status in the current urban planning system as well
information, see the Introduction →[Prague Public as its objective, application, method of implementation,
The manual is one of Space Development Strategy/Proposal/I./p. 9]. character, thematic scope, form, structure and tools. The
Public Space Design Manual created by the Public Space
the tools for fulfilling the Office of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development
Purpose of the document (IPR Praha) is thus only the first step. It should then be
city’s strategy in planning, The manual is not simply a methodology: it is particularly revised based on feedback from its application in practice.
a document responding to the city’s long unresolved Its form is nonetheless complete at this stage, having
designing, managing, problems. It aims to have a direct impact on the quality clearly defined objectives, principles and rules. The
of public spaces. The city has finally realised the document must be put into practice as quickly as possible
operating and using importance of public spaces for the quality of life in to allow the state of public spaces to be remedied as soon
the city and for the proper development of the city as as possible — a debt that the city owes its residents.
quality public spaces. an interconnected sum of many parts. The manual is one
of the first tools in the effort to create a first–rate city.[A.1_01] When preparing the document, tried–and–true
The manual should serve as the basis for examples of manuals from developed major cities
the approach to be taken to developing quality whose public spaces had recently undergone marked
public spaces in Prague. It is one of the tools for improvement were referred to, with provisions
fulfilling the city’s strategy in planning, designing, naturally having to be made for the differences arising
managing, operating and using such spaces. from the Czech legislative environment and the
social, political and cultural situation in Prague.

Relationship to related documents

The Prague Public Space Manual and proposed Public
Space Development Strategy are part of the Prague Public
[A.1_01]   ↗ Prague City Council Resolution No. 556 of 16 Space Development Plan being drafted at this time. For
April 2013, setting out the conceptual approach of the City
of Prague to public space and investment coordination.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

12 A Introduction
1 Purpose of the manual and its use

more information see the Introduction →[Prague Public it intentionally does not discuss general spatial planning The manual is concerned with both the refurbishment
Space Development Strategy/Proposal/I./p. 9]. tools even though it is clear that the most important of existing public spaces and the design of new ones.
The Public Space Design Manual defines in particular foundations for the creation of quality public spaces Most of the rules and principles will be applicable chiefly
the principles and rules for designing public spaces. These arise already during the urban planning stage, i.e., when to the refurbishment of existing spaces, as they are the
principles and rules observe the city’s vision regarding decisions on new development projects are made, and most prevalent in the city and their revitalisation is
quality public space. The core of the document comprises that errors at this stage cannot be fixed by the design of one of the primary objectives of the development of the
the principles and rules for the design and execution public spaces. The manual nevertheless does not deal with city’s public spaces. The basic rules and principles are,
of public space projects. Related matters, such as the buildings and structures surrounding public spaces, even however, valid for the design of new spaces as well.
city’s policy with respect to public spaces — i.e., strategy, though their quality — their architecture or their use — is
investment, financing, management, maintenance, the main factor affecting the quality of the adjacent spaces. The primary objective of the manual is to address the
operation and use — are taken into account generally This is because the manual is one of a set of planning physical elements of public space. At the same time,
based on their impact on the quality of public spaces documents for Prague and thus it cannot and does not wish however, since the physical elements of public space
and will be addressed in more detail in other documents, to replace or duplicate the others: its goal is to address affect the liveability of the space, the manual takes into
chiefly in the Prague Public Space Development Strategy. planning at the more detailed level. The other documents account even the “narrative” plane, particularly how the
in the mentioned set are the Prague Metropolitan Plan and physical form affects the narrative (what goes on in the
The manual was created in response to the city’s current the Prague Building Regulations. These documents are space or how the space is used) and, conversely, how
planning priorities and to documents being developed or being drafted concurrently with the manual at IPR Praha use of the space affects the appearance of the space.
updated at this time, such as the Prague Strategic Plan, and observe common propositions and objectives of quality
Prague Metropolitan Plan and Prague Building Regulations, urban planning. Of the three mentioned documents, the The manual is intended for Prague, and even
which see public spaces as the foundation on which the manual deals with the smallest scale and details of space. though many of its principles and rules are of
city’s structure is built. The manual supplements these a general nature, the manual cannot be applied
documents by providing a look at the details of the city’s The manual sets out principles and rules that apply across–the–board to other cities or towns.
exterior and setting out the principles and possible tools generally and are not site–specific. Solutions for
for achieving a high level of quality in this area. Unlike specific public spaces and areas are addressed by
the other mentioned materials, the manual is a work– the Prague Public Space Development Plan. Character of the document
in–progress that is intended to be revised in response The document defines the quality of public spaces
to experience with designing and using public spaces. If the principles and rules contain a recommendation for and the possible tools for achieving it. It determines
a solution that applies to the whole city or just to a local the way quality should be achieved based on
area (e.g., the design of certain types of street furniture), principles and rules, supplemented with model
Defining the thematic scope of the document such recommendation should be considered to be a general solutions and examples of good and bad practice.
The manual deals with the topic of designing public recommendation and its application needs to be analysed
spaces, especially the tools for designing the details and with respect to the specific area or to the whole city. The manual should first be a document
structures that are part of public spaces. For this reason, that is initiatory, not only regulatory.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Introduction A 13
Purpose of the manual and its use 1

The manual should be used on a number of basic The rules cannot be understood as a sweeping effort to Whom the manual is intended for
levels: it should serve as the basis for developing standardise the quality of the city’s public spaces, with The Prague Public Space Design Manual is intended for
strategies and for planning; it should be used as the same financing rules applying to all of them. How anyone and everyone involved in the creation of public
a reference when designing public spaces; and it much a solution costs should be based on the importance space at all levels, be it strategy, budget, investment,
should be used as a tool for assessing public spaces. of public space within the city’s spatial hierarchy. planning, design, approval, execution, management
maintenance, operation and use. Its primary target group,
The principles and rules are formulated on a general At this stage, the manual is not a legal regulation. however, comprises those people who are involved in
level and cannot be applied blindly. The individual The degree to which it is binding on various the design and technical preparation and execution of
context of the place and situation always has to be bodies and situations is discussed in the chapter public space projects, regardless of whether they concern
taken into account. Exceptions to the rules are justified entitled  Implementation of the manual, primary new public spaces or the refurbishment of existing
in cases where the design of a public space is the stakeholders and their relationship to the manual ones, and those people involved in the management,
subject or part of a strong, first–rate architectural →[A.1.1/p. 14]. Certain rules could become binding if maintenance and operation of public space, i.e., those
concept for a specific site. Deviation from the rules added as provisions to the appropriate legal regulations. whose involvement has an impact on the quality of
does have to be convincingly argued, however. public spaces. The target group of the Public Space
Certain rules may differ from current regulations Development Strategy is those involved in the process
The manual contains information on the basic or established procedures for their application. at the level of planning, investment, budget and use.
principles and rules for designing individual In such case, the objective of the manual is to
components of public space always in relation to initiate a change to the relevant regulations and
the overall quality of public space. They cannot be technical standards to have them reflect current
construed as implementing technical descriptions requirements on the quality of public spaces.
or details and cannot be used in this way.
The document will be updated regularly based
The principles and rules aim to improve quality by on user feedback and in response to experience
helping to make correct decisions during the design gained from its application in practice, for
process and promoting the concept of “less is more” example through pilot projects, and to changing
to basic compositions, functions, elements, materials, legislation, technological developments etc.
etc. This means that quality should not be achieved
by adding more things or using costly materials. Furthermore, the document will be revised by the
Achieving quality based on smart solutions instead addition of separate “plug–ins” addressing existing
of through expensive means should be the main topics in more detail or discussing new topics.
principle observed when designing public spaces.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

14 A Introduction
1 Purpose of the manual and its use
1 Implementation of the manual, primary stakeholders and their relationship to the manual

A.1.1  Implementation of the manual, primary stakeholders

and their relationship to the manual
A. City administration B. Executive branches of the city

Prague municipal government Municipal districts Contributory organisations of prague and

Role: Primary initiatory and decision–making role with Role: Primary initiatory and decision–making role organisations financed from the budget of prague
regard to strategy and planning on the citywide level. with regard to strategy and planning on the local level. Role: Executive role with regard to technical preparations,
Decision–making role on all other levels (execution, Decision–making role on all other levels (implementation, management, operation and maintenance.
management, operation, maintenance and use). management, operation, maintenance and use). Relationship to the manual: For contributory
Relationship to the manual: It is a binding document Relationship to the manual: For the municipal districts, the organisations and organisations financed from the
for the Prague municipal government based on manual is recommended by the City of Prague as a tool for city’s budget, the manual is a binding document
a resolution of the Prague City Council. monitoring the qualities of the city’s public spaces. The objective based on a resolution of the Prague City Council.
is to have the municipal districts make the manual binding
The role of the municipal government is to fulfil the for the bodies and organisations falling under their remit. Experts, persons responsible for strategic
vision under the strategic and investment policy, The municipal districts should use the manual as the basis planning, spatial planning, design and
with the proposed Public Space Development for preparing, assessing and approving public space projects technical preparations (planners, designers,
Strategy primarily being intended for this along with the aim of fulfilling the city’s vision for the development architects, urban designers, landscape architects,
with the Public Space Design Manual. of quality public space, be it on the level of planning, specialists, etc.)
The municipal government bears the greatest approval, execution, management, maintenance or use. Role: Primary executive role with regard to strategy,
amount of responsibility for the overall quality planning and supervision. Secondary role on all other
and results of public space development. State administration levels (management, operation, maintenance and use)
As the manual is one of the instruments for planning Role: Approval with regard to strategy, planning, execution, with regard to the impact on the quality of public spaces.
the first–rate public spaces envisaged and defined in management, operation, maintenance and use. Relationship to the manual: For those responsible
the strategy, the task of the municipal government is to Relationship to the manual: For the State administration for strategic planning, spatial planning, design and
ensure implementation of the plan on all required levels. authorities, the manual is a document recommended by technical preparations, the manual is an informative
The document should serve as a tool for defining the City of Prague as a tool for monitoring the various document. The degree to which it is binding depends on
public space design requirements, for initiating qualities of the city’s public spaces. The objective is the relationship of the project to the various bodies of
efforts to coordinate other public space projects to have the State administration authorities make the the municipal government and State administration.
(including work on technical infrastructure). manual binding for their various departments.
The manual should further contribute to a better The State administration should use the manual For those responsible for preparing a project, the manual
assessment of the effectiveness of any proposed solution, for example as the basis for preparing, assessing serves as the basis for proposing quality public spaces and,
i.e. a cost–benefit analysis (value for money). and approving public space projects with the aim of at the same time, as a document supporting arguments
fulfilling the city’s vision for the development of quality during discussion and approval of a proposed project.
public spaces, be it on the level of planning, approval,
execution, management, maintenance or use.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Introduction A 15
Purpose of the manual and its use 1
Implementation of the manual, primary stakeholders and their relationship to the manual 1

C. Private entities D. The public

Managers, operators, tenants Public space project investor Role: Initiatory and participatory role with
Role: Executive role with regard to management, Role: Primary initiatory and decision–making role with regard to strategy, planning, management,
operation, maintenance and use. regard to strategy and planning of private investment operation, maintenance and use.
Relationship to the manual: For managers, projects. Decision–making role on all other levels Relationship to the manual: For the public, the manual
operators and tenants of property belonging to City (execution, management, operation, maintenance is an informative and educational document.
of Prague, the manual is a binding document. and use) in the case of private investment projects.
Relationship to the manual: For private and legal entities, The manual sees users (the public) as the real creators
The manual should, for example, help implement the manual is an informative document. The degree of the city’s public spaces. The Public Space Design
and coordinate the individual steps of the various to which it may be binding depends on ownership Manual serves the public as a means to guarantee
managers and operators in a way that leads to and the relationship of the project to the bodies of the the availability of high–quality space in the city and
the creation of higher quality public spaces. municipal government and State administration. a way for them to participate in the design process.

The Public Space Design Manual should help investors

bring the plan in line with the city’s strategy with regard to
the quality of public spaces and the city’s exterior. It can
serve as the basis for creating a quality project, assigning
preparatory work on a project, choosing a suitable designer
for the project (so that the design process is in line with
the quality priorities from the very onset) and monitoring
quality right through to the completion of the project.

The manual is also the basis for coordinating

the various investments with the objective of
achieving overall quality of a location.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

16 A Introduction
1 Purpose of the manual and its use
2 Definition of public space and public realm

A.1.2  Definition of public space and public realm

The Public Space Design Manual discusses public spaces a subset of space in the landscape (defining its “floor”), could be a way to define public access to those parts of
in developed areas[A.1_02] (urban areas) of Prague and roads just as public space is a subset of space in the city the landscape that should serve as “public space”.
and points of interest in the landscape (undeveloped areas). (developed and buildable areas) defining its “floor”. This document further address space in the city’s
The manual does not comprehensively address landscape. Legally, publicly accessible space in the landscape is exterior that may not fulfil the criteria of public
considered different to public space in developed and accessibility, such as certain commercial property,
buildable areas, that is, “the legal concept known as public courtyards, etc. The reason is that these spaces play
Public space permeability of the landscape gives everyone the right of an important role in the overall quality of the city’s
The document uses the term public space to describe the passage through all land that is not exempted from this exterior, despite access to them being restricted or only
physical space in the environment open to the public. It is right” [A.1_04] In practice, however, this concept frequently visual. At the same time, from the point of view of design,
chiefly a tract of land, or the “floor” of the city’s exterior, does not work and the use of the public space concept the same rules usually apply to them as to public space.
with all the amenities of public space also being an integral
part of it. Public space is a subset of the public realm. [A.1_04]   According to Section 63 of Act No. 114/1992 Coll., on
For the purposes of this document, the term public conservation of nature and the landscape, everyone shall be entitled to free Public accessibility
space also pertains to publicly accessible roads in passage over lands in the possession or tenancy of the State, a municipality, Public accessibility means that everyone is
developed areas and undeveloped areas, which the Prague or other legal persons, provided that he does not cause damage to the permitted access without restriction, regardless
property or the health of another person and does not transgress the rights
Metropolitan Plan[A.1_03] in its rationale does not define as of the form of ownership, and that there are no
to the protection of another person’s public personality or neighbour’s
public space but as a part of the landscape (this applies, rights. In so doing, everyone must respect the legitimate rights of the
restrictions on use other than time restrictions.
for example, to roads in undeveloped and unbuildable owner or tenant of the land, and the relevant generally binding regulations.
areas that are a continuation of roads in developed and When enclosing or fencing in land that is not exempted from the right of
buildable areas). The reason for expanding the term for free passage, the owner or tenant of the land must ensure free passage Public realm
over the land by technical or other means, and in a suitable place.
the purposes of the proposed Strategy and the manual The term public realm is used for all parts of the
is that quality public space in a city is dependent on According to Section 19 of Act No. 289/1995 Coll., on forests (the Forest
physical environment that are accessible to the public.
continuity even across undeveloped and unbuildable Act), everyone has the right to enter a forest regardless of who the owner is, In addition to public space, this can include spaces in
areas (e.g., streets verging into roads). The principles with the exception of military forests, protected areas, tree nurseries, game the city’s exterior, courtyards and building interiors
and rules of the proposed Strategy and the manual are preservations, pheasantries, etc. Municipalities with extended powers open to the public. Accessibility to the public realm
may temporarily prohibit access to a forest no more than twice a year for
thus valid even for such spaces. At the same time, it is also precludes restrictions on use other than time
a three–month period. It is also prohibited to enter areas being logged
necessary for the purposes of the manual to identify or where logged timber is being handled or transported. It is generally
restrictions. The term public realm also applies to
permitted to collect dry brushwood lying on the ground, mushrooms and intangible space, meaning relationships, ideas, events,
[A.1_02]   ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague forest fruit for personal consumption. It is, however, forbidden to ride bikes, the media and so on. At the same time, the term public
Building Regulations: Section 3: Classification of land according sleigh, ski, or ride horses away from roads or marked routes. It is generally realm can be viewed as a whole or as a continuum.
to degree of development and suitability for development. prohibited to drive or park motor vehicles in forests. These restrictions
do not apply to owners and tenants, and owners can grant exemptions to
[A.1_03]   ↗ IPR Praha. Metropolitní plán: Koncept them. Organised or mass sporting events may be held only if announced to
odůvodnění [Metropolitan Plan: Rationale Concept]. the State forest administration body in advance (as a rule the municipality
Prague: IPR Praha, 2014. ISBN 978-80-87931-06-6. with extended powers), which is entitled to stipulate additional conditions.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL


Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Introduction A 19
Navigation through the document 2

A.2  Navigation through the document

Document structure References ↗
The manual is divided up into four basic parts. Each For references to legal and technical regulations and
part defines the quality of public spaces and the tools to other documents, the following symbols are used:
achieve it. It is structured from the general to the detailed.
↗ “Document title” — refers to additional
A. Introduction →[A/p. 9] introduces the basic information in a different document, legal or
objectives and character of the document and the way technical regulation, or piece of literature.
the manual should be used.
§! ↗ “Document title” — calls attention to a variance
B. Typology →[B/p. 25] describes the different types of with a currently valid regulation where the application
public space and their role in the city and serves to of the rule may lead to exemptions or to a more
define their character and the applicable design complicated approval process; at the same time, the
principles and rules. rule may lead to an amendment to the regulation.

C. Layout →[C/p. 57] addresses quality of public Cross–references →

spaces with regard to organisation of traffic For cross–references to additional information in
(pedestrian and otherwise) and the parts that make up other chapters and paragraphs and to diagrams
public spaces. and photographs within the manual and proposed
Strategy, the following symbols are used:
D. Elements →[D/p. 119] describes the various rules
and principles that apply to each component of public →[“Chapter ID” “Chapter title”/page number] or
space, structured according to category type. “Chapter title” →[“Chapter ID”/page number]

Nature of the rules “Paragraph title” →[par./page number]

The document contains a broad scale of rules, from
strict to more lenient. The “severity” of the rules →[s01 “Diagram title”/page number]
can generally be perceived on two levels based
on the following modal verbs and phrases: →[photo 001/page number]

Strict: “must”, “must not”, “it is necessary”, “it is essential” “Chapter title” →[Public Space Development
Recommendatory and initiatory: “should–should not”, Strategy/Proposal/“Chapter ID”/page number]
“it is appropriate–inappropriate”, “it is desirable–undesirable”,
“possibly”, “may” etc.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

20 A Introduction
2 Navigation through the document

Images Diagrams
Sketches and diagrams in the manual serve to Model solutions, graphic depiction of declared
depict the basic principles for designing the various principles or recommendations
components, especially in relation to the overall
quality of public space. They are not technical
specifications and cannot be used in this way.
Photographs have to be understood as additional
illustrative examples for a better understanding of the
rules. They cannot be construed as a literal model. It
is always necessary to take into account the individual
character of the location. The quality of the public realm
and public space, which are a part thereof, is one of the
most important conditions for achieving a quality urban
structure of a city and a high quality of life in a city.

Positive or negative illustrations for a better Labelling of a sketch:
understanding of the rules Informative — no label
Negative example — cross
Positive example — checkmark

Punctuation marks:
An exclamation mark is used for emphasis
or as a warning. A question mark indicates
uncertainty on the user’s part.
Other marks correspond to
pictograms in general use.
Sketch colour:
The basic colour is black; the topics
being discussed are in red.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Introduction A 21
Navigation through the document 2

Describe the specific application of general principles.
Chapter identifier and title They are accompanied by the relevant illustration.
in the document structure They should be applied chiefly during design and execution.

Page number 212
Street furniture
2 Bicycle stands

Chapter identifier and title

D.5.2 Bicycle stands
[ rules ] [ examples ]

Bicycle stands make it more A suitable type of stand for public

spaces is a standalone U–shaped
Main thesis of the chapter convenient to use bicycles and help stand anchored to the ground. The
stands should be spaced at least
introduces the basic to keep bicycles from being parked 0.9 m from each other.

approach to a solution. in places where it is not desired.

Bicycle stands make it possible to safely park and Stands should have ample space Photos of examples of
around them to allow pedestrians to
lock bikes in public spaces and are a good way to
pass by freely on the sidewalk. The good and bad practice
keep them from being parked in places where it is space required to park two bikes at
not desired. However, inappropriate placement one stand is 1 x 2 m.
and impractical designs are frequent problems. The recommended leg span of
a universal stand is 0.4 m.
Bicycle stands should not create obstacles. They should The recommended above–ground
therefore be designed for two bikes at most. The stands height is 0.9 m. 424 A good example of integration of bicycle stands in the vegetative
→[C.2.6 Parking/p. 107] strip along a building; pedestrians are not impeded
should be spaced sufficiently apart from each other to [ Prague 10, Ruská ]
Identifier on the side allow easy access to them for parking and unlocking
bicycles. Standalone stands are also easy to maintain. A bicycle stand situated along
of the document (printed version) A good bicycle stand height makes it easy to lock the axis of a row of trees
perpendicular to the main walking
the bike frame using different types of locks and to trajectory can also serve as tree
keep the position of the bike stable. Anchoring the trunk protection.
Introduction to the stand below the surface of the ground provides greater →[D.2.1 Trees/p. 158]

chapter summarising resistance to damage and theft. Another benefit is

variability of placement. The number of stands should
the principles in words: correspond to how busy the place is in terms of cycling
traffic and to the spatial possibilities of the specific
It describes the fundamental space. In this connection, it should be possible to
A bike cannot be locked easily
and securely to stands that only
approach to the topic of the lock bicycles to lampposts, and lampposts should be provide support to the bottom
modified for this purpose. Designs of stands should part of a bicycle; such stands are
chapter and provides the rationale not be too distinct: simple and effective designs
therefore not appropriate for use
in public spaces.
behind it. It comprises the logical are the best. Bicycle stand designs should be part
of Standardised Prague elements →[par./p. 121]. See 425 An example of bicycle stands lined up in a row with other

basis for the rule. Together also the chapter entitled Parking →[C.2.6/p. 107]. infrastructure elements
[ Sweden, Stockholm ]
with the proposed Strategy, it
is also a guideline for political 2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

and official decision–making

during the pre–design phase.
Document title and year of issue Important information Cross–reference to related
(electronic version) is underlined chapter within the document

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Introduction A 23
Quality of public space is the foundation for quality of life in the city 3

A.3  Quality of public space is the foundation

for quality of life in the city[*]
Public spaces create a framework for the physical complementarity with the landscape, that personifies
structure of the city on the urban level, and the the social and cultural overlap of human life, and that
quality of the framework establishes the quality of in turn is represented through its public realm.
the developed areas. The structure of public spaces
is based on composition and hierarchy (spatial and, Through the public realm, we become acquainted
at the same time, semantic). Where the structure of with the cultural values of a city, the nature of its
public space is missing, fragmented or vague and society and the character of individual people.
undefined, the basic urban quality of a city — consisting Public spaces are the face of the city — they
in continuity, homogeneity and hierarchy — is lost. communicate, act as an intermediary between internal
life and the outside world, and are representational.
A city is an interconnected organism. An agglomeration With a certain amount of hyperbole, one can say
of autonomous buildings is not a city, but only that public spaces are a direct reflection of the city,
a collection of buildings in a space. Just as a group of i.e., what they are like is what the city is like.
people living side–by–side without any connection
to each other is not city life — it is only living in Placing quality of public spaces at the forefront of the
close proximity to others in a dense settlement. interests of the city administration shows the realisation
that it is of fundamental importance for the quality
We view the city through public spaces. They are of a city and life in it. The city administration is thus
what makes a city a city. Private city spaces — private accepting the role that pertains to it, i.e., protecting
interiors of buildings, gardens and grounds — provide and advocating the public interest. It is an essential
a different plane of perception and experience first step and the start of a process to remedy the long–
of a city: it is rather a necessary accessory (as term poor state of affairs. The basis of such a process is
without private there is no public) to the basic a concept for a citywide approach to developing public
attribute of a city, which is shared space. space. The creation of the Public Space Design Manual
The quality of public space determines the amount of time is one of the first stages of this conceptual approach.
spent in the city’s exterior and time spent outside private
space. Such time thus creates city life and the city itself.
[[*] For more information, see →[Prague Public We often envisage life in the city pragmatically as
Space Development Strategy/Proposal] a specific benefit or necessary evil. But it is the city, in

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

A Introduction 9

B Typology 25
B.1 Traditional types of public space 33
B.1.1 Streets 33
B.1.2 Squares 36
B.1.3 Waterfronts 37
B.1.4 Parks 40
B.2 Specific and additional forms of public space 43
B.2.1 Shopping arcades and passageways 43
B.2.2 Spaces on higher levels 45
B.2.3 Publicly accessible courtyards 46
B.2.4 Public space surrounding solitary buildings 48
B.2.5 Public space of public buildings 49
B.2.6 Restricted spaces — grounds 50
B.2.7 Public space of housing estates 51
B.2.8 Public space of transport infrastructure 54

C Layout 57

D Elements 119

E Annexes 279

Typology B 27

Public spaces are classified in the manual by type based The basic factors that greatly affect space are chiefly
on the definition of their character and urban role the importance of space in a city and the character of the
in the city structure. For each type, the basic general buildings surrounding it. The standard types of public
Space becomes a place principles for attaining their quality are formulated. The space (street, square) differ depending on the various
objective is for every public space to have a perceptible types of built areas, not only in terms of appearance,
when people give it meaning. character and a clear and meaningful role in the overall but also in terms of the layout, demands on the materials
structure of the city. This applies both to designing used, their technical standard, resilience, etc.
People identify with such new public spaces and to refurbishing existing ones. The below classification of a city according to
A correct assessment of the character, role and meaning structure of the built areas has been developed only for
a place, give it a name and of a place in the city is the basis for a conceptual approach. the needs of the manual. The criterion is the prevailing
Defining the nature of public space should be the first character, not the toponymical definition. Classification
view it separately from the consideration of both the designer and the contracting is an instrument for differentiating the various
entity, as this determines the direction in which the general approaches to defining types and character of public
space that surrounds it. appearance of a specific space will take and binds everyone space, to determining their Layout →[C/p. 57] and
involved in creating the space to fulfil clearly defined to placing their Elements →[D/p. 119]. The following
TUAN, Yi–Fu. Space and Place: Humanistic perspective.
Progress in Geography, No 6, pp. 233—246. objectives. Declaring the character, meaning and purpose terms are then used in the subsequent chapters:
is also important from the point of view of a retrospective
assessment of the quality of work carried out in a public space.
The basic scheme of the structure of public —— Historical city[B_01]
spaces in the city comprises the traditional types: This area corresponds to the oldest parts of the protected
Defining the character streets, squares, waterfronts and parks. Other historical core of the city. An organic structure prevails.
public spaces that complete the picture of the city Public spaces are defined by irregular blocks. They
of public space is one of and are tied physically and semantically to certain comprise narrow streets, cobblestone squares, plazas,
buildings or urban types are called specific and
the conditions to creating additional forms of public spaces in the manual.

an intelligible and
[B_01]   Principally corresponds to the terms: Centre ↗ KOUCKÝ,
The Typology chapter sets out the general principles Roman. Elementární urbanismus II [Elementary Urbanism II].
Prague: Zlatý řez, 2012. 123 pp. Historical city ↗ IPR Praha.
for designing quality public space as a typological unit.
legible environment. Type, however, needs to be understood as a formulation
Metropolitní plán: Koncept odůvodnění: Duch plánu [Metropolitan
Plan: Rationale Concept: Spirit of the Plan]. Prague: IPR Praha,
of a certain ideal state, as a matrix that “bends” due to 2014. ISBN 978-80-87931-06-6. The term historical city does
the effect of other factors. Context is what gives a certain not include heritage zones and parts of the Prague heritage
type of space character, atmosphere and identity. reservation that correspond in character to a compact city or
the rural structure of original settlements (classification in
terms of monument protection is based on different criteria).

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

28 B Typology

secluded nooks and passageways and clearly defined formed by quiet streets, parks and (park–like) squares. —— Periurban landscape
gardens rather than parks. Building fronts that copy An open building line is characteristic of such an An area of the city outside developed areas or areas
the street line are typical for this area. The boundaries area. In the manual, a garden city is understood as suitable for development that chiefly comprises natural
of public spaces are, as a rule, the building fronts. a classical residential area with family houses. elements and landscape units. Built–up areas have the
character of isolated, solitary buildings. With regard
—— Modern city[B_04] to the manual, it is important as another character of
—— Compact city [B_02]
An area that comprises open development (as a rule the city that influences the creation of environment.
This is an area that comprises a contiguous, planned, being built from the second half of the 20th century to the Roads and points of interest in the landscape fall under
geometrical structure. Public spaces are defined present). The structure comprises solitary buildings and this definition in the manual. The quality principles
by classical blocks of buildings with an active compositional masses in open space that are laid out into described in the manual can be applied to them in
frontage. They are defined by wider streets, squares, monofunctional commercial, production, recreational or the same way as they can be applied to public spaces
arcades and city parks. The boundaries of public residential units (housing estates). The public spaces are in the city (with different character of the landscape
spaces are, as a rule, the building fronts. difficult to define physically. They comprise streets, roads environment being taken into account). The manual
and green spaces. Characteristic for the area is an irregular does not address landscape comprehensively.
building line that does not match the street line.
—— Garden city[B_03]
This is an area that comprises open, small–scale Many areas of Prague are found in the zone between
developments. The structure is made up of a geometric —— Original settlements and villages these characteristic urban structures. These are, for
pattern of land plots and individual buildings or An organic, rural–type structure, located predominantly example, areas where the regular city block structure
groups of buildings. The public space is most often in the historical cores of villages or with settlements mixes with the original village structure and former
delineated by fences and walls. Public spaces are in the landscape, is composed of small built–up industrial grounds, or periurban landscape areas where
areas in the form of original country cottages and fragments of natural and agricultural land are found in
farmhouses around a village green or street. direct contact with urbanised areas. It is in fact such land
[B_02]   Principally corresponds to the term: City ↗ KOUCKÝ, that carries great potential for creating public space. The
Roman. Elementární urbanismus II [Elementary Urbanism II]. Prague:
contrast between different scales, different urban levels,
Zlatý řez, 2012. 123 pp. Certain parts of a compact city are part of the
Prague Heritage Reservation (PHR). It is necessary to proceed in and both former and existing functional units allow for
compliance with the principles of monument care in these areas. the creation of an adaptable environment. Public space
that simply cannot be categorised can exist alongside
[B_03]   Principally corresponds to the terms: Suburb and
partially Outskirts ↗ KOUCKÝ, Roman. Elementární urbanismus II [B_04]   Principally corresponds to the terms: Modern city
clearly defined streets and squares and be of high
[Elementary Urbanism II]. Prague: Zlatý řez, 2012. 123 pp. In the ↗ IPR Praha. Metropolitní plán: Koncept odůvodnění: Duch plánu quality nevertheless. Shifting meanings are the attribute
manual, Prague is classified into areas with a related character, [Metropolitan Plan: Rationale Concept: Spirit of the Plan]. Prague: of such spaces and variability, reversibility, which is
not into city zones, i.e., distance from the centre plays no role. In IPR Praha, 2014. ISBN 978-80-87931-06-6.; Outskirts and partially a prerequisite for a strong identity, attractiveness and
other words, a garden city can be found in the suburbs (quarters even Suburbs ↗ KOUCKÝ, Roman. Elementární urbanismus II
even sustainability of the location comprise their values.
with family houses) and on the outskirts (satellite cities). [Elementary Urbanism II]. Prague: Zlatý řez, 2012. 123 pp.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 29

Prague comprises many unstable territories in intended for future development but no building plan is
terms of urban planning. Latent spaces as defined in the works, such use is a more appropriate solution than
in the Definition of public realm and public space long–term visual contact with a neglected site. In such
→[Prague Public Space Development Strategy/ case, however, it has to be ensured that the temporary
Proposal/I.1/p. 12] predominate here. It is difficult refurbishment is truly short–term and that in the future
to address public spaces in those locations where it does not become a reason for “protection” that stands
the urban structure has not been resolved. Creating in the way of the development intended under the land–
a quality structure for public spaces and defining the use plan. See also Basic theses of the tools for achieving
various spaces is only possible using urban planning quality in the public space design process →[Prague Public
tools. Specific refurbishment of public spaces in such Space Development Strategy/Proposal/IV.7/p. 31].
areas of Prague should be preceded by a comprehensive
discussion about the land surrounding them.
In places where an overall solution can be achieved,
it is a mistake to undertake uncoordinated, piecemeal
projects that could end up being not only a lost
investment, but also a future obstacle to the execution of
a conceptual solution. However, in those places where
an ideal, comprehensive refurbishment project cannot
be undertaken in the near future due to economic or
technical reasons, the direction to be applied to a certain
place can be partially defined by its sensitive and
wisely organised temporary or provisional use, which
can take on many forms. The importance of frequent
spontaneous or informal events in the public realm
is chiefly initiatory or social. It consists of a low–cost
enlivening of the space, its inclusion in the life of the
city and, thereby, the elimination of neglected areas
that degrade whole areas of the city. Making such places
accessible and bringing them to life, making transitional
use of abandoned brownfields or holding testing or
seasonal events can increase the quality of life in the
city, spark people’s interest in the quality of the public
realm and in what is going on in it. Should the land be

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

30 B Typology

[ examples: characters of the city structure ]

001 Historical city 003 Garden city 005 Original settlements and villages
[ Prague 1, Staré Město ] [ Prague 6, Hanspaulka ] [ Prague 13, Stodůlky ]

002 Compact city 004 Modernist city 006 Periurban landscape

[ Prague 2, Vinohrady ] [ Prague 11, Jižní Město ] [ Prague 6, Divoká Šárka ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 31

[ examples: uncategorised and temporary public spaces ]

007 Originally closed–off industrial grounds are today a public 009 Temporary use of land intended for construction is an attractive
pedestrian promenade. The attractiveness of such space lies in place to stop and visually improves a highly frequented tourist area
the transformation of the place, in its new importance, in the contrast in the city centre
between the original and the new  [ Germany, Berlin ]
[ Brazil, Sao Paulo ]

008 This high–quality public space, although difficult to characterise 010 Temporary cultural and community centre brings life to
encourages diversity and cooperation with the local community, an unused part of the Prague waterfront
which comprises more than 50 ethnic minorities. Superflex + BIG + [ Prague 1, Malá Strana, Cihelná náplavka ]
Topotek 1 (2012)
[ Denmark, Copenhagen ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Typology B 33
Traditional types of public space 1
Streets 1

B.1  Traditional types of public space

B.1.1  Streets
Streets, as the basic element of public The quality of the architectural details of the adjacent
spaces, contribute substantially buildings and the way the frontage is used contribute
substantially to the quality of street space. In order
to the general image of a city. for streets to be liveable and safe, buildings need to
communicate with street space at ground level. This is
based chiefly on the typology of the buildings, where
Streets are a linear element of the basic design of premises for shops and services face the street and
public spaces. The role of streets in a city should not can be entered from the street. At the same time, the
be reduced to purely one of transport. Their role in frequency of stimulation of the senses at eye–level,
the spatial and social structure of a city and in the entranceways, shop windows, etc. are important.
liveability of a city is also of prime importance. Monolithic buildings (such as shopping centres) often
Streets, not roads, belong in a city. Streets should have long sections of the frontage that are inactive.
be pleasant to walk down, stop, and spend time A reasonable amount of interesting visuals is positive.
in. Roads are only good for driving on. A dense
network of connections creates a living city and Classification of streets based on their width and
facilitates identification with the environment, and traffic layout still does not guarantee high–quality
the creation of a mental map promotes walking. public space, as it does not replace other important
The possible character and use of a street are factors that create the character of a place. Just like
determined by the spatial framework, especially the the placement of technical structures and furniture,
width of the street and its inclusion in the city structure. the traffic layout of a street and its morphology should
It is not always the case that the more room there is, be subject to the composition as a whole. The design
the better the space. What is important is that human concept or the refurbishment of the street space
scale is preserved. Therefore, less can often mean should thus be based chiefly on the importance of
more (depending on the context). The quality potential the street in the urban structure of the city. Streets
of each street consists in its maximum possible use can take on various characters, from quiet lanes and
for living and in comfort for pedestrian and non– shopping streets to representative promenades, etc.
motor vehicle traffic while fulfilling traffic volume
requirements. Traffic volume is a variable. For more “The width of a street and even the proportion of
details, see Layout of the streetscape →[C.1/p. 63]. a square are only a guide. Without context in the form

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

34 B Typology
1 Traditional types of public space
1 Streets

[ examples: streets ]
of a structure that defines them, they remain a number Spaces created as a result of a street becoming wider
only. A wide street or high street is never in and of itself (plazas, corners, archways, nooks, etc.) are often the
a synonym for a variety of activities that enriches it if result of an organic “mistake”. They can, however, also
it is not defined by an adequate structure.” [B.1_01] be a high–quality part of the urban structure. They help
provide rhythm to long stretches of road and enrich
It is important to keep the street layout permeable the character of a city. In places they create individual
for pedestrians. Passage cannot be reduced to only spaces in front of important building. More information
a physical one. Views through the entire height and on this topic can be found in the chapters Public
width of the street are a part of the streetscape. They space surrounding solitary buildings →[B.2.4/p. 48]
complete the image of the street and help pedestrians get and Public space of public buildings →[B.2.5/p. 49].
around. Views should be preserved or compositionally The intersection of two streets can often
improved using trees and alleys of trees. create a place of greater importance than either
The spatial layout of a street and its amenities need of the streets intersecting each other.
to be composed keeping in mind that they will be The place–making potential of intersections and local
viewed at eye level and at slow, i.e., walking, speed. spatial “anomalies” of the street network can be used 011 Streets, as the basic design element of public space, contribute
substantially to the overall image of the city
Wherever the rhythm, scale and placement of objects to create a characteristic, pleasantly informal liveable [ Prague 1 , Karmelitská ]
is intended to be viewed at a greater speed, .e.g., space, e.g., by placing a solitary tree, street furniture,
while driving in a car, the human scale vanishes, the small architectural elements or works of art in the space.
space is deformed and liveability of the space lost. At important Prague intersections and traffic nodes
Unless it is due to morphology or composition, it is where activities and people naturally concentrate, the
important to avoid avoid grade–separation as much impact of traffic needs to be minimised by making suitable
as possible, especially if it is the result of transport modifications to the space, and efforts need to be made to
segregation. Loss of direct eye contact, disruption of transform the place into a high–quality public space fully
the relationship to the adjacent buildings at ground usable for all groups of city residents. For more information
level, difficulty getting around on foot or the feeling see Intersections and crossings →[C.2.3/p. 88].
of danger in the case of underpasses all make a place
unattractive and unliveable. See also Public space
of transport infrastructure →[B.2.8/p. 54].

012 Frontage that is lively and detailed gives the street a human scale
[B.1_01]   ↗ IPR Praha. Metropolitní plán: Koncept odůvodnění: and creates a pleasant and safe space
Ulice náměstí. [Metropolitan Plan: Rationale Concept; Streets and [ France, Paris ]
Squares]. Prague: IPR Praha, 2014. ISBN 978-80-87931-06-6.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 35
Traditional types of public space 1
Streets 1

013 A liveable part of a quiet city street. Ample space for trees, 015 A plaza at the intersection of two streets as a pleasant place to sit
sidewalk cafes and bike racks in the shade of a tree
[ Austria, Vienna ] [ Prague 1, Vojtěšská — Pštrossova ]

014 In many places in Prague, especially around functionalist 016 The layout of this iconic, busy intersection was modified to make
buildings, the building fronts do not copy the street line. This provides it more liveable. NYC Dept of Transportation & NYC Dept of Design and
the opportunity to enrich the street with small, liveable spaces Construction, Snøhetta (2010)
[ Prague 1, Soukenická ] [ USA, New York, Times Square ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

36 B Typology
1 Traditional types of public space
2 Squares

B.1.2  Squares
[ examples ]

Squares are a place of identification from the surrounding buildings by a busy road suffer
in terms of perception and quality. Direct contact with
and permanent confirmation of society, buildings is important. The quality of a square is also
a place where the nation, cities, localities dependent on its proportion, i.e., the ratio of its surface
area to the height of the surroundings buildings. If
and communities are represented, important public buildings are located on a square, the
a meeting place and the parlour of a city. square’s composition and use should correspond to
them and create a representative space.“Like the shape,
the size of a square has a certain — not binding, but
Squares are a basic compositional component of a city. noticeable – relationship to the dominant buildings” [B.1_02]
They are the nodal points in the public space network and
the city structure based thereon. They are the basis of the Transport infrastructure and its layout — just like the
hierarchical layout of urban spaces and a reference point in placement, structure and form of vegetation, technical
017 All elements in a square should be in keeping with the
the mental map of the city. The term square is dependent amenities and street furniture — should be subordinated compositional whole. Small, local squares have the potential to
on the compositional character of the space, its importance to the composition. Grade differences should not become informal living spaces and the centre of community activities
in the urban structure and its use. In the contemporary divide a square unless they are part of the composition. for the residential quarter in which they are located
[ The Netherlands, Enschede ]
city, numerous spaces are designated as squares although There should be no barriers in the way of natural
they do not fulfil the typological and compositional pedestrian movement. Small structures and mature
characteristics of a square or the corresponding trees can create a desirable transition in scale from
manner of use. Square then becomes an empty term. street level to the top of the surrounding buildings.
A square should be multifunctional. It should
The concept behind a square’s appearance should be provide a choice of activities and the freedom to
based on its role in the city’s structure and life. A square move freely without restrictions. A square should
may take on many forms depending on the factors allow large gatherings, provide sufficient seating
determining its appearance (location, origin, historical and shade, and contain elements that enrich the
development, significance, character, traffic, etc.). A square space, such as water features or works of art.
can be park–like, residential, representative, etc.
A square is also defined by the quality of its outer
edge, i.e., what the surrounding buildings are like and
how much the edge is built–up (i.e., how open it is).
The traditional squares of the historical and compact 018 A square should allow people to gather. If the surface is properly
city, defined by the buildings enclosing them, are [B.1_02]   ↗ SITTE, Camillo. The art of building cities: city designed and maintained, it encourages people to sit down
usually among the best public spaces. Squares cut off building according to artistic fundamentals. Mansfield Centre, CT: [ Belgium, Brussels, Grote Markt ]
Martino Publishing, 2013. 146 pp. ISBN 978-1614275244.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 37
Traditional types of public space 1
Waterfronts 3

B.1.3  Waterfronts
The river is the primary axis of the urban refurbishment of the individual riverbanks should
always take place in keeping with their character.
and landscape structure of the city.
The public space around the river is chiefly residential
and representative in character. The waterfront and
The area around a river is connected banks of the river served in the past as a direct transport
to the entire city, and its parts need to connection. With the advent of cars and the enormous
be dealt with in the citywide context. increase in car traffic, however, they have come into
conflict with both their residential and representative
role, and this conflict is difficult to resolve.
The river is a public realm of
The alluvial landscape is an inherent part of the landscape
citywide importance.[B.1_03] of Prague and has played an important role in forming
019 The space in front of a train station is a square. It is a compact
space, a multifunctional area without any barriers to natural the characteristic appearance of the unique Prague
movement in the form of railings, etc. historical landscape, which is dominated by manors, villas,
[ Germany, Cologne, Banhofsvorplatz ] River space does not only include the water and the banks, farmsteads, mills and the historical Prague towns. At the
but also the landscape and buildings connected to the same time, the alluvial landscape, including the islands,
river. A river is a dynamic landscape element. By its nature, can be conveniently and comfortably used for recreation,
a river brings movement to the static mass of a city. Just as as establishment and maintenance costs are relatively
each section of a river has its significance, its banks also low compared to that of city Parks →[B.1.4/p. 40].
have to be understood as a mutually connected series of
varied environments that can be perceived by the senses as Many important buildings are concentrated alongside
such, a diverse mosaic of places that line the river. the river in the historical and cultural core of the city.
The banks of the Vltava River in Prague change This lends a representative character to the river space
in character depending on the environment they of the city centre. Furthermore, it is the place with the
pass through. They take on the form of natural most important views of the city — the panoramas
riverbanks in narrow canyons, flood plains and of the right and left banks are iconic of the city.
stone embankments with quays. The use and partial
The public spaces around the river comprise the
embankments, waterfront promenades and natural
020 Subtle differences in grade are appropriate if they have [B.1_03]   For detailed information on the topic of waterfronts banks. The upper level of the waterfront in the city
a compositional importance. Here they define the park–like space for and development of river space in the city–wide context, including centre has, as a public space, a promenade–like,
leisure time activities and allow for more comfortable and convenient use specific initiatory measures see ↗ IPR Praha. Koncepce pražských
representational character. The panoramic views of the
[ France, Paris ] břehů [Prague Waterfront Concept]. Prague: IPR Praha, 2014.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

38 B Typology
1 Traditional types of public space
3 Waterfronts

[ examples: waterfronts ]
city, the linear presence of important buildings, and importance and passes through the core of the UNESCO
linear continuity are its main qualities. The adjacent heritage site, it is important that shipping and its technical
buildings, especially at ground level (the frontage zone), infrastructure do not have a negative impact on this status.
contribute substantially to the quality of the space as well. The excessive amount of tourist boats and other anchored
The development of upper levels of the waterfront and floating objects that can be seen at this time not only
being undertaken at this time should be properly degrades the river space itself, but also destroys the most
connected to the network of public spaces in the city. valuable historical city panoramas as well as one of the
The spaces beside important buildings should be most valuable components that enhance the liveability
upgraded and the layout of the streetscape should be factor of embankments and waterfront promenades:
optimised to allow all users to move about easily. unobstructed views. They also harm the river’s potential
As public spaces, waterfront promenades have to be a peaceful and relaxing area for city residents.
a liveable and recreational character. Their main value
consists in direct contact with the water, quiet location
021 Waterfronts are public spaces with a high liveability potential.
in the city centre and panoramic views of the city. Bridges
They number among the most sought–out places in Prague.
Promenades located in the compact city have to be Bridges are an important part of public spaces. They create Waterfronts are all the more attractive due to the visual juxtaposition
upgraded and made accessible. Conditions have to be nodal points for the city road network and thereby even of the water and Prague’s major sights
[ Prague 2, Rašínovo nábřeží ]
created for their use as a place to rest and relax. Finally, for the structure of public spaces. Although their role is
their refurbishment has to be carried out in such a way that primarily utilitarian, they contribute substantially to the
they retain their natural character and are not inundated perception and image of the city. They are a priority for the
with public attractions and commercial activities. city, and their locations and appearance should be decided
primarily from the citywide and not local perspective.
Natural banks are part of the landscape in the city. They
even appear in the historical core of the city, something
that is quite unique to Prague. As such, they need to Streams
be protected and their specific character reinforced. Even streams are an important Prague feature. In
An important aspect of the quality of the public space many places, however, their potential has been
of the river is unimpeded passage for pedestrians along highly neglected. They create a referential framework
the river right through the city and the chance to access for the areas that they pass through. They are an
the network of public spaces of the surrounding city. opportunity for creating attractive public spaces.
Streams should be gradually revitalised and the
022 The contrast between the city and the landscape element of the
As the river is also a water transport route, attention has adjacent roads, landscapes, parks and even sections river create the image of Prague that needs to be reinforced. The visual
to be paid to the role that quays and embankments play in of the waterfront should be sensitively rebuilt. contact with Prague’s major sights emphasises the character and
this respect. As the public realm of the river is of citywide importance of the various embankments
[ Prague 5, Smíchov ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 39
Traditional types of public space 1
Waterfronts 3

023 A representative embankment — a promenade with 025 This embankment on a tributary of the Thames is an attractive,
a characteristic atmosphere and panoramic views of the river — should informal city space and centre of community activities
reflect, through its appearance and layout, its citywide and even [ Great Britain, London, Regent’s Canal ]
multiregional importance
[ Prague 1, Alšovo nábřeží ]

024 The attractiveness of embankments and waterfront promenades 026 The natural character of the riverbank in the south canyon of the
lies in the quality of the space itself, i.e., contact with the river and Vltava River should be protected and reinforced
characteristic views. Artificial attractions should not trump the [ Prague 16, Zbraslav ]
characteristic atmosphere of the place
[ Denmark, Copenhagen ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

40 B Typology
1 Traditional types of public space
4 Parks

B.1.4  Parks
Parks make up the basic structure of the city landscape. encroach into the city. Efforts need to be made to pocket parks and be used as compositional elements in
They are public spaces that complement the cobblestone make these places as accessible as possible. Only the urban structure (courtyards, spaces around solitary
streets and squares. In terms of city life, they fulfil then should new parks be considered.[B.1_06] buildings and park–like squares). Here, urban elements
the role of a residential space, a green oasis for rest, When designing new parks or when refurbishing can be more massive and architectural ideas more
relaxation and drawing strength. The appearance and existing ones, it is important to take into account the visionary (they can reference different relationships
layout should correspond to these basic principles. urban and the landscape contexts. For this reason, than natural ones). In historical parks, quality should be
Parks should also be viewed as one of the main a landscape architect should be involved, to assess and assessed alongside landscape, historical and ecosystem
elements of the urban ecosystem. In addition to their take into account the landscape and environmental relationships, and the original design concept should
recreational role, they should also fulfil an environmental contexts and relationships. The environment should also be taken into account. The boundary/edge is
role and serve the ecosystem.[B.1_04] They should function as be dealt with carefully. Refurbishments should never also an important element. The boundary between
a part of the green infrastructure.[B.1_05] Parks can become supress the original landscape and atmosphere. The the surrounding buildings and the park should be
part of decentralised drainage system in connection design should reflect the seasons and the changing legible and refined. A park should attract visitors, not
with Stormwater management →[C.2.8/p. 116]. The environment and scenery year–round. The focus should look like an indifferent piece of “urban greenery”.
integrated design of the decentralised drainage system not only be on the visual but also on the context and Music pavilions used to be a traditional part of parks —
in a park should be an integral part of landscaping work importance of the trees, plants and landscaping work, e.g., people used to go to parks to be seen and to socialise.
undertaken with regard to the local character. When use of indigenous plants that reinforce the intelligibility Today, to achieve the same purpose, it is desirable to
designing water elements and soft surfaces, not only and logic of the park within broader contexts and even place interactive leisure time amenities in parks, such as
the target liveability of the space should be taken into with respect to the human relationship to the place. sports grounds, playgrounds, water elements and cafes.
account, but also its function within the system. The primary design criterion includes the local The attractions should not overpower the place, however.
relationships and the function and use requirements The number and type of amenities depend on whether the
First, use should be made of the recreational placed on the park. Sustainability is also important. park is local, i.e., a short walk from home, or, depending
potential of financially less demanding landscapes Future maintenance costs need to be measured on size, intended for short–term or whole–day use.[B.1_07]
and extensive natural areas, including those that against the benefits (i.e., a cost–benefit analysis
has to be performed) early in the project. See also the chapter Trees and vegetation →[D.2/p. 157].
New parks should only be created in those places where
[B.1_04]   Ecosystem services is a term used in the new
field of economy of nature. It expresses the contribution of they are lacking, chiefly by transforming neglected land
ecosystems to the quality of human life. Ecosystem services (landscape brownfields, former industrial areas, etc.).
are divided into supply services (food, wood, drinking water, To a lesser degree, parks can also appear in the city as
etc.), regulatory services (flood regulation, weather regulation,
etc.), cultural services (educational, recreation, aesthetic, etc.)
and support services (soil creation, food circulation, etc.). [B.1_06]   Cohesion and accessibility of parks in citywide [B.1_07]   Classification of parks based on size and
contexts. See ↗ IPR Praha. Metropolitní plán: Koncept importance, see ↗ IPR Praha. Metropolitní plán: Koncept
[B.1_05]  ↗ Green Infrastructure. Brussels: European odůvodnění: Topografie, krajina a parky. parky [Metropolitan odůvodnění: Topografie, krajina a parky. [Metropolitan Plan;
Commission, 2010. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/ Plan; Rationale Concept; Topography, Landscape and Parks]. Rationale Concept; Topography, Landscape and Parks].
environment/nature/info/pubs/docs/greeninfrastructure.pdf Prague: IPR Praha, 2014. ISBN 978-80-87931-06-6. Prague: IPR Praha, 2014. ISBN 978-80-87931-06-6.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 41
Traditional types of public space 1
Parks 4

[ examples ]

027 A park, as a type of public space, expands the number of 029 The contemporary park design concept is frugal and contextual. Its 031 Grébovka vineyard, a remnant of Prague’s horticultural landscape and
possibilities for spending time in the city significance lies in the use of indigenous plants, making the park feel example of urban agriculture, determines the park’s character, provides
[ Prague 1, Kampa ] natural. It has pleasant, intelligible details and educational overlap greater recreational opportunities and is positive for the city’s image
[ Italy, Milano, Parco Nord ] [ Prague 2, Havlíčkovy sady ]

028 An abandoned railway corridor with successive vegetation was 030 A playing field in a park encourages sports in the fresh air. It is 032 A park as a means to refine the area around a bus station.
made into a protected area. The new seating areas accent the original properly integrated into the environment of a city park. Because there RAW, Z. Sendler (2007)
use in a sensitive manner. The park is left to the processes of nature are no fences, it is not a distinct spatial barrier [ Litomyšl ]
[ Germany, Berlin, Südgelande ] [ Sweden, Stockholm, Vasaparken ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Typology B 43
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Shopping arcades and passageways 1

B.2  Specific and additional forms of public space

B.2.1  Shopping arcades and passageways
Shopping arcades and passageways Arcades and passageways are slightly different
in the historical and compact city typologically. Arcades are essentially public spaces
extended into the interior structure of buildings while
are special to Prague and as such preserving appearance and style of ground level (shop
should be protected and developed. windows, entranceways, activities) and function
(liveable space in the frontage zone). In comparison,
a passageway serves more as an extension of the
Shopping arcades and passageways are spaces bordering street into and through a block of buildings. Its
on the public and private, interior and exterior. They enrich primary purpose is not to be a liveable space.
the basic street network positively by providing further An arcade should be viewed as an independent
connections and access to the courtyards of blocks and architectural structure, the design and refurbishment
closed building structures. They should not be a substitute of which should observe an integrated concept.
for sections of the basic street structure, however. Existing passageways should be retained
and extended, not closed off.
Arcades in the historical centre of Prague should be The differences between arcades, passageways and
developed and supported both from the urban planning exterior public spaces (streets, squares etc.) should not
and architectural perspective and from the functional be blurred. Each should be characterised by different
perspective. They should be the city’s living interior. flooring, lighting, frontage details and street furniture.
They bring an incomparably higher quality to city life
than monofunctional commercial buildings, such as
shopping centres. Small shops should not be merged
into big ones, as this deadens the frontage zone.
Arcades should be publicly accessible and tie
in naturally to the street network. They should be
inviting, i.e., arcades should not be separated from
the exterior with doors. This also has to do with
temperature perception, as temperatures inside
an arcade are the same as out in the street.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

44 B Typology
2 Specific and additional forms of public space
1 Shopping arcades and passageways

[ examples: shopping arcades and passageways ]

033 An arcade is an autonomous architectural structure. The glass 035 Potential of passageways in the historical centre, the Kisch Map of
ceiling illuminates the arcade with daylight and approximates the Prague by Lenka Milerová, Vojtěch Tecl and Tomaš Nováček, Faculty of
atmosphere in the arcade to that outside Architecture, Czech Technical University in Prague (2013)
[ Prague 1, arcade in the Czech National Bank building ] [ Prague 1, Staré Město ]

034 The arcade is an extension of the living commercial and cultural 036 Passageway through a courtyard gallery connecting Malé náměstí
neighbourhood into the internal structure of the building with Michalská ulice. The original atmosphere should be reinforced,
[ Prague 1, U Stýblů arcade ] not swamped with commercial activities and advertising
[ Prague 1, Malé náměstí, passageway through Rychtrův dům ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 45
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Spaces on higher levels 2

B.2.2  Spaces on higher levels

[ examples ]
Public spaces in a city can also be publicly
accessible premises on higher levels. They can be
terraces and even rooftops. Based on an agreement
between the city and the building owner, such
premises may be part of private buildings.

Especially in the case of new high–rise buildings,

agreements on public access to rooftop terraces should
already be made during the planning stages.

037 The view from the roof of a high–rise building provides a new 039 The footbridge of a historical lift connects the waterfront with
perspective of the city an island and provides views of the centre
[ France, Paris, Tour de Montparnasse ] [ Sweden, Stockholm, Katarina lift ]

038 The rooftop of a museum is public and easily accessible directly 040 The terrace on the roof of a university canteen is a civic space
from the waterfront. Renzo Piano (1997) with views of the city
[ The Netherlands, Amsterdam, Science Center Nemo museum ] [ Switzerland, Zurich, ETH Zürich — Mensa Polyterrasse ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

46 B Typology
2 Specific and additional forms of public space
3 Publicly accessible courtyards

B.2.3  Publicly accessible courtyards

[ examples ]
Courtyards are the reverse of street space. As a rule, they In newly built blocks of buildings, courtyards should
are quiet spaces with a specific, intimate atmosphere. be designed as places with a city–forming potential
They offer an unusual view of the city, as they face the rear and the possibility to become attractive public spaces.
façade of the buildings they are found in. If a courtyard A courtyard can be used in many different ways
is to work as a public space, it has to be accessible to and take on various forms, from semi–public gardens
the public from the street. It is typical for a courtyard to to informal plazas depending on the conditions of the
have only one or two entrance points, via a passageway site, the size of the block, the surrounding buildings,
through a building or via a gap between buildings. etc. If a courtyard is within a single building or
Courtyards are generally important for a city even a group of buildings used for a single purpose (such as
with regard to vegetation and their climatic benefit. a school), then the courtyard can serve as a common
They can be seen as a reserve or opportunity for creating space. If the courtyard is surrounded by, for example,
public gardens, whose benefit may also be good social residential buildings or various types of buildings,
control. They can serve as a place where residents of then it is possible to consider dividing the courtyard up
the surrounding buildings and neighbourhood can and giving each part a position in a certain hierarchy 041 The placement of a cultural institution (theatre) in a courtyard is
go to rest and relax, children can play, and so on. of use. Publicly accessible courtyards, if they can one way to make use of the potential of the space. Jindřich Smetana
be used as a shortcut from one part of the city to and Tomáš Kulík (1997)
[ Prague 7, Divadlo Alfred ve dvoře ]
Classical Prague blocks from the late 19th and first half another, can increase the permeability of a city. See
of the 20th century are characteristic for their division also Shopping arcades and passageways →[B.2.1/p. 43].
into separate parcels. Each building has its own parcel,
which makes it difficult to merge the parcels and make the
courtyard accessible as a whole. All the owners would have
to come to an agreement on how the courtyard should be
used, or the city would have to buy up the parcels through
a mutually beneficial purchase agreement concluded
with the owners. However, it is common for courtyards
to house commercial operations, such as workshops,
services, etc. Thus, the commercial potential of the
frontage zone is expanded inward. Leasing courtyards
to cultural institutions, such as theatres, cinemas or
galleries, can lend courtyards a special atmosphere.
042 An example of a quality and, at the same time, civilian solution
to a contemporary residential “superblock”. The composition of
the living space in the courtyard is part of the overall design of the
multifunctional block of buildings. Rafael Moneo (1993)
[ Spain, Barcelona, L‘Illa Diagonal ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typologie B 47
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Publicly accessible courtyards 3

043 Extending the frontage into the courtyard creates a habitable

space similar in character to a square
[ Germany, Berlin, Hackesche Höfe ]

044 A Barcelona–based
company striving to revitalise
the L’Eixample quarter is
systematically renovating
a certain percentage of the
courtyards and opening them
up to the public. A library with
a senior citizens’ centre in part of
one typical Barcelona courtyard
and the adjoining public spaces
with a children’s playground have
a positive social impact on the
local community. RCR Arquitectes

[ Spain, Barcelona, Jaume Fuster

Library ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

48 B Typology
2 Specific and additional forms of public space
4 Public space surrounding solitary buildings

B.2.4  Public space surrounding solitary buildings

[ examples ]
Public spaces that are tied physically and semantically
to structures or buildings should either be part of
of Streets →[B.1.1/p. 33] or Squares →[B.1.2/p. 36]
or autonomous spaces (e.g., park, garden or grounds)
reflecting the character and use of the buildings and
linked compositionally to the adjoining urban structures.
Solitary buildings with an ideological, social or cultural
significance that goes beyond the framework of the
immediate surroundings are usually dominant structures
that to a certain degree define the adjacent space, are
used in creating views, etc. Thus, the adjoining and
neighbouring public spaces should, through their layout,
reflect the meaning of the buildings. For more information,
045 The garage is not located in the building, yet it does not create a 047 The generous space under the main building of the museum is
see Public space of public buildings →[B.2.5/p. 49]. pedestrian obstacle or visual barrier. It is part of the building’s an expansion of the street. It is used for cultural and social events as
Necessary loading areas, parking spots and entrances composition. One can lean against the wall because of its reasonable well. Lina Bo Bardi (1968)
to underground carparks should be integrated into height. Projektil (2009) [ Brazil, São Paulo, Museu de Arte de São Paulo ]
[ Prague 6, National Technical Library ]
the framework of the space of a building so that they
do not become a visual or physical barrier or create
residual spaces. This pertains in particular to solitary
modernist buildings that are found within the traditional
urban structure. Their architecture and position
to the street line do not respect this structure and
create problematic residual spaces or monofunctional
spaces of vegetation or parking lots that should be
dealt with comprehensively in connection with the
adjoining public spaces, adequately with regard to the
architecture of the building and with an emphasis on
improving the overall quality of the connected space.

046 The gallery is properly integrated into the urban structure. 048 The artistically interpreted layout of the street using technical
The public space immediately surrounding the building is graphic art makes formal reference to the dominant architectural
a refined park structure. The school and the space in front of it visually correspond to
[ Spain, Barcelona, Can Framis Museum ] each other. Périphériques Architectes (2004)
[ France, Paris, Jussieu 16M / L’Atrium ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 49
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Public space of public buildings 5

B.2.5  Public space of public buildings

[ examples ]
In addition to public spaces, public buildings are what
make up the public realm. The ideological and historical
content and the significance of such buildings in the social
and urban structure of the city should be reinforced by
the appearance and use of the adjoining public spaces.
Conversely, the form and content of the public realm of
such buildings can affect the quality of the public spaces.
One of the main conditions that make public spaces
quality public spaces is the existence of reasons to
spend time in them. Public cultural institutions in
particular have the potential to become local attractions
and, at the same, predominate over the adjoining
spaces with their content and energy. A synergy of
049 The space in front of a school should be one of the points of 051 The museum is opening out to the public realm through
institutional cultures/public buildings and non– contact between the public and the educational institution that is interaction with the adjoining public spaces, thereby increasing
institutional cultures/public spaces can thus arise. suitable for informal meetings, for spending free time in and even for the attractiveness of the museum and the public space itself
The very essence of the public realm is fulfilled by presenting the school and for holding community events [ Austria, Vienna, Museum moderner Kunst ]
[ Prague 6, Dejvice, Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University ]
mutual openness and interaction. This openness can
be physical — windows, doors, façades, entranceways,
etc. — or metaphorical by perceiving the inner meaning.
Within the city, it is necessary to establish cooperation
with cultural and social institutions that will create
a system that interconnects their activities with the aim
of raising the quality of public spaces and the public
realm of buildings. On the systemic level, this can
include an interconnected information system in the
city’s public realm and emphasis on communication
in the form of promotion and advertising on the
outside of the buildings, which can act as a substitute
for direct communication through transparency and
openness, which is often lacking, especially in the
050 Public institutions that communicate outwards using their 052 The premises of the National Theatre — New Stage as a platform
case of historical buildings. For more information, exteriors show their openness. The gallery is making it known what suitable for holding cultural and social events and artistic installations
see Cultural advertising →[D.8.3/p. 269]. is taking place behind its walls, thereby also sparking the public’s and happenings
interest in cultural events [ Prague 1, National Theatre — New Stage ]
[ Great Britain, London, The National Gallery ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

50 B Typology
2 Specific and additional forms of public space
6 Restricted spaces — grounds

B.2.6  Restricted spaces — grounds

[ examples ]
All quality criteria and the rules pertaining to traffic An appropriately designed sign should be placed at each
layout and design elements set out in the manual entranceway and contain basic information about the
can in principal also be applied to the design of grounds. Generally speaking, the appearance and form
spaces inside grounds. Regardless of the degree of of the entranceway should indicate, in an appropriate
access, certain spaces inside grounds can have the way, that one is entering a different world.
same attributes as public spaces outside grounds. Although grounds can be an important attraction and
Grounds form a functional, compositional and reference point in their area, they must not degrade their
semantic unit that works at the local or city scale with surroundings. The immediate vicinity of grounds should
the context of the broader area; inside, however, they can not become peripheral in nature. If grounds by their nature
create their own context. Grounds have their purpose generate heavier traffic, this aspect needs to be included in
within a city if they correspond from the compositional discussion regarding the establishment, development and
and urban planning points of view to the urban operation of the grounds in order to prevent a deterioration
structure and contribute to its (cultural) enrichment. of the quality of life in the surrounding area. 053 The wall surrounding the grounds can be warranted if it does
They are valuable to society if they provide a new, The development of new grounds should be not function only as an isolation barrier but instead is part of the
composition of the grounds, emphasises the importance of the place
spatial and cultural experience or a generally beneficial conditional upon showing that it will be a benefit to the and refers to its history
function that requires a certain degree of autonomy. city. Any wall (fence) surrounding the grounds should [ Prague 7, Holešovice, Pražská tržnice/Prague Market ]
Grounds should be easily identifiable (e.g., cemetery, emphasise the importance and character of the place,
zoo, hospital, market, exhibition grounds, etc.). not separate the grounds, for example for the purpose
Large–scale grounds should not hinder the basic of residential segregation. For the overall quality of the
permeability of the wider area around them or cut off city space, monofunctional residential property, such as
important connecting roads or public spaces of citywide gated communities — i.e., the intentional segregation of
importance. The internal layout of the grounds should part of the city where the character of the area behind
respect the original quality of the space (landscape) the fence or wall differs only by the structure and
that is of greater value than the grounds in question. financial status of its residents — is not appropriate.
Grounds should be connected to the network of the
city’s public spaces, e.g., entranceways to the grounds
should be located on the main axes of the area etc.
This need not apply in certain justified cases, e.g., if
the grounds are an enclave with a unique character
that is compositionally part of the city. Entranceways
054 Industrial premises are suitably integrated into a park.
should, however, always be easily accessible with The poplars growing naturally outside the grounds can also be found
regard to the needs of both the city and the local inside, which visually diminishes the difference between the grounds
area, which includes connections to public transport. and the surroundings
[ Italy, Milano, Parco Nord ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 51
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Public space of housing estates 7

B.2.7  Public space of housing estates

Fundamental structural and non– demands a deeper concept, including discussions on of parking within view of one’s home is considered by
the layout and functioning of the public space. residents to be a benefit, however. The possibility of
structural projects in housing estates As a rule, a housing estate is not an open structure. introducing new smart parking systems and new spatial
should be preceded by a quality It is in fact a closed system, an autonomous unit within and traffic layouts of public spaces should be examined.
the city. For this reason, each housing estate has to The proposed refurbishment of public spaces should
assessment of the entire area, and the be considered and dealt with on the conceptual level also include a traffic concept, including traffic–calming
envisaged direction that development comprehensively. Housing estates differ from each other measures. The different levels on pedestrian routes need
of the housing estate should take should not only by size and number of inhabitants, but also to be eliminated and a single–grade solution found.
by their layout, relationship to the surrounding urban Public space needs to be redefined. A clear order and
be shared with all stakeholders. structure, transport and landscape relationships and hierarchy needs to be set up. The history and identity
many other factors that influence the overall appearance of various places within a housing estate and even the
Housing estates — residential developments built in and quality of the housing estate. Many housing housing estate as a whole needs to be (re)discovered.
the second half of the 20th century onwards — are estates are visionary projects that have often not been Efforts should be made to stimulate the senses. Dominant
a significant part of Prague and one of the most marked completed according to the original concept. The original structures, orientation points, roads, destination points
manifestations of modernist tendencies in the city idea and concept need to be taken into account when and human scale should be brought back. One of the
and the landscape. The modernist city — a spread–out discussing the future of a housing estate, as they can ways to do this is to implement new “grids” at ground
composition of structures in an open space — is built on be a good guide to working with the housing estate. level made up of connecting and nodal points, where
completely different foundations than the traditional The first step that should precede fundamental the scale of the individual fields corresponds to the
city, being based on the principle of ideal living amid structural or frontage repairs is an assessment of the tried–and–true scale of the traditional city. (This task
greenery. This fact needs to be the starting point of all quality and development potential of each housing is made all the harder by the fact that the code of this
discussions on the future concept of housing estates. estate. The quality of a housing estate is primarily grid has to be based at the same time on the code of
Despite a number of obvious problems, housing based on the urban planning design of the whole. The the urban planning composition of the buildings or at
estates have to be seen as expanding the offer of urban transformation of public spaces which do not function least co–exist with them — it cannot be ignored or even
housing in Prague. They can have a different urban as they should may be a sufficient instrument of change supressed. At the same time, it is necessary to design
and architectural quality than that of the traditional in some cases. In others, the projects have to address the this new ground level grid to allow for diversified use.)
urban structure. They are a potential urban laboratory, urban structure and the basic transport system. A street With regard to the character of the housing estates, it
an opportunity to create an environment that can, by its in a housing estate is often not a street. It is a road that is not necessary to adopt traditional urban environment
quality, compete with traditional forms. Still–existing is “cut out” of the landscape for a single purpose and principles; in justified cases, it may be appropriate to take
efforts to formally humanise housing estates using creates residual spaces. The number of dead–end roads the landscape typology into consideration. In housing
bright, kitschy colours on the façades or constructing and monofunctional spaces is demanding in terms of estates located near landscape areas with an important
saddle roofs on the buildings are not the way to create maintenance. They make orientation and even getting recreational potential, the way the grounds of the housing
a pleasant environmental for life. This objective around difficult. The common areas around housing estate connect to these areas and the system of trails
estates are often congested with cars. The possibility in the landscape should be considered. The quality of

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

52 B Typology
2 Specific and additional forms of public space
7 Public space of housing estates

[ examples: public spaces of housing estates ]

trees and bushes in housing estates is, from the point 057 When working on public

of view of their effect on space — composition and spaces of housing estates,

frontage is very important.
scale –extremely poor; nevertheless, residents consider A comfortable entrance allowing
“greenery” to be very important (they often planted the the proper transition from the
trees with their own hands). Any project should thus be interior to the exterior and
creating a background for
preceded by an expert review of the vegetation, including community activities can be
an assessment of its importance for the local community. an alternative to the commercial
As a consequence of abandoning the traditional city frontage. The boundary
between public and private
way of designing a city, open spaces predominate. On space requires working with
average, the built–up area represents only one fifth of the a small scale and detail to reflect
entire housing estate. The number of publicly accessible the dignity of the housing and
influence the way the housing
spaces is problematic with regard to finding adequate estate is perceived. Stefan
use and with regard to maintenance. The spaces need Forster (2003)
055 A site–specific design of public space based on the character [ Germany, Leinefelde ]
to be categorised again and given a hierarchy, from the of the place and the needs of residents can complete the identity of
most extensive to the most intensive in terms of use the housing estate and thus help its residents identify with the area
and care. It is possible to consider leasing out part of in which they live
[ Chrudim, Požárníků ]
the unused public space to other entities, ideally to the
owners of the neighbouring buildings and to arrange
for the responsibility for the public space to be shared
so that its maintenance is provided in part by other
sources as well. Based on the general development
concept of the housing estate in question, the exclusion
of some of the public spaces can then be considered.
The environment of a housing estate serves the
residents of the housing estate in particular. The layout
of the public space, however, often does not reflect the
current requirements of the life and activities of the
local community. Emphasis should be placed on creating
places for informal gatherings and relaxation; one of the
tools for this should also be the sensitive, purposeful
056 It is necessary to uncover the history/memory of a place inside 058 In terms of the richness of sensations, housing estates at this
and organised participation and involvement of the and outside the housing estate. The physical manifestation of time cannot compete with the city. The perceptible range of scale lacks
local residents in creating the public spaces there. the original landscape/topography can create a sense of place. compositional detail, which is what gives a place aesthetic quality and
A “tree” as a symbol, orientation point and meeting place makes it attractive
[ Prague 8, housing estate ] [ Sweden, Stockholm, Hammarby Sjöstad ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 53
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Public space of housing estates 7

059 “Urban gardening” as an activity in the public realm. Community 061 Regular markets can be an impulse to create a proper space,
gardens are a way to make use of the large, empty spaces, enliven a market place for small events. Events as a tool to finding the physical
the environment of a housing estate, and cultivate the residents’ form of a place
relationship to their surroundings [ Prague 8, Ďáblice housing estate ]
[ Sweden, Stockholm, Hammarby Sjöstad ]

060 The spaces inside a housing estate embody the idea of beauty 062 For many housing estates in Prague, the parks located in their
in simplicity, in a way that corresponds to the austerity and scale centre are public spaces where social and recreational activities take
of the blocks of flats and allows for sustainability. They can become place. By making appropriate improvements to them, it is also possible
a natural link to the surroundings. AP Atelier (2002) to improve the quality of life in the housing estate
[ Litomyšl, banks of Loučná stream ] [ Prague 9, Prosek housing estate, Přátelství park ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

54 B Typology
2 Specific and additional forms of public space
8 Public space of transport infrastructure

B.2.8  Public space of transport infrastructure

[ examples ]
“High–speed” transport infrastructure and its elements This means that the infrastructure loses its dominating
are part of the superordinate transport system. Their influence over the area. In such case, it is possible to
contact with the urban environment/public spaces cultivate the areas through relatively undemanding
means a clash of two different scales: the increased scale projects (maintenance, use of different materials, etc.) as
viewed from a moving vehicle and the human scale. part of a bigger investment that pertains to a larger area.
The relationship between the high–capacity In some cases, e.g., if the infrastructure is a solid
transport and city at ground floor level has still not piece of architecture, it is possible to consider new
been resolved in a satisfactory manner. Many residual, alternative uses and physical refurbishments of the
unsightly and unintelligible spaces are still being spaces near them to make them full–fledged public
created around such infrastructure. Overpasses and space (e.g., cultivated commercial property, parking
motorway bridges, railway embankments etc. are lots, skateparks, clubs, etc.). Infrastructure can thus
typical examples of barriers that are impermeable or become an acknowledged motif of the place.
difficult to penetrate. Problematic areas also include
063 A viaduct in the urban environment does not create such a barrier
landscaped “remnants” and buffer zones along roads. Vegetative buffers along roads can be defined and as a railway embankment does. It is more permeable for movement,
integrated using landscaping tools. See Shrub and and the arches of the viaduct can be used as an alternative storefront,
In connection with new transport infrastructure projects, herbaceous plant biotopes →[D.2.3/p. 170]. This “residual which enlivens the adjacent space
[ Switzerland, Zurich ]
it is important to eliminate other vague or unused spaces. greenery” is currently a popular location to place large–
It is not always possible to base decisions on technical scale advertising such as billboards. The size and number
requirements only, as even superordinate transport of such advertisements needs to be regulated as they
infrastructure has to be subordinated to the urban visually degrade both their immediate surroundings and
composition of the city. At the same time, it is necessary to the general visual quality of the city.[B.2_01] See also Large–
anchor it to the location and address the utility and details scale advertising →[D.8.1/p. 264]. Conversely, what is
of the places in its immediate surroundings. In the case of desirable is for the adjacent road spaces to become refined,
existing infrastructure, it is worth finding ways to integrate high–quality spaces from the landscape architectural
it into the city. The specific solution for each case then point of view and thereby attractive to look at not only
depends on an individual assessment of local contexts. for drivers, but for users of all types of transport.
In those cases where an overall refurbishment of the area
is not being considered or the space will neither be excluded
from public space nor designated for urban development,
there are in essence two possibilities being offered.
First, it is possible to integrate space near infrastructure 064 The space under the motorway bridge is an attractive informal park.
to have it become part of the larger public space (road, [B.2_01]   ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. 11/2014 Skateparks are almost a traditional way to make use of similar public
street, park, waterfront promenade, etc.) or the landscape. Coll., Prague Building Regulations: Section 77— Section 78: spaces. They communicate well with the architecture of the infrastructure
Structures and facilities for advertising and information [ Spain, Barcelona ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Typology B 55
Specific and additional forms of public space 2
Public space of transport infrastructure 8

065 A large waterfront park along the river extends even under
transport infrastructure bridges, which become part of the architecture
of the promenade. They provide shade and serve to anchor playground
equipment etc.
[ Spain, Madrid, Madrid Rio Park ]

066 In London, spaces near

railway infrastructure are
traditionally used for popular and
distinguished markets
[ Great Britain, London, Borough
Market ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

A Introduction 9

B Typology 25

C Layout 57
C.1 Layout of the streetscape 63
C.1.1 Shared space 66
C.1.2 Quiet and traffic–calmed streets 70
C.1.3 Important traffic–calmed streets 72
C.1.4 Streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic 74
C.2 Parts of public space 77
C.2.1 Pedestrian space 77
C.2.2 Roadways and lanes 83
C.2.3 Intersections and crossings 88
C.2.4 Tram and bus stops 93
C.2.5 Cycling infrastructure 101
C.2.6 Parking 107
C.2.7 Playgrounds 112
C.2.8 Stormwater management 116

D Elements 119

E Annexes 279

Layout C 59

The layout of public spaces should organise combine transport appropriately and use those forms that
movement where necessary to ensure functionality are most suitable and effective. Provisions thus need to be
and safety. Public spaces with a maximum degree made for all of them equally and preference given to those
The layout of public space of shared space and freedom of movement, that have the least impact on the urban environment.
especially for pedestrians, are more liveable. Each kind of transport is effective depending on the
has to be based on the Layout should be based primarily on the overall purpose, and provisions have to be made for this. Walking
composition of the space and be subordinated to it. is usually best for short distances, biking for distances
overall composition of The line of the sidewalk, accompanying structures, etc. of up to five kilometres, and motor–vehicle transport
should be based on compositional considerations that above that. Depending on the type, public transport
the space. It should take already take into account functional requirements. is suitable for both shorter and longer distances. Cars
Street space needs to be dealt with as a whole, for short–distance travel should be an exception.
into account functional with a balanced relationship between its various
parts; reconstruction should generally not be carried
requirements and aim out in parts without an overall improvement in Preference for movement with the least impact
quality. For more details on the approach to preparing Public spaces have to provide ample protection to
to create space that and awarding contracts, see Process of designing, more vulnerable users, especially against stronger and
managing and using public space →[Prague Public potentially dangerous ones. Only then can such space
is highly liveable. Space Development Strategy/Proposal/V./p. 35]. motivate people to be more considerate and thoughtful.
The objective should not only be fulfilment of
technical and legislative requirements. Their blind Design should be adjusted to the different types of
application usually results in unliveable space. The movement in the space, usually in the following order:
layout of public space has to be based on the overall 1. on foot
Environments able to composition. It should take into account functional 2. by public transport
requirements and aim to create highly liveable space. 3. by bicycle
reasonably slow down and 4. by car

calm movement should Relationship between individual kinds of movement This order is based especially on the degree to which
Different kinds of movement should complement the movements impact spatial requirements, energy
be created in the city. each other in public space. Pedestrians, demands, pollution, etc. It cannot be observed
bicycles, public transport and motor–vehicle dogmatically, however. This does not mean that
traffic have to be taken into account. pedestrians will always enjoy an advantage over other
The basic prerequisite for a functional system of users, but their needs should be taken into account first.
mobility is multimodal transport behaviour: people

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

60 C Layout

At the same time, the importance and purpose traffic needs. Reducing vehicle speeds in the city generally accidents. Such approach, however, resulted in road
of the mentioned movements have to be taken increases safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. users paying less attention to the road and driving
into account in the following order: At higher speeds, a person’s ability to see detail is faster, leading to more serious accidents.[C_02]
1. destination transport reduced and peripheral vision narrows  →[s01 Connection The current preference for general traffic–calming
2. service transport between line of sight and vehicle speed/p. 61]. measures allows for an overall improvement in the quality
3. supply transport Response time also slows. Driving at a speed of 30 km/h, of space and a reduction in the roadway size. Lanes can
4. through transport a car can stop — if, for example, a child runs into the be narrowed down to the minimum allowable, safety
road — at the point where a vehicle driving at 50 km/h buffers eliminated, and pedestrian areas expanded, all
Reasonable comfort should be retained for through would only begin braking  →[s02 Connection between without the need to use road signs and markings.[C_03]
traffic, but this should not be to the detriment of the braking distance and driving speed/p. 61]. Crashes
liveability and overall quality of the public space. are much less severe at lower speeds: 10% chance
of fatality at a speed of 30 km/h; 80% at 50 km/h. Traffic calming
In connection with an overall speed reduction, The importance and character of a street determines
driving on roads where traffic from the right has the traffic calming measures. For Shared space
Public space has to provide ample
priority is as a rule smoother without the need for →[C.1.1/p. 66], a residential zone may be created;
protection for weaker and more constant braking and acceleration. Traffic noise is also for Quiet and traffic–calmed streets →[C.1.2/p. 70]
vulnerable users against stronger reduced. Traffic calming does not have a substantial 30 km/h zones may be set up; for Important traffic–calmed
impact on pollution, with exhaust emissions being streets →[C.1.3/p. 72], local speed reduction measures,
and potentially dangerous users. comparable. Car age affects pollution more.[C_01] such as fewer lanes and more pedestrian crossings etc.,
Only in this way can public space can be used. Measures can take on various forms: from
complete reconstruction of the space (very costly but the
motivate people to behave in a more
Change of approach to traffic safety most effective) or partial reconstruction (vertical and
considerate and thoughtful manner. Formerly, increasing line of sight and safety distances, horizontal modifications), to just the installation of traffic
widening traffic lanes or segregating individual users, signs (immediate effect without costly reconstruction).
e.g., by installing guardrails, was used to prevent Traffic calming measures should be introduced in
Traffic calming built–up areas everywhere except on main thoroughfares.
Traffic calming is a tool for improving the quality of space. [C_01]  ↗ Technické podmínky č. 218: Navrhování zón
30 [Technical Requirements No. 218: Designing 30 km/h
It is, however, not often used in the Czech Republic. In [C_02]   ↗ POKORNÝ, Petr. Sdílené prostory: síla
zones]. First edition. Brno: Centrum dopravního výzkumu, v jednoduchosti [Shared spaces: strength in simplicity].
other EU countries, traffic calming is standard. Making sure 2010. 84 pp. ISBN 978-80-86502-01-4. Smoother driving Brno: Centrum dopravního výzkumu, 2009.
that users feel comfortable, happy and safe in the same leads to less fuel consumption and thereby a reduction in
space together is a condition to improving the quality of carbon dioxide (CO2) and dust emissions. Other harmful [C_03]  ↗ Technické podmínky č. 218: Navrhování
public space. Today, the biggest hurdles arise when trying substances are dependent on speed: nitrogen oxide (NOx) zón 30 [Technical Requirements No. 218: Designing
emissions fall when speeds are reduced; carbon monoxide 30 km/h zones]. First edition. Brno: Centrum dopravního
to find a balance between pedestrian and automobile
(CO) and hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions grow, however. výzkumu, 2010. 84 pp. ISBN 978-80-86502-01-4.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 61

[ diagrams: traffic calming ]

Drivers thus know to reduce their speed whenever
they exit such roads. As the distance travelled in 13 m

traffic–calmed areas should be relatively short, total

driving times should not be greatly increased by 50 km/h 0 km/h
the measures. Local traffic calming is also needed
in areas with potentially high pedestrian traffic.
60 km/h
30 km/h 0 km/h

When designing public spaces, connectivity is important. s02 Connection between braking distance and driving speed
Destinations (e.g., shops, schools, public transit At a speed of 30 km/h, a driver can stop — for example if a child runs
stops, and main routes in the area) have to be taken into the road — at the point where a driver driving at 50 km/h would
only begin to brake.
into account, and a logical structure and a permeable, 50 km/h
easy–to–understand layout created in response. The
less space a certain type of movement takes up and the
less impact it has on its surroundings, the greater the
permeability of the area should be  →[s03 Permeable
street network/p. 61]. Greater permeability should
be ensured especially for pedestrians and cyclists; in
certain sections, through traffic can even be prohibited. 30 km/h
s01 Connection between line of sight and vehicle speed
High visual quality and urban character of streets as well A driver’s ability to see the surroundings increases as driving speed
as use of aesthetic Materials and surfaces →[D.1/p. 125] decreases from 60 km/h to 50 km/h and 30 km/h, respectively.
on them change the way space is viewed. Drivers are
thus motivated to be more considerate and reduce speed
naturally, thus allowing the space to be used by all users.

s03 Permeable street network

The less space a type of movement takes up and the less impact it has
on its surroundings, the more permeable the area is.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Layout C 63
Layout of the streetscape 1

C.1  Layout of the streetscape

The role that a street plays in the urban structure while traffic classification should be based on the urban
determines the basic layout of the street. The location type and reinforce it. The traffic classification applied
of the street in the semantic hierarchy of public to a street should be based on the role that the street
spaces determines the role. The main parameters plays in the city’s general transport system hierarchy.
of the streetscape, such as width, are determined It should be reassessed in the event there is a marked
by the urban structure of the city. The layout of the discrepancy between the required traffic volume and
streetscape affects the organisation of movement. the urban significance or liveability potential.
Layout thus has to based on the limits of the space
Streets can be categorised and correspond to the importance of the street. For the purposes of the Manual, the following terms
The greater the volume and difference in speed of are used to describe streetscapes whose traffic
by type in the urban the different kinds of movement, the greater the need level ensues from the degree of convergence and
to separate them. The lower the volume and speed, divergence of the various kinds of movement:
hierarchy and according the easier it is to bring them together. The more kinds
of low–impact movement there are, the easier it is for ——  Shared space →[C.1.1/p. 66]
to traffic classification, the space to be shared, making the urban environment ——  Quiet and traffic–calmed streets →[C.1.2/p. 70]
more liveable and saving space. Segregating movement ——  Important traffic–calmed streets →[C.1.3/p. 72]
while traffic classification does not contribute to the liveability of a city. ——  Streets with heavy motor–vehicle
If each kind of movement is given a corridor, users traffic →[C.1.4/p. 74]
should be based on the may feel that they have priority in their space to
others. Conversely, when different kinds of movement The Manual aims to define the maximum quality potential
urban type and reinforce it. are mixed, users no longer feel they are the master of a street that corresponds to the importance of the
of the situation and in fact pay more attention to street. Table  →[s04 Examples of streetscapes and how
one another. Although users feel less safe, they are traffic layout affects their character/p. 65] shows how
in fact much safer. The basic condition for allowing streets of the same width can be laid out in different ways
various kinds of movement to share a space is the to achieve entirely different streetscapes. If the character
implementation of Traffic calming →[par./p. 60]. of a space corresponds to its urban importance[C.1_02]
and traffic classification[C.1_01], the result can be a high–
Streets can be categorised by type[C.1_01] in the urban quality public space. If any one of these parameters is
hierarchy and according to traffic classification,[C.1_02] at variance with the others, the result is a poor quality
and problematic space. Chapters →[C.1.1/p. 66],
[C.1_01]   ↗ Capital City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014, →[C.1.2/p. 70], →[C.1.3/p. 72] a →[C.1.4/p. 74]
Prague Building Regulations: § 13: Urban street types.
define traffic character types in more detail in terms
[C.1_02]   ↗ Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

64 C Layout
1 Layout of the streetscape

of layout, appropriate traffic and organisational

measures and possible corresponding urban types.
The practical impact should be the modification of
existing streets. The layout rules should also be applied to
the construction of new streets, where liveability should
be assessed at the same time that the spatial framework
and traffic volume are determined. Chapter Streets
→[B.1.1/p. 33] in the Typology section discusses [[!] note
the liveability potential of streets in more detail. Table  →[s04 Examples of streetscapes and how traffic
layout affects their character/p. 65] and the subsequent
chapters set out the approach to laying out standard
sections of a street between intersections. The listed
solutions are far from exhaustive and cannot be used in
place of a general spatial concept that is based on urban
contexts and responds to broader relationships in the area.
Such general concept addresses the following: specific
elements and components (tram lanes, parking, rows of
trees, size and type of trees, number of traffic lanes and
so on), intersections and their contexts, grades and their
resulting design (e.g., asymmetrical arrangement).

For clarity, table  →[s04 Examples of streetscapes and

how traffic layout affects their character/p. 65] shows
only certain widths from a wide range of possibilities.

All photographs used as examples in chapters

→[C.1.1/p. 66], →[C.1.2/p. 70], →[C.1.3/p. 72]
a →[C.1.4/p. 74] were taken in Prague. They do not
illustrate the best possible solution for the given type of
street in terms of layout or materials; they are included
because they provide a better idea of the character of
the described space and show how the layout of the
street affects traffic or pedestrians and liveability.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 65
Layout of the streetscape 1

[ diagram: streetscapes ]
quiet and


streets with heavy

s04 Examples of streetscapes and how traffic layout affects their character
The table below shows possible layouts of streets depending on street width.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

66 C Layout
1 Layout of the streetscape
1 Shared space

C.1.1  Shared space

[ examples: shared space without motor vehicle traffic ]

Shared space is intended chiefly Shared space without

motor–vehicle traffic
for pedestrians. All users share Shared space is intended chiefly for pedestrians, with
a space on the same level. activities such as biking, inline skating and horse
riding being allowed in certain cases. Motor–vehicle
traffic is essentially prohibited, with access for the
purposes of maintenance and supply being the
exception. Users share the entire space or a substantial
part of it, on the same level. If biking and inline
skating is common, the space may be divided up.
The predominant movement can either be linear or
organic, depending on the character of the public space.
Shared space is suitable for liveable squares and
shopping streets in the centre of the city or a quarter,
as well as for pedestrian paths and connectors 067 Pedestrian shopping street
[ Prague 1, Na Příkopě ]
anywhere. As regards traffic signs, such space is
most often designated as a pedestrian/cycling path,
pedestrian zone (with bike access permitted), areas
where motor–vehicle access is prohibited[C.1_03] etc.
In terms of classification, these streets are most often
local Class IV roads, tertiary roads[C.1_04], and Group
[C.1_03]   ↗ Act No 361/2000 Coll., on road traffic.
D function roads[C.1_05] of any urban type[C.1_06].
↗ Decree No. 30/2001 Coll., on road traffic rules.

[C.1_04]   ↗ Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads.

[C.1_05]   ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Designing urban roads.

Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–01–01.

[C.1_06]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague

Building Regulations: Section 13: Urban street types include
avenues, important streets, service streets and local streets.

068 Pedestrian area on a square

[ Prague 1, Můstek ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 67
Layout of the streetscape 1
Shared space 1

[ diagrams: streetscapes ]

069 Local pedestrian–bicycle connector

[ Prague 6, Skupova ]

070 Street in the historical city centre s05 Path (width 4 m) s06 Pedestrian zone (width 30 m)
[ Prague 1, Jalovcová ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

68 C Layout
1 Layout of the streetscape
1 Shared space

[ examples: shared space with motor–vehicle traffic ]

Motor–vehicle traffic, if present, Shared space

with motor–vehicle traffic
is subject to strict speed and number Motor–vehicle traffic, if present, is subject to strict speed
restrictions, so as not to hinder and number restrictions, so as not to hinder the free
movement of pedestrians. Other users share all or most of
the free movement of pedestrians. the space. As a rule, motor vehicles only share a defined
area. If public transport vehicles pass through the shared
space, they always have a designated corridor for passage.
These are usually areas in residential developments,
in front of schools and other facilities with significant
traffic–calming measures in place, or shopping streets,
avenues and squares with foot traffic predominating.
As regards traffic signs, such spaces can be designated
as home zones (with 20 km/h being the maximum
permitted speed), pedestrian zones (with bikes and 071 A square designed as a pedestrian zone with public transport
permitted access
public transport usually permitted access) or 30 km/h [ Prague 1, náměstí Republiky ]
zones[C.1_07]. Streets here are usually classified as
local Class IV roads, tertiary roads[C.1_08], and Group
D function roads[C.1_09] of any urban type[C.1_10].

[C.1_07]   ↗ Act No. 361/2000 Coll., on road traffic.

↗ Decree No. 30/2001 Coll., on road traffic rules.

[C.1_08]   ↗ Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads.

[C.1_09]   ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Designing urban roads.

Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–01–01.

[C.1_10]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague 072 Shared space at tram stop
Building Regulations: Section 13: Urban street types include [ Prague 5, Anděl ]
avenues, important streets, service streets and local streets.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 69
Layout of the streetscape 1
Shared space 1

[ diagrams: streetscapes ]

073 Shared space in front of a school, designated as a home zone

[ Prague 7, Tusarova ]

074 Shared space in a traffic–calmed street, designated as s07 Local street (width 8 m) s08 Shopping street (width 24 m)
a home zone Local street with shared space Shared space with public transport on an avenue. Representative public space
[ Prague 7, Bubeneč ] for all users at one level. with citywide importance.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

70 C Layout
1 Layout of the streetscape
2 Quiet and traffic–calmed streets

C.1.2  Quiet and traffic–calmed streets

[ examples ]

On a quiet street, motor–vehicle Such space is usually divided up into two separate parts:
a part designated chiefly for walking and spending time
traffic is so slow and weak that it is in and a part designated chiefly for motor–vehicle traffic.
possible to cross the street comfortably Walking areas usually take the form of sidewalks along
the roadway, with cyclists usually sharing the roadway
and safely practically anywhere. with other vehicles. Motor–vehicle traffic is so slow and
weak that it is possible to cross the street comfortably
and safely practically at any point. This, however,
means greater attention has to be paid to making sure
that visually or mobility impaired individuals can move
through the area and that certain locations are modified
to become accessible. Cycling is usually two–way even
if the street is only one–way for other vehicles.
Streets in such areas are usually regular streets
in the urban structure that ensure basic access to 075 A traffic–calmed one–way street with two–way bicycle access;
the alleys of trees and choice of natural materials adds character
the area. The volume of automobile traffic is usually [ Prague 6, Dr. Zikmunda Wintra ]
relatively low (from a few hundred to no more than
a few thousand vehicles per day). Vehicle speeds are
usually limited to 30 km/h, in certain areas even less
(up to 20 km/h) or even more (up to 50 km/h). Formal
pedestrian crossings are usually unnecessary; informal
[C.1_11]   ↗ Act No. 361/2000 Coll., on road traffic.
pedestrian crossings are sufficient[C.1_11]. The streets are
↗ Decree No. 30/2001 Coll., on road traffic rules. usually local Class III and Class IV roads[C.1_12]. Group C
function roads[C.1_13] and local or service roads[C.1_14].
[C.1_12]   ↗ Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads.

[C.1_13]   ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Designing urban roads.

Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–01–01.

[C.1_14]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague

Building Regulations: Section 13: Urban street types include
avenues, important streets, service streets and local streets.

076 A quiet two–way street with alleys of trees

[ Prague 7, Jana Zajíce ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 71
Layout of the streetscape 1
Quiet and traffic–calmed streets 2

[ diagrams: streetscapes ]

077 A quiet street in a housing estate

[ Prague 8, K Olympiku ]

078 A quiet street in a residential area with family houses s09 Service street (width 15 m) s10 Service street (width 15 m)
[ Prague 10, Chládkova ] A service street with two alleys of trees and parking on both sides, A service street with minimum parameters for allowing two rows of trees
two–way bicycle access and more comfortable sidewalks. and parking on both sides and with two–way access for all vehicles.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

72 C Layout
1 Layout of the streetscape
3 Important traffic–calmed streets

C.1.3  Important traffic–calmed streets

[ examples ]

Traffic–calming measures on A linear movement and street layout predominate

here. Sections intended for walking and spending
important urban axes allow free time in are separated from sections intended for motor
movement even across the street and and other vehicles. Pedestrian areas most often taken
on the form of sidewalks along the roadway; public
development of a living streetscape. transport and bicycles usually share the space with
other vehicles. Due to the calmed traffic, it is possible to
cross the roadway practically anywhere, but a sufficient
number of accessible crossings designed to be more
comfortable and safe need to be put in place.
Traffic–calming measures on important urban axes
allow for the development of a living streetscape and
for the improvement of the quality of the space in
general. The volume of automobile traffic is usually
relatively high (thousands of vehicles per day, or even 079 Important traffic–calmed street with accessible boarding bulbs
[ Prague 8, Sokolovská ]
more). The standard speed limit is 50 km/h, but can be
reduced locally to 30 km/h[C.1_15] where there is a high
concentration of people. It is also important to prevent
collisions between bicycles and other vehicles. In certain
cases, integration measures can be used, most often
pictogram corridors (shared lanes)[C.1_15]. Streets in such
spaces are usually Class III roads[C.1_16], Group C function
roads[C.1_17] and important streets or avenues[C.1_18].

[C.1_15]   ↗ Act No. 361/2000 Coll., on road traffic.

↗ Decree No. 30/2001 Coll., on road traffic rules.

[C.1_16]   ↗ Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads.

[C.1_17]   ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Designing urban roads.

Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–01–01.

[C.1_18]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague

080 A busy avenue with frontage shops
Building Regulations: Section 13: Urban street types include
[ Prague 7, Milady Horákové ]
avenues, important streets, service streets and local streets.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 73
Layout of the streetscape 1
Important traffic–calmed streets 3

[ diagrams: streetscapes ]

081 A busy, narrow shopping street 17m wide

[ Prague 3, Seifertova ]

082 A quiet shopping street with asymmetrically placed trees between s11 Street with trams (width 15 m) s12 Shopping street (width 24 m)
the roadway and tram lane A street with trams in the city centre with comfortable Vehicles and pedestrians share the roadway of a traffic–calmed street.
[ Prague 6, Bělohorská ] sidewalks and low automobile traffic volume. The inclusion of trees and short–term parking is appropriate.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

74 C Layout
1 Layout of the streetscape
4 Streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic

C.1.4  Streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic

[ examples ]

In streets with heavy automobile Linear movement and street layout predominate here.
Sections intended for walking and spending time in
traffic, the dimensions and are always kept separate from the sections intended for
character of pedestrian zones and vehicles. Depending on the type of vehicle, traffic volume
and speed, the different types of vehicles should also be
number of formal crossings should segregated. It is possible to cross the roadway practically
compensate for the negative impact anywhere, but due to the high volume of motor–vehicle
of the traffic on the space. traffic, safe, comfortable and accessible pedestrian
crossings are placed in the appropriate locations.
Such streets are usually important urban axes that
serve through traffic. The standard speed limit is 50 km/h,
with it being possible in exceptional cases to reduce the
speed limit to 30 km/h. The volume of automobile traffic
is high (at least thousands of vehicles per day). In case 083 The quality of a street with heavy motor–vehicle traffic is
of volumes above 30,000 vehicles per day, measures improved by alleys of mature trees and wide sidewalks; the way
should be taken to reduce automobile traffic or to disperse the traffic is laid out on the roadway is not ideal, however
[ Prague 7, Korunovační ]
it over a wider area. Trams preferably run in their own
dedicated lane, with buses being able to use a dedicated
bus lane or the tram lane. Formal pedestrian crossings
should be used by pedestrians to cross the roadway; these
formal crossings should be supplemented by informal
[C.1_19]   ↗ Act No. 361/2000 Coll., on road traffic.
ones in suitable places. Integration measures should be
↗ Decree No. 30/2001 Coll., on road traffic rules. used for bicycles. This most often means cycling lanes or
“pictogram corridors” (shared lanes)[C.1_19]. Such streets
[C.1_20]   ↗ Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads. are usually Class II and III roads[C.1_20], Group B and C
function roads[C.1_21], important roads or avenues[C.1_22].
[C.1_21]   ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Designing urban roads.
Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–01–01.

[C.1_22]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague

Building Regulations: Section 13: Urban street types include
avenues, important streets, service streets and local streets.

084 An important street with a raised tram lane and alleys of trees
[ Prague 10, Vršovická ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 75
Layout of the streetscape 1
Streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic 4

[ diagrams: streetscapes ]

s13 Avenue (width 18 m) s14 Urban axis (width 40 m)

The quality of a street with a higher volume of automobile traffic is An avenue with heavy motor–vehicle traffic demands much more space with a proportionate amount of level pedestrian surfaces
improved by wide sidewalks and alleys of mature trees. and the possibility to separate the various kinds of traffic.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Layout C 77
Parts of public space 2
Pedestrian space 1

C.2  Parts of public space

C.2.1  Pedestrian space
Pedestrian space is a basic part of Servicing
public space that makes it liveable. Connecting buildings (off–road sites) to the roadway
should be carried out using driveways at the level of the
sidewalk so as not to disrupt continuity for pedestrians
and cyclists. Pedestrians should have priority and
Sidewalk vehicles have to yield to them. A sidewalk must not be
Pedestrian areas have to have sufficient dimensions to cut off or lowered to the level of the roadway. For more
allow not only movement, but also the development details on materials, see the chapter entitled Pedestrian
of leisure time activities and the general liveability and shared surfaces →[D.1.1.1/p. 132].
potential and attractiveness of the outdoor space.
Sidewalks have to serve as a place for walking — the
Continuity of movement should always
principal way people move about a city. They have a key
influence on city life as well as on the accessibility and be ensured. This helps preserve a direct
permeability of the city for residents and visitors. and logical pedestrian space.
The unobstructed part of a sidewalk is designated for
movement. A sidewalk should be expanded to include
areas for seating, trees, infrastructure and other elements. Trees in the street
The character and spatial parameters of sidewalks The presence of trees contributes substantially
should be based on the criteria of general liveability. This to the liveability of space and to a healthier
objective cannot be fulfilled by, for example, building environment. For more details, see the chapter
a sidewalk as a residual space that is located alongside entitled Trees and vegetation →[D.2/p. 157].
a road used by cars and that only fulfils minimum When designing the streetscape, provisions have
parameters according to physical traffic requirements. to be made for rows of trees[C.2_01]. Such alleys have
The width of a sidewalk has to be chosen appropriately to conform to the technical infrastructure and utilities
according to the urban type of the street and urban networks present at the location. The choice of tree and
density. In those places that have a potentially greater shape (especially crown raising and crown thinning)
concentration of activities, a sidewalk is usually
wider than where the concentration is not so high. [C.2_01]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014
Coll., Prague Building Regulations: Section 19:
Technical infrastructure layout requirements.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

78 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
1 Pedestrian space

should depend on local conditions. The following factors contributes to the economic vitality and value of a place During the design process, provisions need to be made
are the most important to consider when assessing local and joins both commercial and public interests. For this for the visually impaired and physically disabled. For
conditions: height and type of buildings, the historical purpose, obtaining permits needs to become easier, both the visually impaired, the guiding line along the façade
and local concept, and quality of the rooting area. For administratively and financially. For more information, should be a priority. In such case, appropriate measures
more information about suitable conditions for planting see the chapter entitled Procedural support of “bottom–up” should be taken to facilitate the ability of the visually
trees, see the chapter entitled Trees →[D.2.1/p. 158]. activities in using public space →[Prague Public Space impaired to orient themselves. Such measures include the
It is possible to establish alleys of trees in narrow Development Strategy/Proposal/V.2.5/p. 46]. placement of planters or screens by the façade on both
streets 12 to 14 metres in width, provided that comfort On important streets where the frontage is devoid of sides of the seating area. Platforms pose problems for
and convenience for pedestrians are kept in mind. Such life, the reasons why this is the case have to be discovered. barrier–free access and should only be used in justified
conditions can usually be fulfilled in home zones. The reasons for a poorly functioning frontage can cases (e.g., on a slope or in a parking strip). In the heritage
include excessive motor–vehicle traffic, lack of space reservation, the establishment of sidewalk restaurants
and poor quality pedestrian areas. Ways to improve and cafes is addressed in the methodology issued by
Trees can contribute to the
the quality of the street, widen the sidewalk and calm the Heritage Department of the City of Prague.[C.2_02]
liveability of public spaces and the traffic have to be found to bring life to the street.
to a healthier environment.
Street furniture
Sidewalk restaurants and cafes Street furniture plays an important role in making the
Active frontage Sidewalk restaurants and cafes contribute substantially to full–fledged use of public space possible. At the same
Interactions that are important for city life take place bringing life to a space and, therefore, should be supported. time, however, it must not contribute to “structural
at the boundaries between the public and private On the other hand, clear and understandable rules on pollution” or block the space. For more information,
space. Therefore, if the quality of public spaces is to be their appearance (aesthetic) and spatial quality have to be see the chapter entitled Street furniture →[D.5/p. 207].
improved, the frontage zone has to be addressed as well. put in place to prevent degradation of the public space.
An active frontage basically means that there is a lot The size and position of sidewalk restaurants and
of movement in, out and around buildings and that cafes should take into account the general context
businesses, services, cafes and restaurants are located of the place and should not be determined purely by
there. In other words, the space inside the buildings commercial interests. Sidewalk restaurants and cafes
is connected directly to the public space visually and have to be designed using freestanding furniture placed [C.2_02]   The specific criteria for the Prague historical reserve
are defined in the following document: ↗ MHMP, OPP. Restaurační
often even physically (operationally). The sidewalk directly on the ground of the public space. Enclosed
zahrádky v památkově chráněném území hlavního města Prahy
can be used for as a place for sidewalk cafés, displays, structures, even if declared as temporary, must not [Heritage Department of the City of Prague. Sidewalk restaurants
benches etc. The width of such space has to correspond be permitted. Fencing off the space or raising it using and cafes in the historical reserve of Prague] [online]. Prague:
to the intensity in which the frontage is used. a platform should be discouraged, as this restricts City of Prague, 2013 [cit. 2014–03–28]. Available on: http://
The city needs to actively support the development accessibility and increases the size of the seating pamatky.praha.eu/public/b5/6b/3d/1517112_335428_MHMP_
brozura_zahradky_2str_preview.pdf. These two documents
of living–related activities. An active frontage also area, usually to the detriment of the sidewalk.
are in general agreement on these basic principles.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 79
Parts of public space 2
Pedestrian space 1

[ modules: people ] [ rules: sidewalk layout ]

0.75 m 2—2.5 m The basic component of
The basic width required for This width allows two pedestrian a sidewalk is free space of
one person to pass through to pass by each other comfortably. sufficient width for passage that
a public space. Three people or two baby corresponds to the character
carriages or wheelchairs passing and intensity of use. Provisions
by each other is possible. should be made for a section
that is at least 0.5 to 1 m wide
for lampposts, traffic signs, street
furniture, etc.

1 m 3 m The width of a sidewalk should be

The basic width required for This width allows couples to pass increased to at least 2 m to allow
a baby carriage, wheelchair each other without having to for trees, seating, bike stands
or person on crutches to pass interrupt their conversation. and other furnishings, poles and
through a public space. columns to not block passage
in the open section. Parking or
loading bays may be incorporated.

1.2 m 4—5 m If the sidewalk includes parking

The width required for a person This width allows groups of spots, these spots should be
carrying luggage or accompanying people to pass by each other. alternated with trees. In such
a child to pass through case, other elements (lampposts,
a public space. signs, street furniture and so
on) should be placed in a strip
expanding and running along the
sidewalk beside the parked cars.

1.5 m In streets with an active frontage,

The minimum width required provisions should be made for
for two–way pedestrian traffic. seating, sidewalk cafes and
Pedestrians pass by each other other activities.
with some difficulty, however, and
may bump into each other.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

80 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
1 Pedestrian space

[ rules: sidewalk ] [ rules: sidewalk restaurants and cafes ]

Narrowed sidewalk, min. width Lively sidewalk Using sidewalks for streetlife —
1.5 m (exceptionally 1.2 m) At least 5 m to 10 m or more e.g., street furniture, sidewalk
The narrowed section should be Suitable for busy parts of the city restaurants and cafes — is
local and as short as possible. with heavy pedestrian traffic, often limited by the spatial
No other elements — such as traffic especially important streets. parameters of sidewalks. For
signs, lampposts, poles, columns, Numerous leisure–time activities this reason, provisions already
or guardrails — can be placed in the take place here. The width has to have to be made for their
narrowed sidewalk space. Traffic be based on the urban context and potential placement during the
calming measures should be put in on the importance of the place. design stage.
place in the adjacent roadway. →[C.1.3/p. 72], →[C.1.4/p. 74]

Narrow sidewalk Driveway crossings The creation of seating areas

2.5—3 m The grade and layout of a sidewalk along buildings should be
Suitable for quieter parts of as well as pedestrian priority have encouraged even if not related to
town with less pedestrian traffic, to be preserved at the point where restaurants and cafés. It should
especially along some quiet and the building and the roadway be possible to install narrow
traffic–calmed streets. connect. Similar principles apply benches – even wider ones,
→[C.1.2/p. 70] to pedestrian and bicycle paths. provided they can be folded —
without requiring permission.

Regular sidewalk At the point where a building and Sidewalk cafés using benches
3—4 m the road connect, it is usually placed lengthwise against the
Suitable for areas with medium not appropriate to cut off the façade bring a lot of life to the
and high pedestrian traffic, where sidewalk. Narrowing a sidewalk space with minimum spatial
the frontage is not very active, because of the construction of requirements (depth of 0.6 m).
especially for quiet and traffic– a turn lane is not acceptable. This option is suitable especially
calmed streets or important Similar principles apply to if the sidewalk is too narrow.
traffic–calmed streets. pedestrian and bicycle paths.
→[C.1.2/p. 70], →[C.1.3/p. 72]

Regular sidewalks should be The optimal spacing (distance) Tables can be added to
expanded on important streets between trees along a street lengthwise–positioned benches
at least locally at intersections, is 6—20 metres to allow street (total depth of 1.2 m) if the width
on plazas, and in places where furniture and other amenities to of the sidewalk allows for this.
the building fronts are set back be placed along the tree axis in Reasonable measures — such as
from the street line, with such multiples of parking spot lengths. buffers in the form of planters
space being used for leisure–time If spacing is greater, the purpose or screens on both sides of the
activities, seating, sidewalk cafes of having an alley of trees is lost. seating area along the façade —
and so on. should be taken to mark the area
for the visually impaired.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 81
Parts of public space 2
Pedestrian space 1

[ examples: sidewalks ]
Sidewalk restaurants and cafes The design of a sidewalk
can be placed along the axis restaurant or café should make
formed by the trees, thus helping provisions for the needs of
to keep the sidewalk open for the disabled, for example by
pedestrian traffic along the making it easy to get through
building fronts. or around, which also means
preserving the guiding line for
the visually impaired.

Sidewalk restaurants and cafes Demarcating seating areas

in the parking strip do not take with a compact barrier (e.g.,
up any space on the sidewalk. using boards, canvas, glass or
This solution is best in cramped adjoining planters) is completely
conditions. Here, seating should inappropriate. Sidewalk
be elevated on a platform to the cafes are a continuous part
same level as the sidewalk. Such of the streetscape.
seating is usually seasonal. This 085 The sidewalk appears wide, but due to the heavy pedestrian
solution is not in common use traffic, 9 m is not sufficient for other activities
at this time. [ Prague 1, Václavské náměstí ]

Occupied space should not be Using platforms or other raised 086 A spacious promenade with
demarcated using solid barriers. surfaces for seating areas is a suitable ratio of pedestrian and
Markings on the ground are the not appropriate, unless the vehicle space with regard to the
most appropriate way to indicate terrain is sloping. importance of the street
what space is occupied. [ France, Paris ]

The design of a sidewalk No large objects (e.g., grills, bars, 087 A wide street with a strip
restaurant or café should counters, cabinets, televisions, that has a smooth surface to make
make provisions for the needs etc.) should be situated in walking and pushing strollers and
of the physically disabled, sidewalk restaurants or cafes. baby carriages more comfortable
for example by providing [ Germany, Berlin ]
accessibility at grade.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

82 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
1 Pedestrian space

[ examples: sidewalks ] [ examples: sidewalk restaurants and cafes ]

088 A row of trees and poles do not obstruct movement through the 091 The presence of people sitting in a sidewalk café greatly enlivens 094 A sidewalk café along the building façade and in the space
street and in fact create better conditions for walking and living the public space between the trees makes for a pleasant street environment
[ Prague 7, Bubeneč ] [ Austria, Vienna ] [ Prague 8, Křižíkova ]

089 A sidewalk in a quiet street 092 A sidewalk café by a building 095 A sidewalk café in the
where the section for passage is gives life to the street while still parking zone of a street where
differentiated visually from the allowing the visually impaired the width of the sidewalk does
strip with the trees and physically disabled to move not allow seating directly on
[ Prague 2, Rybalkova ] about safely the sidewalk
[ Prague 1, Michalská ] [ Prague 1, Liliová ]

090 The driveway does not cut 093 A sidewalk café inside a row 096 Even a more luxurious
off the sidewalk or reduce comfort of trees is an appropriate way design of a sidewalk café with
and safety for pedestrian traffic to give life to a street and make transparent glass partitions can
[ Prague 7, Bubeneč ] effective use of space bring integrity and aesthetics to
[ Prague 2, Americká ] public space
[ Austria, Vienna ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 83
Parts of public space 2
Roadways and lanes 2

C.2.2  Roadways and lanes

097 A space–efficient design in
The width of traffic lanes and are more appropriate means. Two–way bicycle traffic
the form of a bench and small even in the case of one–way streets should be standard.
tables in front of a café does not
take up much of the sidewalk
roadways depends on the character The basic roadway width of 4.00 m allows for
[ Sweden, Stockholm ] of the traffic in the space. comfortable one–way car traffic and two–way bicycle
traffic. Bicycles can pass by cars easily, but upon
meeting larger vehicles, such as garbage trucks, they
have to slow down or stop. Such width also allows
alternating two–way traffic if the traffic volume is
Traffic lanes in the city should
low and turnouts are situated at 100 m intervals.
098 A sidewalk café that is
inappropriately massive in size
have minimum parameters in line In case of very low traffic volumes, the width can be
and operationally and visually
detached from the public space
with the character of the traffic. reduced to 3.00 m; in cases of higher traffic volumes,
the width should be increased to up to 4.50 m. For
[ Prague 1, Revoluční ] This helps calm traffic and make two–way traffic (applies to all vehicles), the basic width
more room for pedestrians. of the roadway should be 5.50 m (2×2.75 m). In case
of low traffic volumes, this width can be reduced to
5.00 m (2×2.50 m); in case of higher traffic volumes,
this width can be increased to 6.00 m (2×3.00 m).
099 This is an example of In terms of the layout and width of traffic lanes and
an inappropriate annexation roadways, efforts have to be made to maximise the
of part of the public space by
a private structure quality of public space as a whole within spatial limits Important streets
[ Prague 1, náměstí Republiky ] (width) and traffic limits (traffic classification). For Important traffic–calmed streets →[C.1.3/p. 72]
The parameters set out in this chapter have and Streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic
been simplified (they also include edge lines, →[C.1.4/p. 74], it is better to demarcate each
gutters and safety buffers). The listed dimensions lane and regulate traffic more. Traffic should be
are intended for straight sections; around curves, calmed in those places where there is a greater
the dimensions need to be increased. concentration of pedestrian traffic.
100 A distinct podium and
conspicuous fencing create The basic width of a traffic lane is 3.00 m; each
a visual and operational barrier lane should be increased to 3.25 m in those locations
in the public space Quiet and traffic–calmed streets where the traffic is heavier and the street is used
[ Prague 6, Dejvická ]
Road markings should usually not be used to define lanes frequently by sizeable vehicles, such as buses.
in  Quiet and traffic–calmed streets →[C.1.2/p. 70]. On important streets, lanes should be increased to
Imposing speed limits, constructing roadways with at least 3.75 m along kerbs or in the case of multiple
minimum parameters, eliminating safety buffers, etc. lanes to allow bicycles and cars to pass by each other

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

84 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
2 Roadways and lanes

[ modules: vehicle widths and passage widths — section views ]

Vehicle body (i.e., without mirrors) / moving vehicle (i.e., with mirrors)

easily. This modification is optimal for cars passing by Bicycle Bus

at a speed of about 30 km/h; for speeds of 50 km/h, 0.60 m / 1.00 m 2.50 m / 2.80 m
a width of about 4.00 m is better. Depending on the
situation, road surface markings can be used to regulate
traffic in this respect. If the street has parking zones,
the width of the traffic lane has to be increased to
4.25 m in the case of parallel parking and to 4.50 m
in the case of perpendicular or diagonal parking.
If the traffic is heavier or the street is of greater
Motorcycle Truck
importance, a cycling lane should be added (for each 1.10 m / 1.50 m 2.50 m / 2.80 m
direction of travel) alongside the traffic lane. The basic
width of a cycling lane, including a safety buffer, is 1.50 m
along the kerb. If there is parallel parking, the cycling lane
should be 1.75 m wide, and if there is perpendicular or
diagonal parking, the lane should be at least 2.00 m wide.

Change of path of a traffic lane Car Tram

The edge between the sidewalk and roadway should be 1.75 m / 2.00 m 2.50 m / 3.25 m
modelled based on the composition of the space while
fulfilling functional requirements at the same time.
The edge of the kerb should always be as straight and
continuous as possible. When creating bulbs and widening
the sidewalks, the basic geometry of sectors and tangents,
without protrusions or unnatural breaks, needs to be
observed. In those locations where the sidewalk needs
to be widened, such as at the beginning of a parking 2.00 m / 2.30 m
lane, the kerb should be left straight and the extension
should be differentiated by the choice of materials used.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 85
Parts of public space 2
Roadways and lanes 2

[ rules: path of the streetscape ] [ rules: roadways in quiet and traffic–calmed streets ]
The dimensions apply to straight sections, including edge markings, gutters, safety buffers, etc. Around curves, the dimensions need to be increased.

Trees, if placed correctly, act In quiet and traffic–calmed 5 m (2×2.5 m)

as a means to calm the street streets, road markings are not Two–way street for all vehicles at
traffic and increase liveability by usually used, traffic is very lower traffic volumes.
changing the scale of the space. slow, and vehicles share the
→[D.2.1 Trees/p. 158] same space.

Staggering the parking zones can Two–way bicycle traffic should be 5.5 m (2×2.75 m) — two–way street
help to calm traffic by eliminating allowed in the majority of quiet Two–way street for all vehicles.
long straight stretches. and traffic–calmed streets.

A change in the path of a traffic 4 m — regular one–way street — 6 m (2×3 m)
lane where a parking lane begins contraflow bicycle lane Two–way street for all vehicles at
should not be indicated just by Allows for a comfortable one–way higher traffic volumes.
road markings, but by extending street with a contraflow bicycle
the sidewalk into the road and lane (cyclists have to yield to
keeping the line of the kerb large–scale vehicles); the street
geometrically clean. can be two–way for all vehicles,
provided traffic is low and
turnouts are located every 80 m.

If space is restricted and if there 3—4,5 m — one–way street —

is only one lane, turnouts need contraflow bicycle lane
to be created, for example, at A one–way street with
driveways or intersections. a contraflow bicycle lane can be
narrowed to 3 m if the traffic is
low and widened to about 4.5 m if
traffic is high.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

86 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
2 Roadways and lanes

[ rules: tram lanes ] [ rules: traffic lanes in important streets ]

Dimensions apply to straight sections, including edge markings, gutters, safety buffers etc. Around curves, the dimensions need to be increased.

6.5 m + 0.25 m on both sides 3 m — traffic lane 4.25–4.50 m — bus and bicycle
Distance between rail axes 3 m Basic width of a traffic lane. Minimum width for a sizeable
minimum width of tram lane. vehicle and bicycle to pass by
each other.

7 m Approx. 2.5 m — turn lane 3.75 m — passenger car

Distance between rail axes 3.5 m A turning or passing lane in and bicycle
Basic width of a tram lane — confined conditions, or the Minimum width for a passenger
allows other public transport amount by which a regular traffic car and bicycle to pass by each
vehicles, such as buses, to use it. need to be increased by if a turn other (at an optimal speed
lane is to be integrated. of 30 km/h).

8 m 1.50 m — cycling lane 3.25 m — bus

Width of a tram lane with Basic width of a cycling lane along Width of a traffic lane for a busy
overhead–line poles. a kerb or between traffic lanes. street frequented by sizeable
vehicles (e.g., buses).

Materials are discussed 1.75 m — cycling lane along

in detail in chapter parallel parking
→[D.1.1.3 Tram lane surfaces/p. 142]. Minimum width of a cycling lane
running alongside a parallel
parking zone.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 87
Parts of public space 2
Roadways and lanes 2

[ diagram: change of street layout ] [ examples: roadways and lanes ]

101 Contraflow cycling lane on

a quiet street
1,5 3 2,5 3 4
[ Prague 8, Křižíkova ]


s15 Change of layout of streets with low traffic volume
102 Combined turn lanes in front
Pedestrian crossings in the form of a kerb extension should be added of an intersection
to streets with a lower traffic volume. The geometric line of the kerb [ Prague 4, Na Pankráci ]
and delineation of surfaces should be kept simple.

103 The mutual obstruction of

motor vehicles and bicycles in the
left lane is minimised if cyclists

can use the right–turn lane


to go straight.


[ Prague 4, Vinohradská ]

2 1,75 3,25 3,25 1,75 2

s16 Change of layout of streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic s17 Change of layout of streets with heavy motor–vehicle traffic
104 Extension of the sidewalk
Pedestrian crossings with a refuge island should be added to streets The continuity of the path of the kerb should be retained even if at a parking bay. The kerb is
with a higher volume of motor–vehicle traffic. The geometric line of the the layout changes frequently (parking lanes, turn lanes, cycling kept straight and the extension
kerb and delineation of surfaces should be kept simple. lanes, etc.). is differentiated by the choice
of materials.
[ Prague 1, Klárov ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

88 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
3 Intersections and crossings

C.2.3  Intersections and crossings

Smaller and more compact intersections vehicle from behind cannot be seen, resulting in crossings should be used and designed especially to
a potentially dangerous situation best avoided. facilitate the movement of the visually impaired.
and crossings are more city–friendly When connecting important streets with calm
and protect more vulnerable users. streets, right of way has to be determined by the
Direct pedestrian appropriate signs. The standard speed limit for cars
and cyclist trajectories on priority streets is 50 km/h. At such intersections,
It is preferred that pedestrian trajectories be direct, without sections designated for pedestrians and those for
any diversions. Natural, straight trajectories should not be through traffic have to be marked. If the traffic
The way the space of an intersection
deviated from at crossings or for through bicycle traffic. volume is high, traffic lights are necessary.
is designed depends on the Intersections need to be designed to allow pedestrians to
character of the place and the cross in a straight line on all arms of the intersection. They
should also be modified to be accessible. Ignoring direct Crossing trajectory of turning
volume of motor–vehicle traffic. pedestrian trajectories (desired crossing lines as they are vehicles and straight moving bicycles
sometimes called) is only permissible in exceptional cases. Bicycles and motor vehicles using the same lane
move behind or beside each other and are constantly
Basic approach aware of each other. For this reason, this solution
If the design of intersections and crossings is to be Basic types of situations is the best in the city.
city–friendly, the urban character of the place has to be Priority to the right should be introduced in quiet streets Visual continuity is lost when the cycling lane is located
taken into account and reflected in the scale and form. automatically. In heavily built–up areas, the speed limit on the other side of a row of parked cars or on a parallel
Following this principle will help weaker and vulnerable should be reduced to 30 km/h. This makes it possible path (sidewalk). Then, when the traffic lane and cycling
users and promote residential and other non–vehicular to reduce spatial requirements while keeping sufficient lane cross, the cyclist is found in the driver’s blind spot,
activities in the adjacent space. Large intersections that line–of–sight ratios and safety parameters of the design. which is dangerous. Cycling lanes are usually located to
allow vehicles to move through them quickly should be For more information, see Traffic calming →[par./p. 60] the side of the roadway. Unlike in the majority of other
avoided, as then they function more like expressways, in the chapter entitled Layout →[C/p. 57]. European countries, cyclists in the Czech Republic have
thereby endangering pedestrians and cyclists. In the case of traffic–calmed intersections with to give motor vehicles the right of way, which of course
Efforts should be made to design the most compact a lower volume of motor–vehicle traffic, shared space makes cycling lanes less attractive and does not encourage
intersections and crossings possible. The smaller the should be created, optimally by raising the roadway drivers to be cautious. Of course, cycling lanes could
radius of the curve (the edge of the corner), the slower to sidewalk level.[C.2_03] Instead of formal pedestrian be moved further out to ensure that an approaching
the vehicles turn and the safer biker and pedestrians are crossings, which would be excessive here, informal cyclist is no longer in the driver’s blind spot, but the
if moving straight ahead. When crossing, eye contact spatial requirements for this are rather demanding
between pedestrians and drivers should be encouraged and, as such, cannot be implemented in the city.
or at least it should be possible for pedestrians to see [C.2_03]   In the protected historical core of the city,
approaching vehicles peripherally. A fast–approaching monument protection principles need to be observed.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 89
Parts of public space 2
Intersections and crossings 3

[ rules: intersections ]
Interchanges at intersections City–friendly intersection The size of an intersection and the
and crossings designs protect weaker and more surface of the roadway should be
vulnerable users and create good minimised in favour of pedestrian
Interchanges should not be proposed if located in conditions for pedestrians and areas. Large intersections
the city. If footbridges or underpasses are used in cyclists. usually worsen the conditions
the city, then only in those cases where pedestrians for pedestrians and cyclists.
and cyclists would find them more convenient and
beneficial than regular street–level crossings. For more
information see the chapter entitled  Stairs, footbridges
and underground entrances →[D.7.1/p. 257].
The priority should be to free To shorten walking trajectories
When building or refurbishing existing interchanges movement across the public and distances and slow traffic,
at major street intersections, continuity of the city– realm, especially to make it sidewalks should be extended at
friendly design of the street has to be preserved. possible to cross streets even the corners while preserving the
outside pedestrian crossings. clean geometry of the kerbs.
A design that takes only the technical infrastructure
into account is as unsuitable as a design that
proposes street–level crossings across motorways.

Direct pedestrian trajectories on To substantially calm intersections

all arms of an intersection should (in the case of shared space),
be the standard. the whole roadway within the
intersection should be raised.

On intersections where Unrestricted movement through

substantial traffic–calming the space should not be
measures are in place (in the restricted. Measures to bar people
shared space), unrestricted from moving in their natural
movement, including diagonal trajectories using barriers and
trajectories, should be allowed. guardrails are not acceptable.
→[D.5.7 Barriers/p. 231]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

90 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
3 Intersections and crossings

[ rules: bicycle traffic ]

Preserving direct pedestrian The smaller the radius of the Shared lanes (bicycles and other
routes without diversions is curve (corner kerb), the slower vehicles share the same line) and
the ideal approach (the same the vehicles turn, the greater the small turn radiuses help preserve
applies in the case of through eye contact, the easier it is for continuity and good visibility
bicycle traffic). pedestrians to demand priority as well as greater safety when
and the safer it is to cross. vehicles are turning.

The further that movement The bigger the radius of the In the case of separated traffic
is diverted from its natural curve (corner kerb), the faster (bicycles are kept apart from
trajectory, the worse (the same the vehicles turn and the other vehicles on the roadway)
applies in the case of through more dangerous it is to cross. and small turn radiuses, safety is
bicycle traffic). Furthermore, vehicles approach the same as in the case of shared
pedestrians from behind and lanes.
cannot be seen.

At the spot where a side street in Roads that allow through traffic The greater the separation of
a calm area connects to a main to move quickly are perceived traffic (the further bicycles are
street, the roadway should be by drivers to be expressways, positioned away from motor
raised to sidewalk level. thus threatening the safety of vehicles) on the roadway (the
pedestrians and cyclists. regular traffic lane), the more
visual contact is disrupted
and the blind spot that results
substantially decreases safety
when vehicles are turning.

Connecting shared space to For long trajectories through large The physical separation of
a main street is best done directly signalised crossings, stop lines traffic at a distance (bicycles are
at the roadway of the main street. and cycling lanes with separate separated far away from motor
traffic lights should be added vehicles) usually cannot be
to the intersections (especially realised in a city due to a lack of
on hillsides). space.
→[D.3.2.1 Traffic lights/p. 187]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 91
Parts of public space 2
Intersections and crossings 3

[ rules: pedestrian and bicycle crossings ]

Pedestrian crossings give Bicycle crossings make it easier Parking right up to the edge of
preference to movement on foot; for cyclists to cross the roadway, a pedestrian crossing reduces
they are not intended for bikes. but motor–vehicle traffic has visibility and thus jeopardises the
priority (except if the crossing is safety of crossing pedestrians.
regulated by traffic lights). They Extending the crossing across the
are not intended for pedestrians. parking strip is unacceptable in
the case of new and rebuilt roads.

A refuge island should be Bicycle crossings can appear Restricting parking using road
placed in the crossing to allow together with pedestrian markings is not a good solution,
pedestrians to cross in stages, crossings. If it is a signalised but can be a temporary one.
especially in cases of heavy traffic crossing, a shared two–colour Without physical elements, such
or multiple traffic lanes. signal light can be shared by restriction is often not respected.
pedestrians and cyclists.

Informal crossings along a street In locations with heavier traffic Bicycle stands or bollards
make it easier for pedestrians or multiple lanes, a refuge island are an appropriate, although
and cyclists to cross the road, but should be installed to allow temporary, physical solution to
vehicle traffic has priority. crossing in stages. ensure visibility at a crossing.
Bollards and posts should be
used instead of temporary traffic
control equipment.
→[D.5.7.2 Bollards and posts/p. 236]
→[D.3.4 Temporary traffic control
devices/p. 193]

At informal crossings, a refuge If a signalised bicycle crossing New pedestrian crossings should
island should be added to allow is located beside a signalised be designed to have extended
pedestrians to cross in stages, pedestrian crossing with a regular sidewalks and shorter crossing
especially in cases of heavy traffic refuge island, the bicycle crossing distances. They can be combined
or multiple lanes. has to be regulated separately and with parking for bikes. The design
there is only one signal light that should make sure that the clean
applies across the entire roadway, geometrical composition of the
as opposed to the pedestrian kerbs is preserved.
crossing where the signal is
divided up into the two stages.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

92 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
3 Intersections and crossings

[ examples: intersections and crossings ]

109 The continuity of the
sidewalk is preserved and
the priority of pedestrians is
reinforced at the point where
a side street connects to
a main street
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ]

110 A raised roadway at the

point of entry to a traffic–calmed
30 km/h zone with a pedestrian
crossing at sidewalk level
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ]

105 An intersection of traffic–calmed streets with sidewalks extended 107 A generous sidewalk on an important street that gives pedestrians
into the roadway and crossings across all arms of the intersection clear priority at the point where a side street connects to the main street
[ Prague 6, Eliášova ] [ Spain, Madrid ]

111 A poorly designed

intersection of a main and side
street where the continuity of the
sidewalk is disrupted
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ]

112 Only one side of the crossing

has been made accessible, making
the modification pointless
[ Prague 7, Letná ]

106 An intersection of traffic–calmed streets raised to the level of the 108 An intersection of important streets
sidewalk makes it possible to cross in all directions [ France, Paris ]
[ Prague 6, Dejvice ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 93
Parts of public space 2
Tram and bus stops 4

C.2.4  Tram and bus stops

The style and quality of public functions. They should be placed near important transport Tram and bus stop furniture
sources and destinations, such as public buildings. The chapter entitled Street furniture →[D.5/p. 207]
transport stops and infrastructure In terms of traveller orientation and comfort, stops deals with the various amenities placed at tram and bus
improve how they are perceived by city in either direction should be positioned directly across stops. More detailed information can be found in the
the street from each other. If this is not possible, they chapters entitled Shelters →[D.5.4.1/p. 219],
residents and visitors and naturally should be at least near to and within sight of each other. Stop markers and information displays →[D.5.4.2/p. 221]
result in their more frequent use. In case of intersections with a number of stops and and Litter bins →[D.5.3.1/p. 214].
directions of travel, stops should be located after the
intersection, so that when transferring, passengers
wait for all connections travelling in a specific Height of boarding edge (kerb)
direction in one spot, without having to look for their Travellers board trams and buses from the boarding
Trams and bus stops are focal points
connection or run from one place to another. edge (kerb). Its height is important for comfort and
that contribute to developing and The boarding platform should be the same for both allow the disabled to board and disembark. Prague
bringing life to the public realm. trams and buses, i.e., a common stop for all public transit would like all tram and train stops as well as most
vehicles going in the same direction. This contributes to bus stops to have barrier–free access by 2025.[C.2_04]
greater convenience, comfort and safety when transferring. The preferred height of tram stops, especially boarding
islands, is 24 cm. When rolling stock is fully replaced
The visual quality, functionality, user convenience, with trams without doors that open outward, it will be
comfort and technical state of tram and bus stops Access to tram and bus stops possible to raise this edge by a few more centimetres.
along with the overall culture of the public transport Bus and tram stops have a relationship to their In the case of shared bus and tram stops for easy–access
environment have a direct influence on the immediate surrounds, and this has an impact on the stops (stops where the roadway is raised up to the level
attractiveness of stops and their degree of use. comfort and attractiveness of travelling. A stop has to of the sidewalk) or tram bulbs, the height of the edge
Emphasis has to be placed on improving the be accessible to all travellers. It is more appropriate is 20 cm to retain traffic clearance of the road.[C.2_05]
quality of public transport amenities, as this creates to design access to be at grade. Access at a different A boarding edge of 20 cm is proposed for bus stops
a more pleasant urban environment and results in level should only be used in special and warranted where the bus arrives straight along the boarding edge.
more people using public transport than cars. cases, especially if it increases comfort for travellers. For bus bays, this height has to be reduced to 17 cm to
Tramway tracks in the immediate vicinity of avoid damage to the bus. An appropriate shape of the
stops should have a walkable or driveable surface. kerb, e.g., a Kassel kerb or bevelled kerb, can improve
Placement of stops An open or grassy surface is inappropriate. More
Tram and bus stops should be part of the architecture information on materials can be found in the chapter
[C.2_04]   ↗ Prague City Council Resolution
of the space, clearly visible and easy to find. entitled Tram lane surfaces →[D.1.1.3/p. 142]. No. 463 of 18 March 2014.
Tram and bus stops have an important city–forming
[C.2_05]   ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Designing urban roads.
function and substantially influence the way a space
Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–01–01.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

94 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
4 Tram and bus stops

[ modules: stop lengths by type of vehicle ]

docking conditions for the bus, thereby also making Bus bays are the least appropriate and their use is One tram
it easier for passengers to board and disembark. warranted only in streets with very heavy traffic. Length of boarding edge: 35 m

Size of tram or bus stop

The length of a stop is usually the length of one or two
trams or buses (short or articulated buses). A shorter
stop is suitable because passengers have to walk shorter
distances to get to their respective bus or tram; conversely,
Articulated bus
longer stops are necessary if there is a greater frequency of Length of boarding edge: 19 m
public transport vehicles and to allow for transfers between
two vehicles at once. If it is planned that a stop will be used
by more than one bus or tram, the length of the boarding
edge would be the sum of the lengths of the mentioned
number of vehicles plus a 1 m gap between them.
The minimum clear width of a stop for passengers
should be no less than 2 m. The greater the number of
passengers, the greater the width should be to ensure Standard bus
comfort of use. Tram boarding islands with guardrails Length of boarding edge: 13 m
across their entire length should be widened substantially.

Types of stops
From the point of view of travellers, it is best to minimise
the possibility of collision with vehicles and ensure
an appropriate level of comfort of use of the stops. The bulb
stop is the most appropriate design for tram stops in the Length of boarding edge: 9 m
case of  Important traffic–calmed streets →[C.1.3/p. 72]
in the case of Streets with heavy motor–vehicle
traffic →[C.1.4/p. 74], an easily accessible and
comfortable boarding island is the best.
For buses, a stop located in the traffic lane (on–
street stop) or at a shared bus/tram stop is the best.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 95
Parts of public space 2
Tram and bus stops 4

[ rules: location of stops ] [ rules: boarding edge ]

Heights correspond to the clearance heights of Prague public transport fleet.

Two trams Stops should be located directly 24 cm

Length of boarding edge: 67 m across from each other. Barrier free access for tram stop,
especially islands.

Shared tram/bus stop Tram and bus stops with a shared 20 cm
Length of boarding edge: 55 m boarding edge should be built, as Partially accessible boarding edge
they are more comfortable and for shared bus/tram stops, bulb
safer for travellers. stops by roadways, easy–access
stops (raised stops) and bus stops
with direct arrival and departure.

Two standard/articulated buses Having separate stops for trams 17 cm

Length of boarding edge: and buses often means having to Partially accessible boarding edge
26 m / 40 m cross a lane when transferring. for bus bays.
Separate stops are also less
comfortable and often lead
to dangerous situations when
travellers run across lanes. If such
stops have to be built, the transfer
distance should be as short as

Standard and articulated bus The length of a stop usually If a bus or tram has to stop more
Length of boarding edge: 33 m accommodates one or two than 10 cm from the edge or it
vehicles, depending how busy is necessary to board it from the
the stop is. The clear width of the roadway, comfortable and barrier–
stop should be at least 2 m, often free access is not possible.
more depending on the number of

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

96 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
4 Tram and bus stops

[ rules: boarding islands ]

Boarding island Cycling integration measures should be preserved Tram islands by roadways with
in the roadway or at least it should be possible for heavy traffic, especially multiple
lane roadways, should be designed
Travellers wait on a separate island between tram lanes cars and cyclists to pass by each other (3.75 m). In with guardrails along the entire
and the roadway. The stop may be shared with buses. the opposite case, the roadway should be narrowed length of the island to protect
Barrier–free access has to be provided at least at the as much as possible (to approx. 3.00 m). travellers and restrict their
movement. Access should be
front end or back end of the stop via a pedestrian possible from both ends, and at
crossing. At the opposite end, it should be possible least one end has to be barrier–free.
→[D.5.7.1 Railings/p. 233]
to cross the road at grade. —— Tram island with raised roadway
Trams or buses arriving at the stop do not Raising the roadway up to the level of the
Tram islands located beside
obstruct other traffic. sidewalk across the length of the stop allows for one–lane traffic–calmed roadways
In the case of roads with heavy traffic, guardrails comfortable and barrier–free access to the island should be designed without
should be constructed at the edge between the roadway and serves as a traffic–calming measure. guardrails with unhindered access
along their entire length. At least
and the island. It is better not to use guardrails on This solution is suitable for traffic–calmed streets one end has to have barrier–free
traffic–calmed streets[C.2_06] and instead allow people to in the historical areas and in those places where it is access, but preferably both.
§! ↗ ČSN 73 6425–1, Bus, trolleybus
access freely the entire length of the island. Comfort not possible to create a full–size island or bulb due to
and tram stops.
can be increased by raising the roadway along the spatial and operational constraints. They represent
length of the island or by using a “time island” with a certain alternative to an easy–access stop.
signal lights to regulate motor–vehicle traffic. Barrier–free access to tram
If the island is located near a signalised intersection islands should be placed at
both the front end and back
or crossing, it is necessary to secure direct, barrier– —— “Time island” end of a stop in the form of
free access to it. Sloping the waiting area down to When a bus or tram arrives at a stop, traffic a lowered kerb.
the roadway for barrier–free crossing across the lights located in front of a stop indicate to
length of the island is not appropriate, with the other vehicles that they must stop.
exception of very wide boarding islands. The proper This solution is a good addition to the standard
solution would in fact be to raise the roadway. design to increase safety in those places where
a greater number of travellers cross the roadway at
Wheelchair access in the form
the moment when boarding a bus or tram, especially of a lowered kerb along the
[C.2_06]   §! ↗ ČSN 73 6425-1. Bus, trolleybus and tram in the case of an existing narrow island, islands length of an island of standard
stops, transfer nodes and stations: Part 1: Designing stops. with a raised roadway or an easy–access stop. length is inappropriate as it
Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2007–05. The standard makes movement on the island
sets out the rule that guardrails must be used when a traffic and even boarding onto and
disembarking from buses and
lane runs along an island. For a traffic–calmed (slow) street,
trams more difficult.
this measure is entirely inappropriate, as access to a boarding
island should be made as easy as possible for pedestrians.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 97
Parts of public space 2
Tram and bus stops 4

[ examples: boarding islands ]

Wheelchair access on a narrow 113 A shared stop for both Bulb stop
tram island should be in the form trams and buses (Extended sidewalk)
of a raised roadway at least at the [ Prague 6, Prašný most ]
front end of the stop.
A bulb is usually intended for trams, but they are often
used by buses, and provide greater comfort for travellers
boarding public transport directly from the sidewalk.
A bulb extends the sidewalk out into the street, and
barrier–free access is provided along its entire length.
In the event of difficult grades, barrier–free access should
Comfortable, wheelchair access 114 Warranted guardrails on
to a tram island across a traffic– a tram island by a multiple–lane be located at least at the ends and in the middle.
calmed lane can be resolved by street with heavy motor–vehicle The sidewalk width required for pedestrian through
raising the roadway across the traffic with an informal crossing traffic should be added to the width of the waiting area for
entire length of the stop. located at the front end of the stop
[ Prague 7, Korunovační ] travellers. If the number of pedestrians and travellers is
low, both spaces can be combined either fully or partially.
When a tram arrives at a bulb, all other vehicles
are forced to stop and may not pass. Once the tram
continues on its way, the vehicles follow it along
115 An appropriately raised the tracks. The distance between rail axes in streets
roadway along a narrow tram with heavy motor–vehicle traffic should be 3.50 m
island that includes modifications
for the visually impaired to allow larger vehicles to travel on the tram lane.
[ Brno, Šilingrovo náměstí ]
Cycling integration measures have been discontinued.
Pictograms and a good surface between tram tracks
are measures that will help cyclists to pass through
safely. Cycling lanes on the other side of a stop
are usually not appropriate in built–up areas.
116 Unraised roadway — a narrow
tram island with wheelchair
access only at the front–end
of the stop
[ Prague 7, Strossmayerovo náměstí ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

98 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
4 Tram and bus stops

[ rules: bulb stop ] [ rules: easy–access stop ]

A bulb is part of the sidewalk Easy–access stop An easy–access stop allows for
and extends it into the roadway. (Raised roadway) barrier–free access to public
The boarding edge needs to be transit vehicles from the sidewalk
brought closer to the tram track across a raised roadway.
and raised. The distance between Easy–access stops are usually intended for trams or
track axes should be 3.50 m to are combined with bus service. Travellers board public
allow large vehicles to use the
tram lane. transit from the sidewalk across a raised roadway.
This design should be used when the tram lane
should not be used by other vehicles, to ensure the
smooth flow of public transport and where, at the
A bicycle–only easy–access
same time, it is not possible to have an island. stop (especially uphill) with
All other vehicles use a lane located between a continuous, designated cycling
the boarding edge and the sidewalk — they do not lane allows barrier–free access
across a cycling lane. For other
drive onto the tram lane. When a public transit vehicles, such stop functions like
vehicle arrives, all other vehicles are forced to stop a bulb stop.
and may not pass. Traffic lights can be used to stop
vehicles, a concept known as a “time island”. If the
[ examples: bulb stops ] stop is served by buses as well, the distance between
117 Well designed bulb stops track axes needs to be taken into account.
located directly across from The raised roadway needs to be clearly identified
each other
[ Prague 1, Jindřišská ] as a roadway by its character and the materials used.
Asphalt is the optimum surface material, so that
people do not mistakenly stand on the roadway and
obstruct traffic. The exception is an easy–access stop
in a shared space, see Shared space →[C.1.1/p. 66],
where only service vehicles drive on the roadway.
Integrated cycling measures are usually
118 A poorly designed bulb
stop — barrier–free access is discontinued, but it may be worth allowing bicycles
absent and cars to pass by each other. In warranted cases,
[ Prague 1, Karlovy lázně ] a bicycle–only easy–access stop can be designed,
which functions like a traditional easy–access stop
for bicycles, but like a bulb for all other vehicles.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 99
Parts of public space 2
Tram and bus stops 4

[ examples: easy–access stop ] [ rules: plug stops ]

119 Easy–access stop where the Plug stops A plug stop substantially calms
roadway and sidewalk are clearly other traffic. A median is located
legible and discernible from between two stops located
each other A plug stop is similar to bulb stop for trams or an on– directly across the street from
[ Prague 2, Albertov ] street stop for a bus. Stops are placed directly across each other. The median prevents
from each other and in the middle there is an obstacle other vehicles from passing
a bus or tram when it stops for
(e.g., a median) to prevent other vehicles from passing passengers.
a bus or a tram when it stops for passengers.
It increases comfort for travellers. Pedestrian crossings
are usually located on either end of the stops immediately
120 An easy–access stop with A plug stop makes access and
a sidewalk–like traffic lane for in front of or behind the tram or bus because the trams or crossing more comfortable as
service vehicles only, not for buses are located directly across the street from each other. buses or trams stop directly
through traffic This type of stop can be used as a traffic– across the street from each other.
[ Prague 7, Letenské náměstí ]
calming measure, but it is not very appropriate
for streets with heavy traffic.

121 A bicycle–only easy–access

[ Austria, Vienna ]

[ example: plug stop ]

122 Not an easy–access stop — 123 A plug stop for both trams
no barrier–free access to tram and trolleybuses with a median
[ Prague 7, Čechův most ] in the middle
[ Brno, Klusáčkova ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

100 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
4 Tram and bus stops

[ rules: on–street stops ]

On–street stops An on–street stop is, from Bus bays
the point of view of public
space, a more favourable and
Passengers board public transport directly from the comfortable solution. Road Travellers board the bus directly from the sidewalk and
sidewalk. The design is similar to a bus bulb, but the surface markings should be the bus does not obstruct other vehicles when it stops.
boarding edge usually copies the sidewalk kerb. minimised. This solution is spatially demanding, however, and
When stopping, buses obstruct all other vehicles usually implemented to the detriment of the space that
in the respective traffic lane. In case of a two–lane, would otherwise be part of the sidewalk or could be
two–way street, it has to be clear whether or not passing used for other activities, which would be difficult at the
the bus is permitted. If there are multiple parallel stop and inconvenient for the people waiting there.
In streets with parallel parking
lanes, it is possible to pass using the left lane. The for cars, a bulb stop for buses is The crossing trajectory must not endanger pedestrians;
crossing trajectory must not endanger pedestrians: the most economical design for they must be visible to drivers and not be obscured by
they have to be visible to drivers and not be obstructed parking and the most favourable buses waiting at the stop. Crossings should be placed
for passengers, buses and quality
by the public transport vehicle at the stop. Such stops of the public space. outside the bay to reduce the length of the crossing; this,
allow for close and comfortable connections. however, means that pedestrians would have to walk
greater distances and follow unnatural trajectories.
Integrated cycling measures are interrupted at the
location of the stop, but the width ratios should be Cycling measures continue along the bay and
retained in compliance with structural requirements. should be discontinued only in warranted
cases (if a partial bay is required due to a high
traffic volume and there is insufficient space for
a sidewalk and waiting area by the stop).

[ example: on–street stops ]

124 The stop is not located in
the traffic lane; the waiting area
is unnecessarily narrow and
the cycle path design was more
expensive than it needed to be.
[ Prague 6, Roztocká ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 101
Parts of public space 2
Cycling infrastructure 5

C.2.5  Cycling infrastructure

[ rules: bus bays ]
A bus bay is not an ideal solution.
Cycling infrastructure increases more demanding cycling infrastructure that is more
It narrows the sidewalk at the welcoming for more people. At the same time, the
location where passengers
wait, making it more difficult
bicycle safety in public spaces. same measures become safer and more acceptable to
for pedestrians to pass through. more people over time, as everyone gradually becomes
The indirect trajectory reduces Bicycles in Prague are being used increasingly used to bicycle traffic and the measures in place.
comfort even for passengers.
as a means of transport, not just for recreation. In most of Prague, bicycles share space
Cycling is more a supplementary form of with other vehicles and sometimes even with
transport, but its role is not insignificant. pedestrians because there is usually not enough
Measures being implemented should improve cycling room for separate cycling infrastructure or it is
If a bus bay is to be used properly,
the turnout lane has to be long. If conditions across the city, not only on some routes. not appropriate to the character of the space.
it is not sufficiently long, the bus The aim is to get at least some of the city’s residents At lower speeds and traffic, shared space is easier
will stop too far from the boarding to use their bikes by partially improving conditions and more appropriate. The higher the speed and
edge to ensure there is no chance
of the boarding edge damaging through cheaper and faster refurbishments. traffic, the more the various user groups need to be
the bus. segregated and the space defined accordingly. Cycling
Cyclists are essentially drivers and bicycles non– infrastructure using appropriate road markings
motor vehicles. Bikes usually use the roadway, to segregate bicycle traffic serve this purpose.
not the sidewalk, with cyclists sharing the space In quiet areas, bicycles should be allowed
with other drivers. The implemented measures access in all directions without any special
focus on greater roadway safety and protection or additional integration measures.
of pedestrians from bikes and other vehicles.
Promoting multimodal transport, providing greater, For more information, see the related
sustainable ways to get around and making it easier to methodological and educational materials.[C.2_08]
combine them will lead to a better quality of life and public
space in Prague. In 2010, the Prague City Council adopted
[ examples: bus bay ] a policy[C.2_07] to increase the percentage of trips made by
bike from the current 0.5 % in the winter and 2 % in the
125 The design of the bus bay
makes the sidewalk too narrow summer to about 3 % and 7 %, respectively, by 2020.
a place for passengers to wait When more people start using their bikes, there will
[ Lázně Bohdaneč, square ] be reason to build other, more expensive and spatially [C.2_08]   ↗ CACH, Tomáš. Metodická pomůcka pro
vyznačování pohybu cyklistů v HDP. 05/2009 + rozšířená
[C.2_07]   ↗ Prague City Council. Koncepce rozvoje cyklistické pracovní verze 07/2010 [Methodological guideline for marking
dopravy a rekreační cyklistiky v hl.m. Praze do roku 2020 [Cycling the movement of cyclists in the primary traffic space, 05/2009
transport and recreation cycling development policy for Prague until + expanded working version 07/2010]. ↗ CACH, Tomáš et
2020]. 35th session of the Prague City Council of 26 October 2010. al. Praha cyklistická: brožura a výstava. 2009 + 2010.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

102 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
5 Cycling infrastructure

[ rules: cycling infrastructure ] [ rules: bicycle traffic ]

Movement of bikes in relation to motor vehicles and other non–motor vehicles.

When designing public space, In terms of their dimensions, Shared lanes

people should have the choice to cycling lanes should be in line Bicycles do not have a dedicated
use their bikes, and movement with minimum requirements. lane. They share the roadway with
through the space should be If these requirements cannot other vehicles.
logical. Cyclists should not be led be observed, it is best just to
against their natural movements let bicycles and cars share the
and trajectories. roadway without (dedicated)

Cycling infrastructure (just It is worthwhile to offer both Advisory lanes

like other forms of transport possibilities to cyclists, especially Bikes share the roadway
infrastructure) must not outside built–up areas: sharing with other vehicles, but their
jeopardise pedestrians. Cycling the roadway with cars (for movement is partially regulated.
facilities should not restrict faster transit) or sharing the
pedestrian traffic or permeability sidewalk with pedestrian (for
too much. slower transit).

Integration measures use road Mandatory lanes

markings to show the path bikes Bikes have their own dedicated
should take, usually the path lane; other vehicles cannot enter
taken naturally if the roadway except for access.
was not modified in any way. They
however help delineate the space,
making it easier for cyclists and
drivers to co–exist.

A cycling lane between a parking Cycling tracks

strip and sidewalk demands more Bikes have their own,
space than one in the roadway segregated lane.
because of required safety buffers.
The basic width of a bicycle path
does not allow cyclists to pass by
each other. Intersections are also
a problem as regards pedestrians
and visibility.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 103
Parts of public space 2
Cycling infrastructure 5

[ integration measures ]
Regulations helping to share space with other vehicles

Overview of cycling facilities Pictogram corridors (shared lane) Cycling lane

Indicate the recommended A cycling lane is a dedicated
path that bikes should take (for lane in the roadway to separate
The overview of cycling facilities presents the basic cyclists and others) and ensure bicycle traffic and other vehicles,
measures, traffic signs and modes that facilitate the sharing the appropriate division of especially on streets with heavy
of public space between cyclists and all other users. shared space. traffic. It is marked using both
traffic signs and road markings
They have to be applied especially with regard On the right side of the lane, they (V 2b+V 14+IP 20).
to the character of the public space and in line allow bikes and at least passenger
with the general traffic arrangements. cars to pass each other (larger 130 Dedicated lane (IP 20)
vehicles drive over them), as 131 [ Prague 10, V Olšinách ]
a rule on streets with heavy traffic.

In the centre of the lane, they

indicate that bikes and vehicles
should move in single file, for
example on tram lanes when the
street narrows.

They also mark the path to follow

when crossing intersections and
changing lanes, for example
on a bicycle route or in traffic–
calmed two–way or contraflow Buffered cycling lane
cycling lanes. (multipurpose lane)
This type of lane is located in
When smaller and without the the roadway and allows at least
chevron, they help sharing of bicycles and cars to move side–
space and orientation in traffic– by–side. Bigger vehicles can
calmed areas. drive over it. At this time, this
type of lane is not addressed in
They are only used as roadway legislation. The same effect can
markings in the standard (V 20) be achieved at this time using
size and reduced (V 15) size. a pictogram corridor for cyclists
(V 20) in a designated space wide
126 Pictogram corridor for enough to allow bicycles and cars
cyclists (V 20) to move side–by–side.
127 [ Prague 10, Vršovická ]
128 [ Prague 1, Křižovnické náměstí ] 132 [ Austria, Vienna ]
129 [ Prague 7, Dukelských hrdinů ] 133 [ The Netherlands, Nijmegen ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

104 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
5 Cycling infrastructure

[ traffic–calmed areas and permeability of an area ]

Specific cycling facilities

Bus + cycling lane Indirect left turn Contraflow cycling lanes

This is a separate lane in the This is the recommended way to Such lanes allow two–way bicycle
roadway to be shared by bikes and turn left in two stages on busy and traffic on a one–way street. They
specific vehicles (usually buses, multiple lane roads. It is prevent undesired through traffic
but also taxis and trams). Other a safer but slower way to turn left without negatively affecting
vehicles are barred access. This for slower cyclists, who remain on bicycle traffic. On traffic–calmed
type of lane is used in streets with the right of passing vehicles. This streets, traffic signs are sufficient,
heavy traffic. It is marked using can be ensured in many ways — but pictogram corridor markings
traffic signs and road markings structurally and organisationally – on the roadway can be used for
(V 2b+V 15+IP 20). and marked using traffic signs emphasis. In streets with heavier
(IS 10e). traffic, a separate cycling lane or
134 Dedicated lane (IP 20) track should be used. Contraflow
135 [ Prague 10, Vršovická ] 138 Traffic sign indicating the lanes can also be shared with
recommending way for cyclists to public transport in certain
turn left (IS 10e) cases; they are marked with the
139 [ Prague 10, Vršovická ] following signs: E 12a and E 12b or
E 13 under B 2 and IP 4.

143 One–way street (IP 4b) and

contraflow bicycle traffic (E 12a)
144 No entry sign (B 2) but
cyclists permitted to enter against
the traffic flow (E 12b)
Advanced stop line (bike box) Permitted direction 145 [ Prague 6, Pelleova ]
This space is located in front of travel for cyclists 146 [ Prague 8, Křižíkova ]
of the stop line at a signalised This allows for cyclists to move in 147 [ Prague 5, Lidická ]
intersection. Cyclists wait for the a different way than other vehicles
green light at the front and enter within lanes or intersections.
the intersection first. The standard Cyclists can continue in
is to locate such spaces in all a direction that other vehicles
lanes regardless of direction and cannot. Such measures make it
they are marked using roadway easier for cyclists and drivers to
markings only (V 19). co–exist on a shared roadway.
It is indicated using traffic signs
136 [ Prague 2, Palackého náměstí ] (E 12c) but road markings can
137 [ Prague 10, Vršovická ] also be used.

140 Turning lanes (IP 19) and

permitted direction of travel for
cyclists (E 12c)
141 Right turn only for cars (C 2b)
and permitted direction of travel
for cyclists (E 12c)
142 [ Prague 2, Rumunská ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 105
Parts of public space 2
Cycling infrastructure 5

No motor vehicles 30 km/h zone Pedestrian zone

This is a measure that allows The speed limit in such a zone This is a space designated for
bicycles but not motor vehicles is 30 km/h (areas marked with pedestrians and non–traffic
to enter the location in either the IP 25a traffic sign); in terms activities. It is standard for
direction. It can be used for of cycling, shared lanes are cyclists to be given access, and,
connectors, segregated paths, preferred, along with contraflow if so, traffic sign IP 27a with
special–purpose roads, and so on. lanes and connectors. a bicycle underneath appears;
all other vehicles may only
148 No motor vehicles (B 11) 152 30 km/h zone (IP 25a) access such areas if they possess
149 [ Prague 12, Komořany ] 153 [ Prague 8, Křižíkova ] a permit and then only at speeds
150 [ Prague 1, Kozí ] of no more than 20 km/h.
151 [ Prague 8, Na Žertvách ]
156 Pedestrian zone (IP 27a)
157 [ Prague 1, Václavské náměstí ]

Residential zone Pedestrian path with bicycles

This is space shared with motor permitted
vehicles where the speed limit This is a linear form of
is 20 km/h, with priority given a pedestrian zone with bicycles
to pedestrians and non–traffic permitted entry.
related activities (in areas marked
with the IP 26a traffic sign). 158 Pedestrian path (C 7a) with
Cyclists need be guaranteed an additional sign (E 12)
greater freedom of movement in 159 [ Prague 2, Rašínovo nábřeží ]
these areas than other vehicles.

154 Residential zone (IP 26a)

155 [ Prague 1, náměstí Republiky ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

106 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
5 Cycling infrastructure

[ segregation measures ]
Measure to physically separate bicycle traffic from automobile traffic

Cycle tracks Cycle crossings Informal crossings

Cycle tracks allow movement Cycle crossings allow bicycles Informal crossings make it easier
of bicycles along a roadway (in to cross a roadway either in one for pedestrians and cyclists
a dedicated space along the side) or both directions. They can be to cross the roadway but they
or on a completely segregated separate or attached to pedestrian must give priority to motor–
lane. The space is either shared crossings. Except in the case of vehicle traffic. They can also be
with pedestrians, split or signalised crossings, a cyclist designated just for pedestrians
completely separated. Cycle tracks has to give right of way to other or just for cyclists. In the Czech
are usually more appropriate vehicles. Cycle crossings are Republic, there are no traffic
outside of built–up areas. Most usually marked with traffic signs signs specifically created for
often, they share space with other and road markings (IP 7 / V 8a or such crossings.
motorless forms of movement V 8b).
(walking, skating etc.). Tracks 169 [ Germany, Hamburg ]
are marked with traffic signs 165 Cycle crossing (IP 7) 170 [ Ústí nad Labem, Přístavní ]
(C 9/C 10/C 8/C 7+E 13). 166 [ Prague 7, nábřeží Kapitána
Jaroše ]
160 Track for both cyclists and
pedestrians (C 9a)
161 Track for both cyclists and
pedestrians (C 10a)
162 [ Prague 12, Modřany ]
163 [ Prague 4, Podolské nábřeží ]
164 [ Prague 2, Roztocká ]
Crossing driveways Shared cycling and pedestrian
to off–road sites crossings
The structural and psychological Shared crossings are used by
continuity of a path or strip pedestrians and cyclists to
has to be preserved, even cross a road. At such crossings,
by using different materials, pedestrians and cyclists have
different colours and pictograms. priority over motor–vehicle traffic.
Pedestrians and cyclists are given These crossings are not clearly
priority over crossing vehicles. defined in Czech legislation at this
time, but in some cases provisions
167 [ Prague 4, Podolské nábřeží ] can be made for them (spatially
168 [ Prague 6, Podbabská ] and structurally) in planning.
Cyclists have to walk their
bikes across regular pedestrian

171 [ Pardubice, Jahnova ]

172 [ Pardubice, Rokycanova ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 107
Parts of public space 2
Parking 6

C.2.6  Parking
Cycling routes
Parking in public spaces has to even though parking is often designed to the limits of the
Directional signs can be physical possibilities of the space, beyond the threshold
used to mark recommended
cycling routes. If within the
appropriately complement and tolerable for comfort and safety, especially for pedestrian
city, the routes are marked by
“yellow” traffic signs (IS 19+IS
support other residential activity. movement and to the detriment of liveable activities.
Experience from Prague and other cities proves
20+IS 21). These signs do not
indicated priority. that increasing the number of parking spots does not
result in the expected improvement. Increasing supply
173 [ Prague, Zlíchov ] results in even greater demand, as more drivers decide
174 [ Prague, Ruzyně ] A condition for public spaces to
[ Prague, Horní Měcholupy ] to park their cars in the respective location. Saturating
be functional is a comprehensive
176 [ Prague, Dolní Počernice ] the space with parked cars makes other, especially
parking policy of the city. residential, activities in the street impossible.
New parking places should not be created to the
detriment of existing mature or valuable trees.

Parking ensures that an area is accessible to

(motor) transport. Especially in traditional built– Parking policy —
up areas, most residential and visitor parking is Value of public realm
located directly in public spaces. In the case of A condition for the healthy functioning of the public realm
new buildings and complexes, parking should be is a parking policy that applies to the whole of Prague
found on private property, usually in garages. that is balanced for the long–term and has a unified
Parking has to be designed to allow movement approach to parking. The parking policy should be part
through public space without creating a contiguous of the sustainable mobility plan. The public realm is
barrier. In terms of the quality of space, parallel parking valuable, and parking is taking place at this time, either
is usually more appropriate, preferably in the form free of charge or for a relatively low fee (for residents).
of separate parking spots within rows of trees. The aim of the parking policy is to influence the
Bicycle parking in public spaces is usually behaviour of residents and visitors in a positive way and
short–term or medium–term, with bike stands or thereby reduce the demand for parking spaces. Measures
similarly functioning furnishings being optimal. to achieve this include: limiting the time for parking,
charging a parking fee (for visitors and residents);
establishing shared parking spots (shared by different
Parking in the street entities during the day and night); introducing car sharing;
The main problem is usually greater demand for parking promoting public transport, cycling and walking (trips
in the street, which at this time often exceeds supply not made by car); promoting combined transport (P+R

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

108 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
6 Parking

shifts commuters’ demand for parking); and so on. Parking The B+R (“bike & ride”) concept should be used not Parking lots
capacity in the city centre can be increased only once only at the outskirts of the city and in the region but Building separate, especially large–scale, monofunctional
the above measures are exhausted; furthermore, placing also within the city centre. Freely accessible bicycle parking lots in public space should be the last on
parking outside public spaces should be given priority. parking combined with secured parking should be the list of possibilities for meeting parking needs. It
The use of legislation and economic measures should available. The transfer distance should be as short would be more appropriate to spread out parking spots
take better account of the value of the public realm, even as possible, to promote combined transport. The evenly along the street or place them outside the public
in the context of the value of private space. Public space distance between a parked bike and public transport space, most appropriately in underground garages.
should not only serve for parking. The right approach is to should not be further than from a parked car. Parking lots are best when they can be used for
identify a balance between parking and other, especially For short stops for the purpose of getting into or out of other activities that are temporary in nature (e.g.,
residential and pedestrian activities in public spaces. a car, the K+R (“kiss & ride”) scheme is used. K+R stops markets, cultural and social events, etc.). The technical
are best located in the street as near as possible to appearance of a parking lot and the use of traffic signs
a train/metro station or bus/tram stop. They are best should be supressed in favour of a more aesthetic and
Car sharing positioned lengthwise in the parking strip itself. refined design that best suits the character of the city or
For households and companies that do not need to use natural setting, depending on the location and manner
a car every day, especially in densely populated parts of use. See, e.g., →[s19 Parking/p. 112]. In terms of
of the city, car sharing can replace the need to use Loading bays microclimate, the space should be reasonably structured
a number of private vehicles. The participation of a just Places for short–term stopping for the purpose of loading and green (trees should be used in particular) to prevent
a few hundred users in this scheme can eliminate rows and unloading should be set up in public spaces (especially overheating of the surface and to secure the gradual
of parked cars even a number of kilometres in length. for shops, services, and factories, but also for residents); drainage or infiltration of stormwater directly on site.
This additional space can then be used for residential however, measures have to be in place to prevent illegal
activities and for improvement of the overall quality of parking on sidewalks. Designated loading bays should
public spaces. Special parking spots should be reserved in be set up within the parking strip (lane) or directly on
the street for cars taking part in the car sharing scheme. the sidewalk itself, provided sufficient room is given to
pedestrians to move about comfortably and the proportions
in the public space remain balanced. Loading bays should
Combined transport have time limits, especially if located in shared space or
It is worth promoting combined public and individual on the sidewalk. In pedestrian zones, it is best to arrange
transport. The P+R (“park & ride”) concept should for loading to take place at a specific time (usually in the
be used mainly at the outskirts of Prague and in the morning hours). In residential zones, the designated spots
Central Bohemian Region where there is a connection to should be set up with the needs of the residents in mind.
public transport (suburban railways, the metro, trams).
Parking should be set up outside public space in secured
garages or parking structures (multi–storey carparks).

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 109
Parts of public space 2
Parking 6

[ rules: parking — cars ]

2 m×6 m — basic dimensions for Accessible parking should be Parking in the roadway (unmarked
parallel parking raised up to the level of the or marked only by traffic
The basic way to park a car in sidewalk: this will sufficiently signs) is the least appropriate
the city and one that can be used differentiate it from the other method in the case of new or
on all types of streets, either in parking spots and ensure barrier– reconstructed street.
a continuous row in the roadway free access to the vehicle.
or in the form of designated
parking spots, which are best
placed with rows of trees.

5 m×2,5 m length 4.5 + 0.5 m In streets with heavy traffic, the It is usually best to differentiate
above the sidewalk accessible parking spot should the parking strip with different
basic dimensions for have a sufficient buffer between materials or colours, e.g., paving
perpendicular parking it and the roadway or be bigger. stones for the parking strip in
Suitable for places with slow traffic. In either case, the sidewalk width juxtaposition with the asphalt
To disrupt the rows of cars and to should be preserved to allow surface of the roadway.
help pedestrians more, the sidewalk pedestrians to walk past easily. →[D.1.1.2 Driving surfaces/p. 137]
should extend into the parking zone
in places or the parking should be
inside the alleys of trees.

To prevent narrowing of the Short–term loading bays should If the situation allows for it, it is
sidewalk by the vehicle hanging be established, in particular on best to place individual parking
over the edge of sidewalk, the streets with heavy traffic. Such spots between trees or to create
parking spot should be shortened parking should be located on the bays in the sidewalk etc.
by 0.5 m in favour of the sidewalk, sidewalk if space allows for it.
so that the wheels of the parked
car come into contact with the
kerb at the right place.

For diagonal parking, the same Parking spots should alternate

rule applies to perpendicular with trees or street furniture
parking. The depth differs to break them up. In certain
depending on the angle to the spots, the kerb can be extended
traffic lane. for pedestrian crossings or
sidewalk cafes.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

110 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
6 Parking

[ rules: parking — bicycles ] [ rules: parking lots ] [ examples: parking ]

1×2 m Accessible parking and bike
There has to be sufficient space stands should be located nearer
around the bike stands for to the destination than parking
handling and parking bikes. for regular cars and have
→[D.5.2 Bicycle stands/p. 212] barrier–free access.

Bicycle stands should be placed Parking lots should be combined

between trees or in a strip with temporary activities,
together with other surface such as markets.
infrastructure. They should
not be placed in a way that
obstructs movement.

177 Properly designed parking bays with rows of trees

[ Prague 6, Bubeneč ]

Bicycle stands should be located The equal distribution of trees 178 Poor design of diagonal
near important destinations, helps reduce overheating of parking with markings on the
such as public buildings. They hard surfaces. sidewalk. The parked car narrows
should also be placed at regular the sidewalk, making it difficult for
intervals, especially in streets in pedestrians to walk past.
the compact city. [ Prague 9, Lovosická ]

B+R (bike & ride) Soft and planted surfaces allow 179 Poor design of diagonal
This is a specific case of parking for the infiltration and more parking. The parked car narrows
near a link to public transport, gradual drainage of stormwater the sidewalk, making it difficult for
chiefly train transport. It is best to without negatively affecting pedestrians to walk past.
combine freely accessible stands the infrastructure. [ Prague 6, Bubeneč ]
in the public space and stands in
an enclosed, supervised space.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 111
Parts of public space 2
Parking 6

[ diagrams: parking ]
180 Street furniture placed s18 Turning place
in the parking strip in
a residential district.
[ Denmark, Copenhagen ]

181 Reserved parking for car

sharing in the public space with
various types of vehicles
[ Austria, Vienna ]

184 Parking lot properly structured using grown trees In the case of a dead–end street for automobile traffic, a turning place
[ Germany, Berlin ] should not just be built without addressing the overall composition
of the space and natural pedestrian movement. This approach has
degraded the whole space.
182 Bicycle parking in the 185 A loading bay with
roadway in the parking strip a time limit
[ Austria, Vienna ] [ Austria, Vienna ]

183 Bike stands along a narrow

sidewalk also act as a parking
barrier for cars
[ Spain, Madrid ]

When designing what may appear as an insignificant detail, such

as a dead–end street for automobile traffic, the space should be
addressed as a part of the architectural composition as a whole to
allow pedestrians and cyclists to move about comfortably and so that
its appearance is residential, not utilitarian, and so on.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

112 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
7 Playgrounds

C.2.7  Playgrounds
[ diagrams: parking ]
s19 Parking s20 Perpendicular parking
Playgrounds are a substitute for
experiencing our world naturally.
The play environment should allow
children to experience the real world,
including a reasonable amount of
A poorly designed perpendicular parking strip narrows the sidewalk,
thus creating barriers to movement. It also distorts the proportions of risk, which leads to learning.
the public space by expanding the surface of the roadway.

Public playgrounds and facilities for free–time activities

provide an alternative to private sporting facilities,
sporting grounds inside schools and playgrounds in
When designing a parking lot and its connection to other areas, the nursery schools. They represent a certain benefit that
approach should not be just to follow specific regulations. Doing so the city provides its residents. Thanks to informal
will result in a space where automobile traffic dominates unnecessarily
and that fails from the perspective of comfort, and often even safety, A properly designed perpendicular parking strip physically and visually playgrounds, the city is an even more attractive place
for other users. extends the sidewalk, making crossing easier and reducing the space to live. The playground increases the time spent
of the roadway.
in public spaces and is a very good tool for dealing
with social problems, from raising young children
and youth to creating community life and a pleasant
neighbourhood. As each playground is specific and tied
to the surroundings, it should be designed individually.

Playgrounds are one of the most frequent public space

projects and the most public funds are invested in them.
When designing a new playground, criteria such as low
maintenance costs, durability, resistance to vandalism,
clarity, safety of individual components and protection
against traffic are criteria that are often observed at this
Even when designing parking lots, the space as a whole should be time. The individual components of the playground and
taken into account and not only from the (chiefly automobile) traffic even the playground itself are often divided up according
perspective. The result should be a functional and comfortable space to age categories. Extreme efforts to ensure safety and
for all and even be used for other activities from time to time.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 113
Parts of public space 2
Playgrounds 7

durability of playground rather isolate children from the A playground in, e.g., a modernistic city district should An alternative way to create a playground is to place on
real world and do not allow for the all–round development make use of the benefit of open space and work with object in public space that will be conducive to greater
of their personality. The play environment should greater distances between the playground elements or contact between the child and the real world and that
allow children to experience the real world, including with bigger dimensions. For more details, see the chapter at the same time can be used by other age groups.
a reasonable amount of risk, which leads to learning. entitled Public space of housing estates →[B.2.7/p. 51]. Such components include large seating structures,
The richer landscape can be used as natural playground statues,  Art in public spaces →[D.9/p. 273] and so on.
elements (slopes, streams, rocks, trees, underbrush, etc.). These components should be designed using evocative
Playground design possibilities shapes and elements that are attractive to children.
The choice of location for playgrounds should Public spaces should provide places for children to play,
always take into account the spatial composition and these places should be situated in the real world
and character of the wider surroundings. If the with sensitivity and forethought. This can be achieved
surrounding environment is negative, it degrades by designing the elements, vegetation and surfaces
the positive aspect of the playground itself. or even the programme of the playground to interpret
In terms of their connection to the natural its surroundings. Around rivers, it is also possible to
surroundings, playgrounds should not be fenced in. work with floodplain vegetation — meadows, willows
Fencing is desirable however in specific situations, (whose branches can be used for weaving), etc.
on busy streets or in places where it is necessary to The playground programme should not be restricted
protect children from traffic. In addition to its utilitarian to a certain age group. Sharing space and elements
function, such fencing should provide added value by, with various age groups can substantially contribute
e.g., creating a specific internal environment, being to social inclusion. Parents who watch over children
compact in appearance or functioning as a playground in the playground should be given an interesting
element (drawing board, boulder). The design of the environment to spend time in. Designing a set of tables
fencing should be based on the overall composition of the with seating or building picnic sites and organising
given space and broader urban contexts and not create outdoor workshops can also reinforce the importance
a high and visual barrier, in line with rules set out in the of the playground as a local community focal point.
chapter entitled Fencing →[D.5.7.3/p. 238]. Alternative When designing a playground, it is worth working
methods of fencing can include low bushes, plants or from the very outset with the expert who will be
walls that also serve as benches. A playground can also be approving the playground. At the same time, it is
delineated by placing it in an area that is below grade or important for the designer to work with the craftsman
by simply changing the surface materials. See the chapter who will be making the various components.
entitled Pedestrian and shared surfaces →[D.1.1.1/p. 132].
The layout, proportions and capacity of playgrounds
should correspond to the character of the surroundings.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

114 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
7 Playgrounds

[ rules: playgrounds ]
Playgrounds and other Every child has individual When selecting playground
recreational grounds should also potential regardless of age. components, it is worth working
be placed and designed as part Playgrounds and the environment with companies whose business
of the overall composition of the in general should provide space it is to design site–specific
public space. for them to develop in their playgrounds. Playground
own way. components should help develop
a child’s imagination.

When choosing a location for The design of a playground should When designing a playground, all
a playground, the broader help to interpret the surrounding of its components and elements
urban context needs to be environment and use local (benches, waste containers,
taken into account. Potential materials and natural vegetation. fencing) should be designed with
sites for playgrounds and regard to safety and durability, as
community focus points should they will naturally also be used by
be defined in a detailed spatial the children.
planning document.

Playgrounds and other A playground may only be used if

recreational grounds should it is certified safe. The design of
always be designed specifically any component should already be
for the site based on the local consulted with the certification
conditions. Layout, proportion and official during the design stage.
capacity of the playground should
correspond to the character of the
wider surroundings.

A fenced playground should only A playground should also be

be designed if it is appropriate attractive for other age groups.
in terms of safety and the spatial The playground design should
layout of the public space and include tables with seating,
broader urban contexts. picnic sites, games or outdoor

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 115
Parts of public space 2
Playgrounds 7

[ examples: playgrounds ]

186 Informal playgrounds can create a focal point for community life 188 An example of playground elements that are attractive for various 191 An attractive play environment created by the shape of the terrain
and help social inclusion age groups. Such playground can contribute to social inclusion in combination with regular street furniture
[ Germany, Berlin, Park am Gleisdreieck ] [ Germany, Berlin, Park am Gleisdreieck ] [ Sweden, Stockholm, Vasaparken ]

189 Simple playground elements 192 The surface around

with trees and other natural playground elements that are no
vegetation can create an attractive more than one metre high can be
and natural play environment made of packed dirt or grass. The
[ The Netherlands, Naarden ] design of the playground can be
kept simple in such case.
[ Prague 7, Letenské sady ]

190 An example of a playground 193 It is worth including

design without fencing in an open playground elements that have
modernist city an element of randomness in
[ Chrudim, Požárníků ] them. These components can be
taken apart and put back together,
thereby changing the other
187 A playground should provide a natural environment for children elements.
to play in, which includes various activities that relate to time [ Switzerland, Vrin ]
spent outside
[ Germany, Berlin, Park am Gleisdreieck ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

116 C Layout
2 Parts of public space
8 Stormwater management

C.2.8  Stormwater management

[ diagram ]

The traditional drainage method infiltration, evaporation and flow retardation due to
the increased retention capacity of the land. [C.2_09]
that prefers quickly diverting water Elements of the decentralised drainage system include:
in canals into rivers needs to be hard surfaces allowing surface infiltration, such as paving a 40 %
stones with wider spacing; gravel lawns; permeable
gradually replaced with a decentralised asphalts and permeable rubber coating; and drainage
drainage system based on the principle furrows that divert water from the roads. Drainage furrows
of infiltration at the site of the precipitation, can either be located in vegetative, usually grass, strips c 10%
between the roadway and the sidewalk or be part of the
preferable directly on the drained land. park area. If the infiltration ratios are poor, the drainage
furrow should be extended into a retention ditch. Water
from the furrow will seep into it, accumulate and then
slowly flow out through the rain sewer. b 50 %
The importance of proper stormwater management in the At this time, most public spaces are drained in the
city grows with hardscapes, as hard, urbanised surfaces conventional way. A successful transformation demands
do not allow the natural retention of stormwater. With a detailed, system–wide solution, the setting out of
regard to their area, public spaces constitute a significant priorities and a change in the strategy for each type
part of the urban landscape. Thus, the design of public of space, so that these spaces fulfil all other functions
space can greatly influence the hydrological cycle. and aesthetic requirements at the same time. a 30 %
When designing public space, drainage of water should It is necessary to prepare a Prague Public Space
be ensured for the protection and safety of the space. On Decentralised Drainage Methodology and update the c 55%
the other hand, quick drainage into one stream of water Prague Public Space Decentralised Drainage Methodology
could lead to a disruption of the minor water cycle, greater and update the Prague General Drainage System Plan.
frequency and intensity of flooding, greater temperature For more information see General analytical, strategic
fluctuations and overheating of the city in the hot and methodological documents →[Prague Public Space
summer months, an increase in water pollution, damage Development Strategy/Proposal/par./p. 10]. b 15 %
to property and ecosystems due to erosion and greater
construction and maintenance costs of the sewage system.
[C.2_09]   In line with ↗ Politika územního rozvoje České republiky [Spatial
The traditional drainage method which prefers Development Policy of the Czech Rep.] 2008. 1st ed.Brno: Ústav územního
quick drainage must therefore be replaced with s21 Difference in the ratio of surface drainage on natural
rozvoje, 2009. 86 pp. ISBN 978-80-87318-04-1. Approved by Czech Goverment
and hard surfaces
a decentralised drainage system based on the principle on 20 July 2009 “To create conditions in developed areas for retaining,
a Evaporation and evapotranspiration
of drainage at the site of the precipitation using absorbing and using stormwater as a water source and to reduce floods.”; ↗ Act
b Infiltration
No. 254/2001 Coll., on water: Sec. 5(3); Decree No. 501/2006 Coll., on general
requirements on land use, Sec. 5(c). c Surface runoff

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Layout C 117
Parts of public space 2
Stormwater management 8

[ rules ] [ examples ]
A decentralised drainage system It would be appropriate for any
requires an integrated design planned water elements in parks,
solution within the public ponds and other ornamental
space as an integral part of the reservoirs to be designed from the
landscape, and with regard to the water management perspective.
local character.

It is always necessary to check Maintenance of the decentralised

the infiltration and absorption drainage system needs to be
possibilities; if poor or non– included in the public space
existent, at least partial filtration maintenance plan. Responsibility
and retention should be arranged and funds for maintaining the
to reduce, clean and slow the system need to be allocated. Even
water being emptied into the maintenance is decentralised.
sewage system or a stream. 194 Integrated design — a recreational meadow also acts
as a drainage furrow
[ The Netherlands, Nijmegen ]

Decentralised drainage can be

applied in every public space.
If the infiltration is not possible
directly in the street, then nearby
parks should be incorporated into
the drainage system.

The specific stormwater

management proposal should be
based on an assessment of the
hydrological situation of the area
in question.

195 A filtration absorption strip with greater permeability

than the adjacent lawn
[ France, Seine–Saint–Denis ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

A Introduction 9 D.4 Outdoor lighting 197 D.7 Structures to facilitate movement and access 257
D.4.1 Street lighting 198 D.7.1 Stairs, footbridges and
B Typology 25 D.4.2 Architectural lighting 203 underground entrances 257
D.5 Street furniture 207 D.7.2 Underground parking entrances 260
C Layout 57 D.5.1 Seating 209 D.8 Outdoor advertising 263
D.5.2 Bicycle stands 212 D.8.1 Large–scale advertising 264
D Elements 119 D.5.3 Waste containers 214 D.8.2 Advertising on street furniture 266
D.1 Materials and surfaces 125 D.5.3.1 Litter bins 214 D.8.3 Cultural advertising 269
D.1.1 Floor of public spaces 127 D.5.3.2 Waste containers 216 D.8.4 Shop signs 270
D.1.1.1 Pedestrian and shared surfaces 132 D.5.4 Public transport stops 219 D.9 Art in public spaces 273
D.1.1.2 Driving surfaces 137 D.5.4.1 Shelters 219
D.1.1.3 Tram lane surfaces 142 D.5.4.2 Stop markers and E Annexes 279
D.1.1.4 Surface edges and boundaries 145 information displays 221
D.1.2 Materials and surfaces of elements 147 D.5.5 Water elements 222
D.1.3 Examples of surfaces and their use 150 D.5.6 Orientation and information elements 224
D.2 Trees and vegetation 157 D.5.6.1 Identification elements 227
D.2.1 Trees 158 D.5.6.2 Street clocks 230
D.2.2 Rows, alleys and groups of trees 165 D.5.7 Barriers 231
D.2.3 Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes 170 D.5.7.1 Railings 233
D.2.4 Lawns 174 D.5.7.2 Bollards and posts 236
D.3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 179 D.5.7.3 Fencing 238
D.3.1 Underground utilities 180 D.5.8 Construction site fencing 242
D.3.2 Aboveground elements 183 D.5.9 Noise barriers 244
D.3.2.1 Traffic lights 187 D.6 Buildings and facilities for services 247
D.3.3 Traffic elements and signs 190 D.6.1 Kiosks 248
D.3.4 Temporary traffic control devices 193 D.6.2 Public toilets 250
D.3.5 Road safety elements 195 D.6.3 Markets and market stands 252
D.6.4 Petrol stations 254

Elements D 121

The largest section of the manual deals with the a Public Space Furniture Catalogue, see General analytical,
elements of public spaces. In the previous section, strategic and methodological documents →[Prague Public
we focused on the importance of public spaces and Space Development Strategy/Proposal/par./p. 10]. The
on the system for organising their various parts. The catalogue should offer a number of products for the various
Elements section addresses these parts in detail. elements of public space (e.g., benches, waste containers,
The rules for elements are formulated to take into guardrails, lampposts, public toilets, etc.) and describe
account the role and effect of elements on the overall in detail how and in what way (e.g., in what area of the
quality of public space. The objective is not to describe city) the various products should be used. The catalogue
Not only is the appearance the elements, but to lay down the principles for should help local governments and managers to select
designing them with regard to the whole. The manual the products when adding to or replacing elements. The
of the elements important, also does not, at this time, provide a comprehensive catalogue should also outline the procedure for replacing
list of elements in the form of a catalogue. The existing furniture with typified furniture. Flooding the offer
but so is their influence basic approach needs to be determined first. with many different types of elements is not the objective,
nor is replacing all elements at once. New elements should
on the overall quality be added and obsolete elements replaced gradually.
Standardised Prague elements Until the Public Space Furniture Catalogue has been
of public spaces. To reinforce the identity of the city and its image, typical created for Prague, ordinary, metal utilitarian elements
Prague elements should be used in Prague. At this time, should be unified by use of the same colour in accordance
many different lines of standardised street furniture with the chapter entitled Materials and surfaces of
are being used in Prague, and instead of reinforcing elements →[D.1.2/p. 147]. Standard Prague elements
the identity of the city, they weaken it. Typical Prague should be simple, effective and easy to maintain.
elements thus need to be unified. Ordinary elements that
appear across Prague on the metropolitan level should also
be standardised. This, however, does not mean that only
these standardised elements should be used in all quarters,
localities and public spaces. The specific elements used
have to reflect the character of the environment in which
they are situated. It is possible for each locality to have its
own elements designed according to the local situation.
If, however, a special design for a certain space is not
required, it is better to select the required element from
the available range of typical Prague elements. For this
reason, the city’s task now is to initiate the development of

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

122 D Elements

“It is easy to spend money

on highway or bridge construction,
but it is much harder to do it in
a way that could create a high
quality public space. It is
normal that this subject causes
conflicts, because it combines
contradictory interest groups.”
Jean–Pierre Charbonneau

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 123

Diagram of ownership and management of the various parts and elements of public space
Advertising Sidewalks Waste containers and Trees and vegetation Tram/bus signposts Overhead lines Street lighting Posts and poles
• Private • MČ (manager: bins other than at • Street trees: TSK • Tram (Public Transport): • DP Praha, a. s. • MHMP • Overhead line poles: DP
ownership and MČ or TSK) public transit stops • Parks: MZO MHMP DP Praha, a. s. (manager: Praha, a. s.
management • MHMP • TSK (manager: Lesy hl. m. • Bus (Public transport): ELTODO • Lampposts: ELTODO
(regulated (manager: TSK) • MČ Prahy) DP Praha, a. s. (at stops with at CITELUM, s.r.o.) CITELUM, s.r.o.
by local • MHMP • MČ least one line operated by DP Traffic lights • Combined: DP Praha, a. s. +
government) • Parks: MZO MHMP Praha, a. s.) or TSK (at other • TSK (manager: ELTODO CITELUM, s.r.o.
(manager: Lesy stops) or MČ (temporarily before ELTODO, a.s.)
hl. m. Prahy) handing management over to TSK)
Transport and technical
Shelters infrastructure columns
• JCDecaux and boxes
• DP Praha, a. s. • High voltage:
• MČ PRE distribuce, a. s.
• Street lighting:
• Traffic light
controllers: TSK
• Tram control systems:
DP Praha, a. s. —
• Main gas shut–off
valves: Pražská
plynárenská, a. s.
• Telephone network
controllers: 02 Czech
Republic, a. s.

Railings at stops Boarding islands Tramway lanes Roadways

• DP Praha, a. s. or bulb stops, • DP Praha, a. s. • Motorways: ŘSD Cables
Benches outside shelters tram platforms • Selected local road • Low tension: PRE
Sidewalk cafes • DP Praha, a. s. • Tram stop platforms: networks: MHMP distribuce, a. s.
• Private tenants DP Praha, a. s. (manager: TSK) • Signalling and data:
• Leased by MČ • Roadway managers • Other roads: MČ various administrators
• Leased by TSK District heating Street furniture Sewerage and (TSK, MČ, ŘSD) (manager: TSK or MČ)
Natural gas
• Pražská • MČ water supply • Pražská plynárenská, a. s.
teplárenská, a. s. • Private entities • PVS (network)
• PVK (service —
[MČ = Municipal District; MHMP = City of Prague; TSK = Technical Administration of Roads; MZO MHMP = City Greenery Department; Lesy hl. m. Prahy = Prague Forest Management;
DP Praha, a. s. = Prague Public Transport Company; ŘSD = Road and Motorway Directorate; PVS = Prague Water Management Company; PVK = Prague Water Supply and Sewerage Company]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Elements D 125
Materials and surfaces 1

D.1  Materials and surfaces

Materials and surfaces that appear in public spaces Materials and surfaces, in addition to the historical
play an important role in getting to know the or functional dimension, can also play an important role
spatial, temporal and ideological context of a place. in the immediate sensory experience of the users of the
When creating an environment, it is important space, chiefly on sight, touch and movement. Smell and
to make use of the representative potential of the hearing can also be affected. The structure and colour
materials and their ability to refer to the historical, of surfaces influence the comfort of use of a space.
ideological, cultural, social and aesthetic context. All materials and surfaces used in public spaces
Materials and surfaces of public spaces should reflect should have a high visual and structural quality. Surfaces
A place becomes more the history and natural character of the place they are intended for sitting should be created from materials
used in. When constructing new surfaces of public spaces that are stable in terms of temperature and pleasant
attractive and frequented and reconstructing and revitalising existing ones, specific to the touch. The functional and structural properties
local materials should be given preference. Using materials of the chosen material influence their durability and
if quality materials are used. from local sources and recycling used building material hardiness as well as the safety of the public space.
should be a matter of course. Well chosen material plays Surface properties of the material, such as texture,
a crucial role in integrating new refurbishments into ability to reflect and absorb light, and colour also
the surrounding environment. New architectural inputs substantially influence the brightness of a space.
should build on the principles of the original historical Not only is the choice of materials important, but
The materials and surfaces structures, not superficially adopt formal elements such so is the way the materials are connected to each
as shape, colour, ornamentation, etc. Using traditional other and the way they look together. The way the
chosen should be based materials processed using modern technologies is one materials are used together substantially affects the
way to achieve this objective. Local materials and well overall impression of the space and the longevity of
on the local character, thought–out contemporary designs reflecting the history the elements and surface. The points of contact between
of the place are ideal. Designs using contemporary two elements or materials and surfaces always need
historical context and materials imitating a historical period are usually not to be dealt with individually and properly designed.
appropriate. Material that is correctly chosen and fits
general composition conceptually can act as an ornament for the city.[D.1_01]

of the public space.

[D.1_01]   ↗ VESELÝ, Dalibor. Architektura ve věku
rozdělené reprezentace: problém tvořivosti ve stínu produkce
[Architecture in the age of divided representation: the problem
of creativity in the shadow of production]. 1st edition. Prague:
Academia, 2008. 348 pp. ISBN 978-80-200-1647-8.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

126 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces

[ rules: materials and surfaces ]

The choice of materials and All materials and surfaces within Specific, higher quality materials
surfaces should always be based the public space concerned should should be used in the city’s
primarily on the local character – match in colour and together important public spaces and
historical context, overall form a single and compositionally beside important buildings.
composition of the space and balanced whole.
importance of the public space

The choice of materials and When choosing materials and High contrast colours should only
surfaces should always be based surfaces, it is important to find be applied with care. They may
on typology, hierarchy of the an appropriate balance between be good as accents and should be
public spaces in the city–wide aesthetics, resilience, easy used based on an architectural
context and their integration into maintenance, durability, easy concept prepared for the entire
the wider surroundings. repair and good price. public space. Application over
→[B Typology/p. 25] extensive areas is usually not
↗ IPR Praha. Metropolitan Plan: Concept appropriate.
Rationale. Prague: IPR Praha, 2014.

Materials from local sources An important criterion when Materials and surfaces of
that support the specific local choosing surfaces and materials public spaces should be of high
character and local economy for use in public spaces is their quality and resilient and have
should be used primarily. ability to age well over time an appropriate structure and
Imported materials should only be without losing quality, durability colour. Contact surfaces should
used in warranted cases. and resilience. be pleasant to touch, and surfaces
that are used for seating should
be stable in terms of temperature
(not get too hot or cold).

Materials and surfaces should Materials and surfaces should The design of the point where
reflect the history of the place by be used in a contemporary way. materials and elements come
their character or workmanship. Using contemporary materials and into contact should always be
surfaces to imitate a historical addressed individually and be
period is usually inappropriate. of the highest quality. A well
(In the Prague Heritage Reservation, designed connection substantially
the principles of monument care have influences the resilience and
to be observed.) durability of both the surfaces and
the elements.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 127
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

D.1.1  Floor of public spaces

[ examples: materials and surfaces ]

The floor of public spaces is the and in certain protected areas of the compact city, it is
also dependent on monument protection.[D.1_02][D.1_03]
horizontal façade of the city that Care must be taken not only when choosing
should be treated with the same suitable and quality surfaces for new spaces, but also
on proper regular maintenance of existing spaces.
care as the building façades.

Categorisation of surfaces
Public spaces are the horizontal façade of the city For the purposes of the Manual, the surfaces of public
and should be treated with the same care as the spaces are divided up into Pedestrian and shared surfaces
façades of the buildings surrounding them. Surfaces →[D.1.1.1/p. 132], Driving surfaces →[D.1.1.2/p. 137]
have to be designed as a full–fledged part of the a Tram lane surfaces →[D.1.1.3/p. 142]. For each
overall architectural concept of the space. of those categories, the requirements on capacity,
The quality of the surfaces of public spaces affects organisation of movement and user safety differ.
196 The fittingly chosen structure of the materials used tones down the aesthetics of the space, influences the quality of Walking surfaces are chosen mainly with comfort
the scale and makes the environment more pleasant
[ Litomyšl, Zámecká ]
movement and the feeling of safety and comfort and in mind. The durability of driving surfaces has to
has a great impact on a person’s decision to spend correspond to the traffic volume and surface materials
time in the space. Materials and surfaces have the have to be chosen based on motor vehicle type.
potential to convey information for orientation in the Inside one public space, it is important to choose the
area and help the natural organisation of activities structure and the colour of the materials and surfaces
in the space. In terms of liveability, safety and to suit the overall feeling of the space. A combination of
functionality, it is important to monitor the texture,
grade, temperature stability, reflectivity, slip–resistance,
adhesiveness, etc. of the surface. The choice of materials, [D.1_02]   ↗ SCHUBERT, Alfréd et al. Péče o památkově významné
venkovní komunikace [Care of Historically Important Roads].
especially for Driving surfaces →[D.1.1.2/p. 137], 1st edition. Prague: National Heritage Institute, Headquarters,
also influences the noise levels of a place. 2007. 166 pp. Odborné a metodické publikace [Specialised and
The choice of materials and surfaces is always Methodological Publications]; Vol. 33. ISBN 978-80-87104-10-1.
dependent on how the respective public space is used
[D.1_03]   The modification of surfaces in the Prague Heritage
and its location within the city. In the historical city Reservation is subject to the rules of the National Heritage
Institute (NPÚ). More precise parameters for surfaces in the
Prague Heritage Reservation will be defined in the Prague
197 The unified surfaces help to calm and clearly define the space Heritage Reservation Surface Material Policy (Koncepce
[ Brno, Běhounská ] povrchů v Pražské památkové rezervaci), which is being drawn
up at this time in cooperation with IPR Praha and NPÚ.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

128 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

too many different kinds of materials and patterns will In garden and modernist cities, quality When reconstructing sidewalks where asphalt covers
make the space feel fragmented and confusing. Proper contemporary, usually prefabricated, the historical pavers, the uncovered pavers need to be
combinations of correctly chosen materials help define materials should be given preference. sorted, reused and missing stones replaced, and, in the
a space, calm traffic, improve intelligibility of the space case of the Prague pavement mosaics, laid in the original
and, thereby, reduce the need for height differentiation, pattern.[D.1_05] When changing asphalt surfaces on sidewalks
barriers and secondary traffic organisation measures in the Laying of stone paving to paved surfaces, provisions have to be made for
form of traffic signs. In those places where different zones Stone paving over small or medium–sized areas should lowering the drainage height to allow for paver to be laid
cannot be differentiated on the same grade, Surface edges observe the rule of three joints meeting at one point. and the base course changed, as well as for drainage, as
and boundaries →[D.1.1.4/p. 145] form the dividing line. The pavers should always be laid perpendicular to the drainpipes often drain rainwater right onto the sidewalk.
direction of movement. The size of the gap and the filler For asphalt surfaces to function properly, to be easy
used have to be resistant to street vacuuming. Due to to maintain and to boost their noise–reduction qualities
Choice of surface the risk of freezing and deformation, water should on roadways, the surface has to be level and without
In the historical city and in certain parts of the compact not seep through to an impermeable base course. any joints or gaps. If asphalt is in good condition, it has
city, a high–quality stone pavement is the preferred excellent properties and is not vulnerable to deformation.
option. It is necessary especially in the historical If only fragmentary repairs of asphalt surfaces are
centre to respect the preserved historical pavers and Repair and maintenance undertaken, asphalt of the same type, structure and
diligently renew them. For higher comfort, pavers Historical pavers need to be diligently maintained, colour of the connecting surface should be used.
may be supplemented with other appropriate surfaces preserved and renewed. Many paver surfaces that today Different degrees of compaction, different structures of
made from elements of a comparable or higher quality, are covered with asphalt should be renewed. Such various materials and poor sealing of joints are serious
but only based on an approved architectural concept renewal always has to be comprehensive, however, mistakes. To prevent the surface from falling in, the
for the entire space. The principles of monument care and include the general renewal of the base course and same level of compaction as the adjoining surface has
have to be observed at all times in such cases.[D.1_04] its compaction and the addition of missing materials to be achieved. The joints between the old and new
In the compact city, the character of the space and of similar colour, format and structure. In the case of surface always have to be made mechanically using
the manner of its use should always be observed. sidewalk pavers with a pattern, the surface should a rotary saw and then treated and sealed to prevent
always be paved using the same materials and pattern water seepage and frost damage. Repairing asphalt
as the connecting surface. If old pavers are replaced
with new ones or an asphalt surface is chosen, the
historical pavers must be stored for future use in the
[D.1_04]   The modification of surfaces in the Prague Heritage
Reservation is subject to the rules of the National Heritage
same or different location. When repairing pedestrian
Institute (NPÚ). More precise parameters for surfaces in the surfaces in a historical environment, the diversity of [D.1_05]   ↗ SCHUBERT, Alfréd et al. Péče o památkově
Prague Heritage Reservation will be defined in the Prague the original surface attributes has to be preserved. This významné venkovní komunikace [Care of Historically Important
Heritage Reservation Surface Material Policy (Koncepce means, for example, the massive stone edging of original Roads]. 1st edition. Prague: Národní památkový ústav,
povrchů v Pražské památkové rezervaci), which is being drawn ústřední pracoviště, 2007. 166 pp. Odborné a metodické
openings into cellars, solid stone thresholds, and so on.
up at this time in cooperation with IPR Praha and NPÚ. publikace; Vol. 33. ISBN 978-80-87104-10-1.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 129
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

[ rules: floor of public spaces ]

sidewalks across their whole length and width with Slippery materials and surfaces In the historical city and in some
a minimum number of joints should be the priority.[D.1_06] should not be used on pedestrian parts of the compact city, quality
and driving surfaces. Historical stone pavement should be used.
stone paving can be the exception
in warranted cases.
Drained surfaces
Infiltration surfaces need to be added to large areas and,
together with the general decentralised drainage system,
as much stormwater as possible needs to be disposed
of at the place where it originated. For example, using
Reflective materials and bright In the historical city, existing
unpaved surfaces and infiltration paving for tree verges surfaces should also be used original, authentic materials and
in streets, combining classical paving with infiltration with care. They can be good as surfaces should be preserved
paving in large public spaces and using drainage asphalt an accent, provided they are along with the way they are used.
used based on an approved Historic pavement that is covered
for roadways can help. The chapter entitled Stormwater architectural design for the whole in asphalt should be restored
management →[C.2.8/p. 116] deals with drainage space. More extensive application during reconstruction work; in the
in more detail. Stormwater from streets is usually is usually not appropriate. case of the Prague mosaic, the
original patterns should also be
contaminated and should not seep into the basements restored.
of buildings as this will salinize such premises. For
this reason in particular, pedestrian surfaces in the In the city, materials and When replacing historical
historical and compact city along buildings should be surfaces that allow infiltration pavement with a new surface,
(self–binding gravel, pavers laid the pavers have to be stored for
impermeable and drain water away from the buildings. on a sand or gravel base course, further use in the same location or
water–permeable asphalt, etc.) in a different part of the city.
should be given priority.
→[C.2.8 Stormwater
management/p. 116]

Infiltration surfaces with water– To improve quality of use,

retention capabilities should be contemporary materials of the
[D.1_06]   ↗ Principles and technical conditions for repairing
added to public spaces not just same or higher quality should be
road surfaces and undertaking excavation work for utilities around trees, but also over larger added to historical surfaces based
networks. Final repair of covers. TSK, approved by Prague City areas, such as streets and squares, on an architectural concept for the
Council Resolution No. 95: R-5724. 2012. This document was in the form of water–permeable whole space.
revoked by Prague City Council through its Resolution No. 127 pavement, lawns or gravel and
(2014). IPR Praha is of the opinion that the original conditions self–binding gravel surfaces.
should be observed to improve the quality of the final surfaces due →[C.2.8 Stormwater
management/p. 116]
to the poor coordination of investments prevalent at this time.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

130 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

[ rules: floor of public spaces ]

Contemporary materials should The appearance and pattern of Repairs to surfaces following
be used on most public spaces materials used in traffic–calmed construction work should not be
outside the historical city. Use areas where the grade differences recognisable. For asphalt surfaces,
of historical materials outside between the roadway and it is best to lay mechanically the
the historical city (and away from sidewalk have been eliminated whole surface again across the
historical buildings) is usually not should indicate the use of each entire width of the sidewalk.
appropriate. surface. The chosen materials For paver surfaces, the original
should be related and help to materials and patterns have
unify the space. to be used and the patterns
should align.

In garden and modernist cities, Differentiation of the various All paver surfaces should follow
contemporary materials, such as surfaces with the same or the rule of no more than three
large/small stone pavers, asphalt, different use within a shared joints at one point.
pigmented asphalt, poured space should be carried out
concrete surfaces or quality using the same material of
concrete pavers are appropriate. different colours or by changing
its structure (e.g., size or pattern
of the pavers).
→[C.1.1 Shared space/p. 66]

Pavers should primarily be used In places where motor vehicles The surfaces of all elements
for pedestrian surfaces. Pavers enter primarily pedestrian space, imbedded into the ground of
can also be used to slow vehicles, only one kind of surface that a public space (surface features
but they have to be more durable is suitable for walking on and of underground technical
and must be differentiated from durable enough to drive on should infrastructure, underground
the ones used for pedestrian be used. containers, etc.) should tie onto
surfaces. →[C.1.1 Shared space/p. 66] the surrounding surfaces at
grade and follow the pattern of
the sidewalk mosaic. The edges
should not be easily recognisable.

Concrete interlocking pavers In traffic–calmed (slow) streets Emphasising surface features by

should not be used in public and at intersections with changing the surface materials,
space. In those places where they predominantly pedestrian traffic, structure (change of the paving
have been used, they should be the roadway should be raised to pattern) or colour should be
replaced during reconstruction the same level as the sidewalk. avoided. The paving should
and renewal with material that is The driving surface should always continue across the
more appropriate and of higher have the same character as surface features without a change
quality. the sidewalk. of texture or pattern.
→[C.1.2/p. 70], →[C.2.3/p. 88]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 131
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

[ examples: floor of public spaces ]

It can be acceptable to use 201 An appropriate combination
materials that are different in of different materials, formats
colour or structure for the area and types of paving helps to
around important elements, clearly define the organisation of
statues, fountains and buildings, the space without the need for
as well as for important public different grades to differentiate
spaces. The choice, however, has the space
to be based on the concept of the [ Brno ]
entire space concerned.

Public space should be designed 202 An appropriate combination

without the creation of residual of surfaces and elements using
spaces. It is especially important different colour–coordinated
to avoid laying down small materials
grassed areas that serve no [ Brno ]
meaningful purpose.
198 A combination of surfaces for the various uses of the space:
→[D.2.4 Lawns/p. 174]
a smooth surface that is more comfortable for cyclists and pedestrians;
a clearly differentiated surface for motor vehicles. Everything is
colour–coordinated into a single tone
[ France, Paříž ]
Grassed surfaces in the 199 Unified paving of shared 203 Consolidating the surface
streetscape are appropriate only space contributes to calming the paving to be on the same grade
if they have a clear purpose and street in terms of traffic while preserving the original
meaning. They should always [ Spain, Madrid ] historical pavers
form larger contiguous areas and [ Prague 1 ]
be based on the architectural
composition of the entire space.
→[D.2.4 Lawns/p. 174]

200 An appropriate combination 204 An appropriate combination

of different paving materials, of large, smooth paving slabs and
colour and format in a street to historic pavers to make walking
create a pleasant environment more comfortable
without having to use different [ Sweden, Stockholm ]
grades to differentiate the space
[ Kutná Hora, Palackého náměstí ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

132 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

D.1.1.1  Pedestrian and shared surfaces

[ examples: floor of public spaces ]
205 An appropriate combination
The materials and surfaces of corresponds to the time when the adjacent building was
of colour–coordinated constructed. Historically, the mosaic was made of pieces
paved and unpaved surfaces
promote infiltration
pedestrian areas should make walking of quarried stone (setts), the cut of which allowed for them
[ Austria, Vienna ] around the city comfortable. to be laid in curved patterns and complicated shapes.
Modern sawn setts allow only right–angled patterns and
therefore are not suitable for all historical patterns.[D.1_07]
Due to its character, the Prague mosaic is traditionally
In shared space, materials with
used for sidewalks. It is not suitable for paving large areas.
an appearance that suits liveable To make walking more comfortable and to help the
206 Concrete interlocking pavers
create an inappropriately artificial space and is durable enough to be physically disabled and visually impaired and even cyclists
environment. The paving quickly to move around more easily, spaces or strips made of
ages, physically degrades and driven on should be used. suitable material in contemporary forms, such as high–
is not sufficiently durable for
maintenance vehicles quality large pavers or smooth pavers with minimum
[ Prague 10, Vršovice ] gaps between joints, can be added alongside the historical
The ability to walk safely and comfortably is one pavers (this does not apply to the Prague mosaic, however).
of the basic conditions of quality public space.
Generally speaking, unpaved surfaces and natural
207 Historical paving covered materials are the best for walking; in the city, —— The garden and modernist city
later with a different surface smooth pavers are the most appropriate.
material should be uncovered
and restored Within a garden or modernist city, contemporary forms
[ Prague 2, Pod Slovany ] of materials should be used. These can include big or
—— The historical and compact city small stone pavers, asphalt, pigmented asphalt, poured
concrete surfaces or high quality concrete pavers.
For sidewalks in the historical city, the typical historical The Prague mosaic is not appropriate here. Universal,
Prague mosaic should be used. Wherever older stone renewable and recyclable paving, in combination with
paving exists, it should be preserved. When paving natural elements, is the most appropriate. The further
208 Inappropriate use of
a uniform surface for a very using the Prague mosaic, the existing historical patterns, one moves out from the centre to the periphery, the more
wide traffic lane creates a traffic their appropriateness for the given space, choice of appropriate it is to use recyclable prefabricated elements
corridor that is inhuman in scale materials, manner of laying and design of the edges
[ Prague 6, Svatovítská ]
where the paving comes into contact with a façade or [D.1_07]   ↗ SCHUBERT, Alfréd et al. Péče o památkově
kerb have to be considered and respected. The Prague významné venkovní komunikace [Care of Historically Important
mosaic patterns were historically designed together Roads]. 1st edition. Prague: Národní památkový ústav,
ústřední pracoviště, 2007. 166 pp. Odborné a metodické
with building façades. The type of paving thus usually
publikace; Vol. 33. ISBN 978-80-87104-10-1.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 133
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

that age well. Prefabrication should not mean a more base course must be constructed correctly. Traditionally, in the same way. In the historical environment, the
artificial look. An example of such surface is “topstone” binding mixes that react to moisture are used. In order preserved historical pavers have to be respected.
paving in combination with a stone or bush–hammered to find a suitable composition of a mix for the location
surface (pre–damaged surface that is able to hide aging) concerned, it is recommended that a test be conducted Shared spaces
or other suitable materials. Such surfaces can be found in first. Self–binding gravel is not suitable for steeper slopes. The surfaces of shared spaces are usually laid on a single
Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen and other European cities. When using asphalt in parks, appropriate colours and level. To organise movement, a combination of related
Due to the short life and low aesthetic quality, the textures (aggregate filling) should be used to allow for its surfaces, the same materials of various sizes, compatible
use of concrete interlocking pavers should be avoided appearance to be as natural as possible. Asphalt pigmented structures and colours should be used. It is worth using
at all costs. This type of paving should not be used in to look like hard–packed gravel is a good example. materials whose appearance matches the character
a city at all. The surface is vulnerable to aesthetic and of the space. Primarily, they should be comfortable to
physical degradation, and technical and maintenance walk on and sturdy enough to support motor–vehicle
vehicles can easily damage the surface.[D.1_08] —— Special pedestrian surfaces traffic. With regard to shared spaces where no motor–
vehicle traffic is allowed, the same material should be
Extension of sidewalks used across the entire space. On shared spaces where
—— Park surfaces Depending on the material and structure, it may be motor–vehicle traffic is allowed, it is worth visually
appropriate to differentiate sidewalk extensions from the differentiating driving and pedestrian surfaces using
In parks, gardens and public spaces with vegetation, adjoining surfaces with colour. For more details, see the related materials of different colours. For more details,
unpaved and permeable surfaces should be used, self– chapter entitled Roadways and lanes →[C.2.2/p. 83]. see the chapter entitled Shared space →[C.1.1/p. 66].
binding gravel or rolled gravel surfaces in particular. The The pattern of mosaic surfaces in particular should not
degree to which it is appropriate to use self–binding gravel (depending on the type) extend into the extension. The Elements for the physically disabled
even in intensively used urban spaces depends on the structure and colour of both materials should, however, and visually impaired
quality of the laying work and on subsequent maintenance. be similar and match. Different materials should not Elements for the physically disabled and visually impaired
Its poor reputation is chiefly due to failure to follow proper be used on sidewalks with a uniform surface. should be created from a range of certified materials.[D.1_09]
technological procedure when laying it. If not sufficiently Due to the limited assortment of such elements, suitable
drained, it can become muddy; if not sufficiently packed Driveways and raised crossings materials and examples from abroad need to be identified
and or if the profile is wrong, it can fall in, resulting in In order to emphasise the priority of pedestrian traffic and efforts made to expand the range of certified materials
puddles or places that stay damp for a long time. If a high– on sidewalks across driveways, the driveways should available and supplement them with other certified
quality self–binding gravel surface is to be achieved, the merge with the surface of the sidewalk as much as materials, especially natural–looking ones. Using the
possible. If the sidewalk is made out of pavers, the existing certified unified prefabricated elements is not
driveway should also be made of pavers, but bigger appropriate, especially in the historical parts of the city.
[D.1_08]   With regard to poor durability and low load–bearing ones to accommodate vehicles →[photo 210/p. 136].
capacity of concrete pavers for cleaning equipment, the road Raised pedestrian crossings and raised Intersections
manager does not assume responsibility for management and [D.1_09]   ↗ Decree No. 398/2009 Coll., on general technical
and crossings →[C.2.3/p. 88] should be designed
maintenance of roads and sidewalks made of these materials. requirements ensuring barrier–free use of buildings.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

134 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

[ rules: pedestrian and shared surfaces ]

Guiding lines should be created from the same In the historical city and in some The pattern of the Prague mosaic
material as the adjacent surfaces, with use being made areas of the compact city, the can only be changed at the edge
Prague mosaic should be used on of a building. The pattern of the
of the contrast between rough and smooth materials. the sidewalks. paving in the historical city should
On the smooth surface of the sidewalk, the guiding lines ↗ SCHUBERT, Alfréd et al. Péče always correspond to the width of
should be made with a related material but in rough o památkově významné venkovní the façade.
komunikace [Care of Historically
form; in rough pavement, a smooth strip of paving is Important Roads]. 1st edition. Prague:
appropriate. Colour differentiation of the guiding line National Heritage Institute 2007.
should be carried out using a contrasting shade of the
same colour or by modifying the shade of one colour to
When reconstructing and Prague mosaic patterns should
match the shade of a different colour. The use of bright refurbishing sidewalks with the continue around corners. Wherever
colours (e.g., red or yellow) is not appropriate in the city. Prague mosaic, the patterns have a difficult connection is expected
Incorrect or insufficient signal and warning strips to be respected. Wherever the and the design of the details will
historical pavers with the original be complicated, a pattern that
may be life–threatening to the visually impaired. pattern have been preserved, the avoids this should be chosen.
Guiding lines and accessible designs have to create pavers and the patterns have to be ↗ SCHUBERT. Péče o památkově
a continual path through the city and ideally be part recorded and renewed. významné venkovní komunikace [Care of
Historically Important Roads]. Prague:
of a full–fledged network. If these routes are disrupted National Heritage Institute, 2007.
at any point, their purpose is lost. If all of these
principles are observed, the movement of the visually Mosaic setts should not be used For original, complicated
impaired is not problematic even in shared space. to pave big squares etc. Mosaic historical patterns, cropped and
setts are traditionally intended for split mosaic setts have to be used.
To ensure designs are carried out correctly, they should sidewalks along buildings.
be consulted sufficiently in advance with representatives
of the target users (the visually impaired, physically
disabled, the Prague Wheelchair Organisation (Pražská
organizace vozíckářů — POV), the Unified Organisation
of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Sjednocená
organizace nevidomých a slabozrakých — SONS), etc.).
When designing the Prague Sawn mosaic setts should only
mosaic, it is possible to use new be used for newly designed
patterns. If so, abstract patterns right–angled patterns and bigger
with high artistic value should patterns.
be used, as these age well. They
should not contain advertising or
company logos.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 135
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

For colourful patterns, stones Driveways (access to courtyards, The surface and texture of paved
of different colours with similar underground parking etc.) on the areas in parks and gardens should
technical properties need to same level as the sidewalk should reflect the natural character of
be used. Combining markedly be designed to be at least visually the environment.
different types of paving materials similar to the adjoining sidewalk.
(e.g., stone with concrete or The material used should be the
limestone with granite) in one same colour and material as the
defined area should be avoided sidewalk, but with greater load–
due to differences in wear. bearing capacity, and different
from the road.

To make walking and even biking Raised pedestrian crossings Under certain conditions, unpaved
more comfortable on paved should be made of similar surfaces are best combined with
surfaces in the city, historical material or have the same large stepping stones or slabs
pavers should be appropriately structure and colour as the or strips of paved surfaces,
combined with smooth strips of adjoining sidewalk, but should especially for the purpose of
large pavers or smoother pavers. be more resilient to withstand creating dry areas in bad weather.

Large pavers are a suitable Unpaved surfaces should be used Unpaved surfaces around busy
material in the city for walking on for walking areas in recreational places (entrances into building,
comfortably. They are, however, and leisure–time places, as such around benches, etc.), should be
not as resilient to being driven surfaces are more pleasant to reinforced with a grate or other
on. They can be used in spaces walk on. Unpaved surfaces are not concealed element to preserve
with restricted motor–vehicle suitable for places in the city with material continuity of the
access, which includes supply and high pedestrian traffic. unpaved surface.
maintenance. →[D.5.1 Seating/p. 209]

If large pavers are to be used For paths and footways in parks There should be a cleaning zone
for driveways, then thicker and gardens, self–binding gravel at the boundary where paved and
ones, laid in a permeable gravel or permeable asphalt should unpaved surfaces meet.
base course, should be used. be used. The durability of
Alternatively, pavers that have self–binding gravel surfaces is
a load–bearing concrete layer highly dependent on the quality
base (e.g., Topstone) can be used. of the workmanship and proper
maintenance. City–type pavers are
not the most appropriate choice in
natural parks.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

136 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

[ rules: pedestrian and shared surface ] [ examples: pedestrian and shared surfaces ]
On children’s playgrounds and
sporting grounds, soft materials
should be used to cushion
falls. The playground elements
should be made of materials in
their natural form.
→[C.2.7 Playgrounds/p. 112]

Artificial guiding lines and tactile

elements for the visually impaired
should be made from high–quality,
certified materials designated for
the specific use, in line with the
decree on accessibility.
↗ Decree No 398/2009 Coll., on 209 Large pavers in a square are more comfortable for people to walk 212 The planting strip made of self–binding gravel is suitable for
general technical requirements on and give the space a grandeur running, the large pavers are suitable for walking, and the asphalt
ensuring barrier–free use of buildings. [ Slovakia, Bratislava, Hlavné námestie ] surface is suitable for cycling
[ France, Paris ]

Tactile elements on the ground 210 A properly designed surface 213 A footway made from
should be made of the same or of a driveway made out of the poured concrete
related material as the adjoining same material as the sidewalk but [ Denmark, Copenhagen ]
surface, e.g., in stone paving, they differentiated by the size (load–
should be made out of pavers with bearing capacity) of the pavers.
a different surface structure. For The surface of the sidewalk
this reason, the range of certified is clearly differentiated from
elements should be expanded. the roadway
[ Litomyšl, Havlíčkova ]

The colour of guiding lines and 211 A smooth strip is more 214 Large pavers for sidewalks
tactile elements should correspond comfortable for cyclists and made from high–quality
to the range of surfaces in the pedestrians. It is also helpful for sanded concrete
respective area, so as not to orientation in the space. This is [ France, Paris ]
disrupt the overall perception an appropriate application in
of the space. A balance has the historical city
to be found with the colour [ Prague 1, Staroměstské náměstí ]
differentiation requirement, so that
the guiding lines can be perceived
by the visually impaired as well.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 137
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

D.1.1.2  Driving surfaces

Roadway surfaces need to be functional space, e.g., parking and bus bays or lanes
can be demarcated. To achieve an urban or residential
modified to the surroundings and character, this solution should be given priority.
the place they are passing through.
Choice of surface
In the historical city, with the exception of extremely
Pavers on the roadway are a good
busy thoroughfares, paving slabs should be given
traffic–calming measure when priority. Granite or quartzite pavers corresponding
combined with speed signs. to the character of the space would be a suitable
alternative. Asphalt surfaces should be minimised.[D.1_10]
Pavers on a roadway are, together with traffic signs
regulating speed, an appropriate tool for Traffic calming
215 A self–binding gravel surface between trees in combination with In addition to the functional parameters of roadways →[par./p.  60] even in streets in the compact, garden
pavers creates a pleasant, liveable environment and allows for the (texture, smoothness, skid resistance, hardness, durability, or modernist city. When using pavers on the roadway
infiltration of stormwater
[ Germany, Berlin, Museumsinsel ] longevity, surface drainage), context has to be taken where speeds exceed 30 km/h, noise begins to increase
into account when designing roadway surfaces and substantially, however. The use of pavers should be
216 A self–binding gravel surface the surfaces modified to suit the surroundings and the assessed individually for busier thoroughfares or for
is suitable for small footways place they are passing through. This applies even in driving surfaces outside the historical centre where
and paths
[ France, Paris ] the case of important thoroughfares. Roadway surfaces driving speeds are higher. As roadways made of pavers
passing through or crossing important public spaces are noisier and more slippery, thus increasing the
(e.g., squares, parks, important streets) should as a rule braking distance, the use of a flat surfaces without
change to complement the adjoining surfaces of the space, gaps, in particular asphalt surfaces, is usually better.
especially to consolidate the character of the place, bring For proper functionality, easy maintenance and
out the context or calm through traffic. Roadway surfaces properties supporting lower noise levels, asphalt
should be uniform across the length of the public space
217 Appropriate use of
an imbedded metal grate to they pass through. Any change of colour or structure
reinforce the self–binding gravel should be in keeping with the composition or a means [D.1_10]   The modification of surfaces in the Prague Heritage
surface by a bench to organise movement. Speed bumps or raised crossing Reservation is subject to the rules of the National Heritage
[ Germany, Berlin, Park am Institute (NPÚ). More precise parameters for surfaces in the
Gleisdreieck ] can be designed with an appropriate change of surface.
Prague Heritage Reservation will be defined in the Prague
An appropriate combination of various materials Heritage Reservation Surface Material Policy (Koncepce
can be used to replace traffic signs. A change in the povrchů v Pražské památkové rezervaci), which is being drawn
type and colour of surfaces can help to organise up at this time in cooperation with IPR Praha and NPÚ.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

138 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

surfaces have to be as flat as possible without any the character of the intersection. The surface of traffic– Parking lots
gaps or spaces that are a source of noise and potential calmed Intersections and crossings →[C.2.3/p. 88] where The surface of Parking lots →[par./p.  108] should
damage to the surface. The chapter entitled Underground the roadway and the sidewalk are at the same level should not be designed to have a uniform asphalt surface.
utilities →[D.3.1/p. 180] deals with technical be made of material related structurally and colour–wise A material with an appropriate structure is able to soften
infrastructure repairs. For further noise reduction, to the material of the sidewalk and roadway. Walking the scale of large areas. As parking lots usually have
so–called quiet asphalt, which reduces noise levels and driving surfaces always have to be differentiated, a large surface area, surfaces that allow infiltration of
by up to 7 dB compared to classic asphalt, can be used however. Materials with a higher load–bearing capacity rainwater should be used. Depending on the character
(it has been used on 5. května Street for example). should be used for driving surfaces. Small brindle granite of the location, pavers with grass growing in the gaps
For traffic safety, sufficient drainage of the roadway or quartzite pavers are a suitable material for such should be used →[photo 289/p. 153]. If such surfaces
is crucial. Puddles and wet areas make roadways surfaces. For asphalt surfaces, pigmented asphalt that are used for parking lots, a different material should
more slippery and increase the braking distance. corresponds to the colour of the sidewalk should be used. be used for barrier–free parking spots. Such parking
They also reflect sunlight and headlights, blinding spots should always be built using the most appropriate
drivers. Surface drainage should be coupled with materials and be as accessible as possible in terms of
permeable materials (e.g., porous asphalt).[D.1_11] Parking bays location and grade. The surface area of a parking lot
The use of uncovered concrete panels in the city Parking bays need to be viewed as a calm part of the should be broken up using appropriate vegetation.[D.1_12]
is not appropriate. Concrete panels are only suitable roadway. The surface should be made of materials similar
for temporary roads to prevent damage to the surface to the surface of the sidewalk and be different from
underneath. They should be removed wherever they that of the roadway. This optically narrows the driving Bus stops
are located and replaced with a suitable surface. lane and calms the space generally. If the roadway is The surfaces used for Bus bays →[par./p.  100]
made of asphalt, pavers should be used for the parking have to be very durable to sufficiently withstand the
bay. Painted road markings used to demarcate parking heavy loads resulting from the frequent arrivals and
Intersections spots should be replaced with pavers of a different departures of buses (pressure, tension, skidding and
An intersection should have the same surface as material, colour and direction. Alternatively, parking temperature fluctuations). In the case of on–street stops,
the adjoining roadways. If the streets meeting at the spots can be raised with a low or bevelled kerb to better the surface should be similar to that of the roadway; in
intersection have different surfaces, the surface of the separate them from the roadway. →[photo 220/p. 141] the case of bus bays, the surface should have a similar
intersection should match that of the most important Barrier–free parking should be easy to access, i.e., it colour and structure to that of the sidewalk in much
street. In some cases, the surface of an intersection can be should be level with the sidewalk and made of material the same way as Parking bays →[par./p.  138].
made of a different material completely, thus reinforcing suitable for the movement of wheelchairs (grass pavers
in particular should not be used). For more information,
[D.1_11]   These mixtures do not contain fine particles and so see the chapter entitled Parking →[C.2.6/p. 107].
allow water to pass through gaps in the material. The amount of
water that is infiltrated thus increases. Water does not remain on
the surface of the roadway and no puddles appear in depressions. [D.1_12]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague
In a dusty environment, however, porosity diminishes over time. Building Regulations: Section 33: Form and character of parking.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 139
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

[ rules: driving surfaces ]

Cycling lanes In the historical city, the The surface of traffic–calmed
With regard to the character of the public space and traditional stone pavement intersections where the roadway
of Prague’s streets should and sidewalk are on the same grade
adjoining surface, cycling lanes should be made of be preserved and regularly should be similar in structure and
a smooth material with minimal gaps. In terms of safety, maintained and renewed. colour as the surrounding sidewalks
they should be differentiated using a different type, colour and roadways. Walking and
driving surfaces should always be
or structure of material; if they are located in the roadway, differentiated, however.
then a boundary line should also be added, see Surface →[C.2.3 Intersections and
crossings/p. 88]
edges and boundaries →[D.1.1.4/p. 145]. In areas in the
city where pavers are used, cycles lanes should not be
Pavers are appropriate in traffic– Speed bumps and raised crossings
made from different materials (asphalt, concrete), but calmed streets to help to reduce should be designed from materials
should also be made of pavers of a material similar to the the speed of through traffic. similar to the surrounding
character of the adjoining surface. For the historical city, →[C.1.2 Quiet and traffic–calmed roadways and sidewalks. If the
streets/p. 70]  sidewalk is made of pavers and
combining the rough pavers of the roadway with smoother the roadway of asphalt, pavers
pavers with clean joints (possible options include sawn should be used; if the road uses
pavers of the same material, sanded pavers, etc.) is a good large pavers, smaller pavers
similar in size to the sidewalk
solution. →[photo 219/p. 141] Pavers designated for pavers should be used.
roadways should not be used on cycling lanes because
they are slippery and uneven. Painted road markings Streets with heavy traffic in If two different materials come in
should also not be used because they are difficult to apply the historical city, as specified contact, the surface of the more
in the policy, should have important street should carry
to uneven surfaces and look unsightly in the historical a uniform surface without joints through the intersection. In such
centre. Asphalt strips combined with stone pavement (e.g., asphalt). case, the point of contact between
is inappropriate, especially in the historical centre. If ↗ The Prague Heritage Reservation the two materials should be
Surface Policy is being prepared at this designed with care.
a roadway has an asphalt surface, then road markings time by IPR Praha and NPÚ.
should be made of pigmented asphalt or only painted on.
When adding cycling lanes in the Prague Heritage
Reservation, monument care principles have to be
Uniform surfaces without joints Uncovered concrete panels should
observed. should be used for driving not be used in the city. In those
surfaces outside the historical places where they appear today,
centre. To reduce noise, “quiet it is necessary to remove them
asphalt” should be used. gradually and replace them with
a different, appropriate surface.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

140 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

[ rules: driving surfaces ]

The horizontal organisation of Parking lots should be coupled Cycling strips in the historical
functional surfaces (delineation with park–like vegetation and city should be made of smoother
of parking and bus bays or lanes) a sufficient number of trees pavers with clean joints (sawn
should be carried out using with adequate space for their setts made of the same material,
different types and colours of roots. A parking lot should not sanded pavers, etc.). In the
surface materials instead of using be designed as a space with Prague Heritage Reservation, the
painted road markings. a uniform surface. principles of monument care have
↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., to be observed.
Prague Building Regulations: Section 33:
Form and character of parking.

The surface of parking bays should Parking lots should be made of Cycling lanes should be
be different from the surface of materials with a structure that differentiated from other lanes
the roadway. The design should softens the scale of the space. using different materials and
use a material similar to that used Pavers with grass growing in the separated using a boundary
for the sidewalk. In some cases, joints are a good choice. line. Paint should not be used
parking bays can be raised using to demarcate cycling lanes as
a low kerb. it can be slippery.
→[C.2.5 Cycling infrastructure/p. 101]

Designated barrier–free parking The surface of the roadway should

should be accessible and be be modified to the character of
designed using appropriate the place where it is located.
materials. This applies to important
↗ Decree No. 398/2009 Coll., on thoroughfares as well. The surface
general technical requirements of roadways leading around or
ensuring barrier–free use of buildings. crossing through important public
spaces should change to match
the adjoining surfaces of the
respective space.

The surfaces used for bus stops In the city, cycling strips
have to be extremely durable to imbedded in stone–paved
withstand heavy loads, pressure, surfaces should not be made out
tension, skidding and temperature of a different material (asphalt,
fluctuations. On–street stops concrete), but only out of stone
should have a surface similar to corresponding to the character of
that of the roadway; bus bays the adjoining surface.
should have a surface similar to
that of the sidewalk.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 141
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

[ examples: driving surfaces ]

220 A parking bay that is 224 Appropriate use of
appropriately differentiated by materials to differentiate the
raising it and using a different raised pedestrian crossing
material (pavers) than that at an intersection
of the roadway [ Austria, Vienna ]
[ Prague 7, Bubeneč ]

221 Appropriate use of similar 225 Appropriate and subtle use of

materials to differentiate the similar materials to differentiate
various surfaces an island in a way that makes
[ Brno ] it possible to avoid painted
road markings
[ Krásná Lípa ]

218 Pavers on the roadway help to calm traffic substantially

[ Prague 6, Dr. Zikmunda Wintera ]

222 Appropriate use of materials 226 A section of the road

and changes of grade for patched using an inappropriate
crossing a stone–paved material that does not match the
traffic–calmed street surrounding surfaces
[ Prague 1, Dlouhá ] [ Prague 2, Karlovo náměstí ]

223 Appropriate use of materials 227 A marked differentiation of

for a pedestrian crossing in a way surfaces — in this case an asphalt
that avoids the use of painted road and the adjacent stone–
road markings paved sidewalk — is usually less
[ Vysoké Mýto, náměstí Přemysla appropriate than unifying the
Otakara II. ] streetscape with similar materials.
[ France, Grenoble ]
219 A properly designed cycling lane using smooth pavers in places
where rough pavers are found in the historical and compact city
[ Germany, Dresden ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

142 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

D.1.1.3  Tram lane surfaces

Tram lanes must not be proposed Integrated tram lanes Separate tram lanes
In the city and especially in the city centre, it is generally The surfaces of separate tram lanes should always
as a separate element but viewed as better to use tram tracks that are integrated into the be chosen based on the overall spatial design of the
an integrated functional and visual part street and materials and surfaces that correspond to public space they pass through. Long sections of tram
the materials used in the adjoining space to preserve tracks that are impossible to drive on or across should
of the public space they pass through. the integrity of the whole public space and allow not be used in the urban environment as they sever
unrestricted movement across the space, an aspect perpendicular trajectories and divide public space. They
that is characteristic of the urban environment. should therefore always be coupled with a sufficient
Tram tracks help to create the environment of public Tram lanes at the same grade as the roadway should be number of accessible crossings and driveways.
spaces, making them more attractive and increasing made of the same materials and have the same character Because of noise–reduction requirement and efforts
their use. They should not look out of place when as the street, and the entire space should look consistent. to improve the quality of tram tracks, grass–lined tram
passing through a public space but appear as If a tram lane passes through a stone–paved space, for lanes have begun to be used. Grass surfaces or surfaces
an integral part of the place; their surface should be example in a pedestrian zone, the same type of pavers with extensive vegetation are suitable mainly in the
based on the character of the place and the surfaces should be used for the tram lane. In some places it may be modernist or garden city, wherever a tram lane passes
surrounding them. →[photo 228/p. 144] appropriate to differentiate the tram lanes to a reasonable through a park and in Streets with heavy motor–vehicle
In shared spaces or on a square, the surface of the degree by material or colour to warn pedestrians (or car traffic →[C.1.4/p. 74]. Grass–lined tram lanes are
tracks should naturally blend in with the adjoining drivers) that they are in a space where they have to be however expensive in terms of maintenance, especially
public space so that the tram tracks do not disturb more careful (or in a lane that is not designated for them watering and cutting. Grass should be applied in the
the overall appearance of the undivided space. to use). Tram lanes made of foreign material (asphalt, least expensive way using extensive vegetation or grass
In terms of surfaces, use and impact on the urban concrete, etc.) should not be imbedded in stone paving. pavers. In this respect, the best surface is a xerophytic
environment, tram lanes can, for the purposes of the To make sure that public transport operates smoothly, it is lawn. See the chapter entitled Lawns →[D.2.4/p. 174].
manual, be divided up into drivable/non–drivable, appropriate in some situations to separate tram lanes from On city streets with many intersections and
integrated/separate and a combination thereof. The the roadway at grade using kerb stones placed lengthwise. crossings, grassed lanes are not appropriate.
tram strip should always be built in the street. Elevated See Surface edges and boundaries →[D.1.1.4/p. 145]. Uncovered tram tracks create a significant physical and
tracks (bridges) and stand–alone tram tracks on These, however, should be designed to make it easy to visual barrier and divide the streetscape in two. They are
embankments should not be used in an urban setting drive over in case of emergencies and omitted at regular the least appropriate for urban environments. They are
at all. Spatial segregation of functions always restricts intervals to make it safe to drive onto or off the tram lane. only appropriate in exceptional cases in the outskirts away
permeability of the areas and creates an internal The surface of tram lanes should be uniform across from buildings because of their lower construction costs. It
periphery within the city. →[photo 238/p. 144] the whole public space (street/square). If the surface is always better to look for other low–cost options that will
When designing tracks, it is always worth has to be differentiated, e.g., at intersections, the entire cover the tracks, such as extensive vegetation. Primarily,
considering whether the tram tracks could also intersection should be designed to have the same surface. however, the material should always correspond to the
serve as a bus corridor now or in the future. Changing the surface material at switching points located character of the environment and street concept, and other
at various distances from intersection is not appropriate. technical measures should be chosen for noise reduction.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 143
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

[ Rules: tram lane surfaces ]

Under bridges and in other such places, segregated The material used for a tram lane Grass–lined tram lanes should
tram lanes should be made of surface materials should be based on the character only be used if appropriate
of the place and the adjoining with regard to the character of
that reduce noise, that do not negatively affect the surface of the public space they the location and the typology
appearance of the space and that allow maintenance pass through. The surface of of the public space. They are
and cleaning equipment to drive over them. Rubber the tram lane should blend in suitable especially for streets
naturally with the surface of the with heavy motor–vehicle traffic
surfaces, for example, are an appropriate choice (this adjoining public space and not and on the outskirts of the city,
does not apply to protected historical spaces). disturb the overall appearance of or in locations that are in contact
Alternative surfaces that increase the quality of public the undivided space. with nature.
space can also be used for tram tracks. These include
Tram lanes on the same level Planting should be carried
wooden surfaces (see the examples). This solution can as the roadway should be made out especially using extensive
be appropriate especially on bridges or waterfronts. using the same material as the vegetation or other types of
Reinforced concrete panels without any other surface adjoining surface. If a tram lane gravel lawns using plants that are
runs along a bus lane, it should less costly and easy to maintain.
finish should not be used in the urban environment be differentiated using pigmented Grass turf is very expensive and
because they are both unsightly and noisy. asphalt or other material is suitable mainly for important
Overhead lines are dealt with in detail in the chapter according to the parameters public spaces.
of the designated bus lane.
entitled Aboveground elements →[D.3.2/p. 183].

Tram lanes should only be raised Open tram tracks may only be
and separated from streets with used in exceptional cases in the
heavy motor–vehicle traffic using outskirts of the city away from
a kerb in exceptional cases. If built–up areas where crossings for
kerbs have to be used, bevelled pedestrian and other traffic are
kerbs or kerbs of a shape and size not necessary.
that makes it possible to drive
onto the tram lane are the most

Raised tram lanes should have Intersections should have

a sufficient number of crossings a surface matching the adjoining
for pedestrians and vehicles roadway. If a different surface is
across its length. required, the entire intersection
should be designed as a single
compositional unit. The surface
material should not be changed
at switching points located
at various distances from the

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

144 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

[ examples: tram lane surfaces ]

231 A pedestrian zone — the 235 An alternative solution for
monolithic, single–grade surface the surface of tram tracks on
gives the space a uniform a bridge — wooden planks
appearance [ France, Grenoble ]
[ Slovakia, Bratislava ]

232 A good example of 236 Different surfaces

segregated tram tracks that take ending in different locations
into account the character of the within an intersection are
space and its possibilities not appropriate and ruin the
[ Prague 1, Hradčany ] overall perception of the space.
An intersection should have
a uniform surface that is clearly
228 An example of tram tracks that pass through a public square differentiated from the adjoining
naturally and have the same character as the surrounding surface surface of the street
[ Brno, náměstí Svobody ] [ Prague 2, Karlovo náměstí ]

229 Extensive maintenance–free 233 An example of tram tracks 237 Uncovered tram tracks in the
green tram tracks passing through a shared space city create a barrier and destroy
[ Italy, Florence ] [ Brno, Masarykova ] the character of the street. They
are completely inappropriate for
the urban environment
[ Prague 10, V Olšinách ]

230 An example of tram tracks 234 Tram tracks after being 238 Segregated tram bridges
running along the edge of the grassed over. This option is should not be permitted in
roadway. The design helps to calm extremely high maintenance, i.e., the city. They do not create
the street and allows boarding it requires extensive watering a natural urban environment and
without the need for islands and cutting completely divide the space of
[ Austria, Vienna ] [ Prague 6, Podbaba ] the city
[ Prague 12, Modřany tram route ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 145
Materials and surfaces 1
Floor of public spaces 1

D.1.1.4  Surface edges and boundaries

Edges and boundaries should be part of In the garden and modernist city, high–quality concrete kerbs are used. It would be worth identifying
concrete kerbstones should be used. The adjoining surface other appropriate solutions that would correspond to
the overall composition; they should not should however dictate the kind of kerbstones used. the urban environment, especially the historical city.
be a barrier, but act as a natural guiding For bus bays, bevelled or Kassel kerbs should be used.
Kassel kerbs are kerbs with a special concave shape that
line and help to organise the space. allows buses to come as close to the boarding edge as
possible and prevents damage to tyres and the kerb itself.
In the case of pedestrian areas and formal
Height differentiation using kerbs helps to define and informal crossings, kerbs should be lowered
surfaces intended for different uses visually and to the level of the adjoining surface.
physically, organises the use of the space, improves
the flow of movement, protects pedestrians and directs
surface drainage. In open spaces (e.g., parks), they Park edging
also serve as guiding lines for the visually impaired. In parks, it is best to minimise the height differences
between paved and unpaved surfaces and use
hidden edging. This may be in the form of metal
Kerbs edging imbedded in the ground to be level with the
Massive interlocking granite kerbstones are typical paved surface or in the form of special park edging.
for Prague. These kerbstones are part of the character The edges of busy paths in parks should, however,
of Prague and are appropriate for use in the historical act as guiding lines for the visually impaired.
and compact city due to their durability and should be
preserved.[D.1_13] The “locks” on the kerbstones should
always point to the right when facing into the street. Delineating edges
The new, sawn–granite kerbstones without the “lock” Edges are usually used to define the different lanes in the
and with a higher cross–section are not very stable roadway (tram lanes, cycling lanes). Such edges should
and often fall out of place if driven over, which poses only be used where lane differentiation using materials or
a danger and even increases the cost of maintenance. road markings is not enough to counter unruly drivers —
see also Traffic elements and signs →[D.3.3/p. 190]
and where it is unconditionally necessary to prevent
[D.1_13]   ↗ SCHUBERT, Alfréd a kol. Péče o památkově
motor vehicles from entering a tram or cycling lan.
významné venkovní komunikace. [Care of Historically Important
Roads]. 1st edition. Prague: Národní památkový ústav,
The delineating edge of a tram lane should also be
ústřední pracoviště, 2007. 166 pp. Odborné a metodické low enough to allow certain vehicles (e.g., ambulances)
publikace; Vol. 33. ISBN 978-80-87104-10-1. to drive over it in emergencies. At this time, raised

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

146 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
1 Floor of public spaces

[ rules: surface edges and boundaries ] [ examples: surface edges and borders ]
In the historical and compact city, In the modernist city, it is possible 239 Typical Prague interlocking
interlocking granite kerbstones to use high–quality concrete granite kerbstones imbedded at
should be used. The direction or other prefabricated kerbs the level of the adjoining sidewalk
of the “locks” should always run depending on the adjoining [ Prague 2 ]
clockwise when facing into the surfaces.

If the sidewalk and roadway are Delimiting elements in the roadway 240 One possibility for separating
on the same level, the sidewalk are desirable only where the trams the tram lane using a drainage
should be bordered by a row of should not be disrupted and there canal instead of a raised barrier
paving elements that could also are no other means to achieve this. [ Austria, Graz ]
serve as support for the pavers. They should be designed so that
The differentiated function they do not destroy the integrity of
could also be assumed by the the streetscape and can be driven
continuous cover of a gutter over if necessary (supply and
or other appropriately chosen emergency vehicles, in case
differentiating material. of accidents, etc.).

Wherever the traffic volume 241 A tilted kerb is

requires automobile traffic to an appropriate way to
be physically separated from differentiate a parking spot from
pedestrian traffic and, at the same the roadway
time, the surfaces are best kept on [ Prague 7, Bubeneč ]
the same level, a bollard or a low
kerb can be used.
→[D.5.7.2 Bollards and posts/p. 236]

The height of the edge between 242 A two–level kerb to allow

two surfaces (kerb) should make it vehicles to drive onto the shared
difficult for vehicles to drive onto space of an intersection
the sidewalk, thereby protecting [ Prague 1, Dlouhá ]
pedestrians wherever necessary.
In places where pedestrians need
to cross, the connection between
the sidewalk and the roadway
must be accessible with no height

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 147
Materials and surfaces 1
Materials and surfaces of elements 2

D.1.2  Materials and surfaces of elements

A single colour for all utilitarian elements inappropriate surfaces include material and structural If the overall design of the space so requires, a different
imitations (“wood–like”, “stone–like”, “paving–stone colour may be used in important spaces and parks. In the
brings uniformity to public spaces and like”) as these age poorly (rapid “aesthetic aging”). case of historical lamps and candelabras in the historical
makes them more visually pleasing. The material or surface treatment of elements intended city, the principles of monument care have to be observed.
for sitting or other forms of contact needs to be chosen with Standardised metal elements used in public
regard to how it feels (e.g., hot, cold, smooth, soft, etc.). spaces in the garden and modernist city should
be light grey, specifically RAL 7004. Galvanised
The choice of materials of individual elements and their metal elements do not need to be painted. Light
surfaces should always be based on the overall design Colour of elements grey blends better with the sky, which is why it is
of the space. Matching materials, surfaces and colours A single colour for all utilitarian metal elements appropriate outside contiguous built–up areas.
contribute to unifying and making the space more visually brings uniformity to public spaces and makes At the boundary between two types of city, the colour
pleasing while reinforcing compositional differences. The them more visually pleasing, reinforcing the of darker elements has priority. The colour of the elements
form of utilitarian elements (lampposts, overhead tram character of Prague and the space itself. in one street crossing over into a garden or modernist
lines, posts, waste containers, guardrails, columns, metal The traditional colour of elements in the historical city should be in the darker shade across the entire
legs of standardised benches, etc.) should be subordinated centre was the colour of cast iron, i.e., dark grey.[D.1_14] The length of the street. Each situation should be assessed
to the whole. Differences should always be justified based colour of all new, replaced and refurbished utilitarian individually. Specific and historically valuable artistic
on the architectural compositional hierarchy of the space. metal elements in public spaces in the historical and artefacts can be different and dealt with individually.
Generally, materials should be used in their natural compact city should be dark grey, specifically RAL 7021.
visual form. If a surface finish is necessary for durability Dark grey is elegant and is subtle, which is why it is
and easier maintenance, it should not hide the natural appropriate in the city centre and the urban environment. Anti–poster surfaces
character of the material (e.g., the wood in wooden Such surfaces must not degrade the elements aesthetically
elements should be seen and not concealed by paint). [D.1_14]   ↗ MONZER, Ladislav. Osvětlení Prahy: proměny sedmi or functionally even with regard to the secondary function
Materials and surface finishes should be chosen with století [Illuminating Prague: Transformations over Seven Centuries]. of the element, e.g., to be leaned against. “Anti–poster”
regard to the character of the space and location within Prague: FCC Public, 2003. 155 s. ISBN 80-86534-04-9 paint is often very rough, sharp and unpleasant to
Paraphrase: The now established use of dark green in the historical
the city. In natural environments, natural materials or touch. The smallest possible grain should be used or
centre arose accidentally during the construction of the exhibition
materials with a natural appearance should be chosen; grounds and has no historical roots. The first cast iron candelabras
a different treatment that can be pleasant to look at and
in the urban environment, high–quality contemporary and lamps from 1847 were painted only using graphite dissolved even touch (e.g., vertical grooving) should be used.
and durable materials should be used. Materials that age in oil. After the great reconstruction of 1867, candelabras and
naturally and well should be used (e.g., bronze, stainless lamps kept their natural cast iron surface without paint. During
the Centennial Exhibition (Exhibition Grounds), too much dark
steel, Corten steel, aluminium, brass, concrete, rock,
green paint was purchased by the artistic commission to paint the
hardwood, vacuum impregnated wood, heat–treated benches of Stromovka Park. To prevent unnecessary waste, Prague
wood, and HD plastics). Appropriate permanent finishes City Council ordered all cast iron elements in the city, such as
include metal dipping or powder coating. Completely guardrails and candelabras, to be painted with the surplus paint.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

148 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
2 Materials and surfaces of elements

[ rules: materials and surfaces of elements ]

The materials and designs of all All elements situated in public In the historical, compact and
elements placed in public spaces spaces (street furniture, garden city, all metal elements
should respond to the character of standardised structures, should be painted:
the place, location, composition aboveground elements of
of the space and position in the technical infrastructure) have dark grey — RAL 7021
hierarchy of public spaces. to be made of quality and
durable materials, be visually
pleasing, age well and be resistant
to vandalism.

Elements made of natural All standard above–ground metal In the modernist city, all elements
materials should be used elements located in the public should be painted:
primarily in their natural form. realm (including all technical
Necessary surface treatment for and infrastructure elements, i.e., light grey — RAL 7004,
durability, easy maintenance guardrails, columns, posts, etc.) or unpainted galvanised steel
or utility value of the element should have surfaces of the same
(e.g., wood elements) should not colour and type.
hide the natural character of the

Comfort is of primary importance All structures and elements

when choosing materials and (cantilever beams, lamps, boxes,
surfaces for seating elements, etc.) attached to aboveground
especially with regard to hot, cold technical and transport/traffic
or rainy days. The best material in infrastructure (poles, lampposts,
terms of comfort is wood, followed boxes, etc.) should have the same
by rock, natural metals or sanded surface as the element to which
concrete (artificial stone). they are attached.

The use of quality material is Anti–poster surfaces must not RAL 7021
desirable even for mobile seating degrade the element aesthetically
and tables. Plastic furniture is or functionally (e.g., if the
not appropriate for public spaces. application is too grainy, it can
It has to be of high–quality and scratch if brushed up against).
should not look cheap. A finer grain or vertical grooving RAL 7004
should be chosen to take into
account the secondary function.
of objects (e.g., to be leaned

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 149
Materials and surfaces 1
Materials and surfaces of elements 2

[ examples: materials and surface of elements ]

246 The colour of poles and
elements should be the same
[ Prague 1, Letenská ]

247 An element attached to

a different element that does
not respect the colour or surface
treatment of the element to which
it is attached
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ]

243 Unified colour of all elements 250 Wood in its natural form is appropriate especially for elements
A69 architects and street furniture intended for sitting
[ Cheb, ul. Svobody, pedestrian zone ] [ Germany, Berlin, Park am Gleisdreieck ]

244 Appropriate colour 248 The anti–poster surface paint 251 Solid wood in its natural form
of elements in the urban is too grainy and so should not [ Germany, Berlin, Park am
environment have been used Gleisdreieck ]
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ] [ Prague 1 ]

245 Appropriate anti–poster 249 The placement of the 252 Elements made from natural,
surface treatment using a finer infrastructure in the public space pre–oxidised metal (Corten)
grain that is not unpleasant to is inappropriate, as is the use of [ Germany, Berlin ]
the touch different colours
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ] [ Prague 4, Dvorce ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

150 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
3 Examples of surfaces and their use

D.1.3  Examples of surfaces and their use

[ unpaved surfaces ] [ natural stone paving ]
253 Self–binding gravel (sand– 257 Grass surfaces 260 Flagstone, irregular shapes
Use: Use:
Use: Parks, lawns Park paths, courtyards
Pedestrian and recreational
surfaces in parks, tree planting
strips, jogging path surfaces

254 Rolled gravel (fine) 258 Extensive vegetation 261 Irregular pavers (setts) made
from sawn stone
Use: Use:
Pedestrian and recreational Tram lanes, centres of Use:
surface in parks, courtyards, tree roundabouts and so on Preserved sidewalks in the
planting strips historical city

255 Natural unpaved surface for 259 Bark 262 Prague mosaic made from
playgrounds (bark) Slivenec marble
Use: Jogging paths in parks Use:
Playgrounds, tree planting strips Sidewalks along buildings in the
historical city only

Extremely expensive,
exhausted quarry

256 Sand 263 Prague mosaic made from

sawn stone blocks
Playgrounds, surfaces near rest Use:
areas and the like Sidewalks along buildings in the
historical city

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 151
Materials and surfaces 1
Examples of surfaces and their use 3

264 Sawn Prague mosaic 268 Small granite pavers, 10 x 10 272 Large granite roadway pavers
cm, laid in a fan shape 16–18 x 14 cm
Sidewalks along buildings in the Use: Use:
compact and historical city Shared spaces, raised Roadways in the historical city
intersections, parking bays, and in traffic–calmed streets in
Note: parking lots in the historical and the compact city
For the patterns, materials with compact city
markedly different colours need
to be used

265 Beige–grey granite paver 269 Small granite pavers, 10 x 10 273 Sawn granite paving slabs
in the format of Prague mosaic cm, laid diagonally
pavers 6 x 6 cm Use:
Use: Pedestrian zones, squares,
Use: Appropriate for cycling surfaces in shared space in the historical and
Sidewalks in the historical and the historical city compact city
compact city, park boundaries,
park sidewalks

266 Small brindled granite 270 Brindled granite pavers, large 274 Large granite paving slabs
pavers, 6 x 6 cm, laid in
a ring pattern Use: Use:
Shared spaces, raised Pedestrian zones, squares in the
Use: intersections, parking bays, historical and compact city
Shared spaces, raised parking lots in the historical and
intersections, parking bays and compact city
parking lots in the historical and
compact city

267 Small granite pavers 271 Large quartzite pavers 275 Large granite paving slabs of
10 x 10 cm various colours and formats
Use: Roadways in the historical city Use:
Shared spaces, raised and in traffic–clamed streets in Pedestrian zones, squares,
intersections, parking bays, the compact city, waterfronts, courtyards, plazas in the historical
parking lots in the historical and shared space in the historical city and compact city
compact city

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

152 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
3 Examples of surfaces and their use

[ wooden surface ] [ concrete pavers ]

276 Wooden surfaces 280 Small concrete pavers 284 Medium concrete pavers

Use: Use: Use:

Walking surfaces in parks, on Sidewalks in the garden and Sidewalks in the garden and
bridges, etc. modernist city modernist city, some sidewalks in
Usually outside the historical city the compact city

277 Wooden surfaces 281 Small concrete pavers 285 Large concrete pavers

Use: Use: Use:

Walking surface in parks, on Sidewalks in the garden and Walking surfaces of terraces,
bridges, in sidewalk cafes, patios, modernist city rooftops, squares in the outskirts
Usually outside the historical city

278 Wooden surfaces 282 Medium concrete pavers 286 Large concrete pavers

Use: Use: Use:

Stairs, edging Sidewalks in the garden and Walking surfaces of terraces,
modernist city, some sidewalks in rooftops, squares in the outskirts
the compact city

279 Large–area wooden surfaces 283 Medium concrete pavers

Use: Use:
Floating piers, waterfronts, etc. Sidewalks in the garden and
modernist city, some sidewalks in
the compact city

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 153
Materials and surfaces 1
Examples of surfaces and their use 3

[ alternative paving ] [ monolithic/poured surfaces ]

287 Large slabs for movement 291 Monolithic (poured) 295 Smoothed pigmented asphalt
over an unpaved surface concrete surface
Use: Use: Quality sidewalks
Parks, lawns Pedestrian zones, squares in the
As a rule outside the modernist city
historical city

288 Large slabs for movement 292 Monolithic (poured) 296 Soft rubber surface
over an unpaved surface concrete surface
Use: Use: Playgrounds
Parks, lawns Skateparks Usually only outside the
As a rule outside the Usually in the modernist city historical city
historical city

289 Pavers with grassed joints 293 Asphalt 297 Shaped monolithic surfaces
of playgrounds
Under rows of trees, parking lots, Use: Use:
sidewalks in the garden city Sidewalks, roadways with heavy Playgrounds
motor–vehicle traffic Usually only outside the
historical city

290 Brick pavers 294 Pigmented asphalt

Use: Use:
Sidewalks in the garden and Busy sidewalks in parks, cycling
modernist city lanes and so on

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

154 D Elements
1 Materials and surfaces
3 Examples of surfaces and their use

[ tactile elements for the visually impaired ]

298 An appropriate way to 302 Use of a paving slabs for 306 Excellent and aesthetic
integrate tactile elements into the signal and warning strips in design of guiding lines and signal
historical city is to use signal strip a historical environment strips appropriate for important
pavers with regular projections, as [ Kolín, Karlovo náměstí ] and busy spaces
such pavers correspond with the [ Japan, Tokyo ]
surrounding surfaces in material
and colour
[ Prague 7, Bubeneč ]

299 Pavers with regular 303 Guiding lines in the form of 307 A design option for a warning
projections in combination with grooves cut into smooth paving strip that changes the structure
smooth granite pavers guarantee slabs imbedded in the rough of the surface without the need to
sufficient contrast in compliance surface of a sidewalk use a different type of pavement
with standards and provide for [ Austria, Vienna ] [ Great Britain, London ]
sufficient differentiation without
visually degrading the historical
[ Lázně Bohdaneč ]

300 Tactile contrast achieved 304 Guiding lines in the form

by imbedding smooth pavers in of grooves cut into the smooth
a rough surface. This solution paving slabs on a sidewalk
is not in compliance with Czech [ Ostrava, Svinov ]
regulations, however
[ Lázně Bohdaneč ]
↗ §! Decree No. 398/2009 Coll.,
on general technical requirements
ensuring barrier–free use of buildings.

301 An example of a signal strip 305 Guiding lines are placed

that is made of the same material along the edge of a pedestrian
as that of the surrounding crossing and project out of the
surface but has a different roadway. This solution is at
surface structure. This design is variance with Czech regulations
appropriate in heritage zones and [ Austria, Vienna ]
reservations where the contrast ↗ §! Decree No. 398/2009 Coll.,
requirement is not mandatory on general technical requirements
[ Great Britain, London ] ensuring barrier–free use of buildings.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 155
Materials and surfaces 1
Examples of surfaces and their use 3

[ kerbs ]
308 Interlocking granite kerb 312 Kerb for sitting 316 Steel park edging

Use: Use: Use:

Historical and compact city Parks and squares Parks

309 Tilted granite kerb 313 Kerb for sitting

Use: Use:
Parking bays in the historical and Parks and playgrounds
compact city

310 Multi–tier granite kerb 314 Edge formed by raised surface

Use: Use:
Access to raised intersections and Parks and playgrounds
easy–access stops

311 Imbedded granite kerb 315 Example of a possible

unusual solution to an edge
Shared space

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Elements D 157
Trees and vegetation 2

D.2  Trees and vegetation

Trees and vegetation are an important element of public Many trees and mixed growth in the city are a result of
spaces. They regulate extreme temperatures in the natural regeneration or are the remnants of the original
city, promote favourable circulation and air humidity, vegetation of the open countryside. These elements
reduce dust, provide shade, produce oxygen, absorb need to be properly assessed, and if worth it, included in
CO2, represent nature in the city, act as a biotope for the overall design. To this end, a detailed dendrological
other species, mediate the changes of the seasons and (tree) survey needs to be carried out and evaluated.
improve the aesthetics of the surroundings. They help Respecting and consciously utilising natural
compensate for the negative impacts of automobile processes leads both to greater environment value
traffic and the overheated urban environment. The of urban greenery and to lower implementation and
If water is available and if specific species of plants that are represented are maintenance costs. At the same time, user requirements
an integral part of the identity of a place and of the need to be taken into account and tried–and–tested
a tree is healthy, a mature broader landscape created by the local climate. technological procedures need to be observed.
If properly considered and correctly used, they
tree is able to transpire can be used to compensate for the negative impact
of the annexation of the open landscape caused
Trees and vegetation are living
up to 200 litres of water by urbanisation and create a full–fledged liveable
organisms, developing and growing
environment where it is possible to regenerate one’s
a day and effectively spiritual strength. Big trees are the best for this. over time. Their proper establishment
regulate temperature in the Trees and vegetation, being living elements,
has to be followed up with a proper
develop dynamically in time and space. A good system of care. Annual costs and
surroundings by changing system of care, which influences the development
methods of financing have to already
of trees and vegetation during their lives, is just as
water to water vapour. important as proper establishment. This continuity be addressed during the design stage.
will not be ensured simply through proper design
documentation. Other tools — such as a detailed
inventory, binding care plan and the involvement of Essential to the vitality of trees and vegetation and
future users in project preparations — are important. the quality of the service they provide is availability
The corresponding care for public spaces with of water, which needs to be addressed in connection
vegetation, especially parks, is expensive. Enumerating the with decentralised drainage — see Stormwater
costs of care for vegetation and the manner of financing management →[C.2.8/p. 116]. In the case of important
should be addressed in the concept phase. It is essential green spaces, permanent artificial irrigation can
that the proposed design and care plan be linked.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

158 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
1 Trees

D.2.1  Trees
be considered. Service water from natural water For trees to be healthy and safe important for the public realm. Such trees are usually
sources in Prague should be given priority. part of private property and their protection or shared
and to survive until maturity, care has to be the subject of a voluntary agreement.
Trees in the street should not be replaced with small trees sufficient space has to be given to Where appropriate, trees that have grown
or bushes in mobile containers. Trees used in this way spontaneously can be use. Such trees can be a rejuvenating
have a much lower benefit for the environment and the
their roots and a sufficient area and vital element of the urban environment.
care costs are much higher. Their use in the city is only for the infiltration of rainwater.
ancillary and subject to much the same principles as Street If conditions allow, large or medium–sized species
furniture →[D.5/p. 207]. They are useful in semi–public of trees must be given priority. Their environmental
restricted spaces or in residential streets. Due to their benefits (evaporation, transpiration and shade) is much
Trees have both a spatial and
higher maintenance costs, their care should be entrusted greater than in the case of small species of trees.
to and agreed with the owners of the adjacent buildings. symbolic importance. If we use a tree as a solitary feature, its appearance
Green façades should also not be considered a substitute is of primary importance. It must look good from all
for trees. Climbing plants planted alongside façades facing sides, as it is the focus point of the space. In such
empty lots and in industrial zones are a welcome addition Characteristics, role and importance case, the tree chosen in the nursery by the designer is
to trees, but cannot fully replace them. It is important Tree play an important role in the city. As solitary trees, of the greatest importance. The rules for using trees
that the climbing plant be planted directly into the as Rows, alleys and groups of trees →[D.2.2/p. 165], in groups are discussed in the chapter entitled Rows,
ground or at least be given sufficient space for rooting. If bosquets or stands. They have a spatial as well as symbolic alleys and groups of trees →[D.2.2/p. 165].
planted at the base of a building, climbing plants should importance. They can act as representatives of a specific
not be placed nearer than 0.5 metres from the façade. kind of tree or stand alone as individuals. People can
develop a strong emotional tie to trees. Trees are not
Trees in public spaces contribute
An integrated public space design requires that close only an architectural and compositional element, but
cooperation with specialists start during the conceptual also a part of nature, the biotope. Their individual value substantially to the liveability of space
phase of the design process. If the design is to contain increases proportionally to their size and age. Their and to a healthier environment.
environmental, socio–ecological and landscape presence in the city generally contributes greatly to
aspects, the participation of a landscape architect the liveability of space and a healthier environment.
should be arranged in all of the phases of the project. Trees do much to help to integrate buildings
into the structure of the city and landscape, Basic conditions for planting trees
provided a landscaping concept is prepared. in the public realm
The possibility of using existing trees must be
Trees in public spaces grow either directly in the street or checked responsibly with the designer during the
their canopy enters the space from neighbouring gardens, project preparation phase. A dendrological (tree)
front gardens and courtyards. The latter case is just as survey has to be one of studies performed.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 159
Trees and vegetation 2
Trees 1

The exact planting technology is determined by “This space is the space required for the root permeable to water and air has to be used[D.2_03].
the landscape design part of the construction system of the planted tree to grow. The size of the Under more favourable spatial conditions, the issue
documentation. The planting of trees in the space has to correspond to the size of the taxon. of water should be dealt with in connection with
specific environmental conditions of the city is The surface around the tree has to be unpaved or decentralised drainage concept — see Stormwater
governed by the following rules and principles: permanently permeable to air and water and be management →[C.2.8/p. 116]. On the other hand,
at least 6 m2. The root space has to have a surface protection against salinisation and inundation
—— Assess the site and, based on the assessment: area of 16 m2 and be at least 800 mm[D.2_01]. If the of the root system has to be addressed.
a) propose an improvement to the site conditions size of the root space is not sufficient, it has to be
b) choose suitable species, varieties and enlarged (technical solutions include using structural —— Ensure the use of healthy plants that are
cultivars for the specific conditions substrates when laying paved surfaces, creating intended for use in the urban environment
root tunnels, connecting ditches and green strips,
Urban space usually does not have ideal conditions installing aeration systems, and so on)” ↗[SPPK It is important that plants be checked, especially the
for growth and long–term development of trees. A02, paragraph 2.2.10][D.2_02]. If the root space does quality of the root ball. The quality criteria are set out
These conditions almost always have to be created. not meet these criteria, the planted tree has to be in AOPK standards ↗[SPPK A02, paragraph 3.1][D.2_02]
Just as important is the selection of a species of considered a temporary planting ↗[SPPK A02, and have to be set out in the design documentation.
tree whose resilience to the negative effects of the paragraph 2.2.13][D.2_02]. When planning utilities, The supplier has to be able to document the origin of
urban environment has been verified and whose sufficient space underground has to be ensured – the plants and the fulfilment of protection measures
size corresponds to the parameters space. This see Underground utilities →[D.3.1/p. 180]. during transport ↗[SPPK A02, paragraph 4.1][D.2_02].
choice takes priority over the historical context Material originating from regions with similar
or the requirement for a native or traditional tree. —— Ensure a sufficient surface area for climatic conditions have to be given priority.
In historically protected spaces, the taxon should the infiltration of rainwater
be chosen based on the concept for the heritage —— Ensure that planting is carried out in the
reservation or zone — see Rows, alleys and groups of Such surface area has to be unpaved. If paved, technologically correct way →[s22 Typical planting
trees →[D.2.2/p. 165]. There are a great number pavers have to be placed on a dry base course of a tree/p. 163] including choice of appropriate
of varieties. Some varieties require an exact and have a wide joint, or some other cover that is protection measures against negative effects in the city
specification of the cultivar. The typical form of the
original variety is retained by only some cultivars. [D.2_01]   ↗ ČSN 83 9021. Technologie vegetačních úprav v krajině: Planting has to be carried out by a professional
Rostliny a jejich výsadba [Vegetation technology in landscaping: Plants company with competent supervision. Proper
—— Ensure sufficient space for the tree; the root and plant care]. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–02. planting is required for the tree to take root, remain
space has to be properly aerated and able to [D.2_02]   ↗ Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Lesnická a dřevařská in good health and be safe. Basic planting standards
accommodate a proper root system, something fakulta. SPPK A02 001:2013. Standardy péče o přírodu
that is required if the tree is to prosper. a krajinu: Arboristické standardy: Výsadba stromů [Standards
of care for nature and the landscape: Arboretum standards. [D.2_03]   ↗ City of Prague Decree No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague
Brno: Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, 2013, 48 pp. building regulations: Annex No. 1: Trees and utilities.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

160 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
1 Trees

have to be observed.[D.2_04] The basic measures to mulching.[D.2_05] If a tree dies, the causes have to be Protecting the trees, their crowns, trunks and
ensure protection against negative elements include: identified, and if the situation allows, the dead tree roots during construction work is necessary.[D.2_06]
an appropriate anchoring system; protection of should be replaced, ideally by the same taxon. It is also important to respect the root zones →[s26
the trunk against sunscald using, e.g., a reed matt Protection of an existing tree/p. 165].
or coating; raising the kerb in the parking strip
as protection against contaminated water; use of Tree protection and care
protective guards around the trunk against damage A tree changes character during its lifetime, as it is
Construction work around trees has
by mowers or string trimmers; protection against soil a living, dynamic element. In addition to the exact
compaction, which prevents infiltration, by using specification of the tree and the way it should be planted, to be supervised by a specialist.
protective grates, bollards, guardrails, mineral mulch it is also necessary to determine the type of maintenance
or semipermeable self–binding gravel. A permanent work to be carried out and the silvicultural goal (e.g.,
vertical grate can be installed to protect the trunk cultivation and target height of the trunk, thinning and, If possible, the root zone should be fenced to protect it. Any
against dog urine and mechanical damage. in the case of temporary trees, timeframe for removal). construction work that has to take place in this space —
It is imperative that the project and the care plan be vehicles driving over the unpaved surface, backfilling, and
—— Ensure that newly planted trees are cared for linked — the project usually deals with the conditions of excavation — has to be carried out based on tree protection
investment, which is considered finished once the use measures set out in the project and under the supervision
There is a difference between finishing care, which permit is issued, and what happens after is often not dealt of a qualified expert who will specify the conditions and
is part of supply, and development care, which with at all. A specific care plan, should be drawn up for protective measures, undertake a preliminary examination
follows and builds on finishing care. Of particular big parks and public spaces with significant amounts of of the root system, and carry out any direct treatment of
importance is ensuring continuity. Care comprises greenery to allow coordination of the various activities the roots or branches. If major intervention is expected, the
all interventions necessary to ensure proper growth and ensure that they correspond to long–term objectives. tree should be prepared for it at least one year in advance.
of the tree, such as formative pruning, control and Trees are often damaged by the users of public spaces For root examination and excavation for the purposes of
removal of anchoring and protective elements, (parking, taking out waste containers, pouring out laying cables, the non–destructive “air–spade” technology
watering, fertilisation, soil aeration, weeding, contaminated water and solutions into the planting area, (excavation using high–pressure air) and soil removal
disease and pest protection, frost protection, and dogs urinating on trees, etc.). In addition to properly by vacuum should be used. Any excavation work that
designed protective measures, educating the public and takes place within 2.5 m of a tree jeopardises the life
promoting participation in the preparation of the project, the tree and substantially reduces operational safety.
[D.2_04]   ↗ ČSN 83 9021. Technologie vegetačních úprav v krajině:
especially when arranging care for the trees, is important.
Rostliny a jejich výsadba [Vegetation technology in landscaping:
Plants and plant care]. Prague Český normalizační institut, [D.2_06]   For the principles of tree care see
2006–02. a ↗ Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Forestry and [D.2_05]   ↗ Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Forestry and ↗ ČSN DIN 18 920. Sadovnictví a krajinářství: Ochrana
Wood Technology. SPPK A02 001:2013. Standardy péče o přírodu Wood Technology. SPPK A02 001:2013. Standardy péče o přírodu stromů, porostů a ploch pro vegetaci při stavebních činnostech
a krajinu: Arboristické standardy: Výsadba stromů stromů [Standards a krajinu: Arboristické standardy: Výsadba stromů [Standards of [Vegetation technology in landscaping — Protection of
of care for nature and the landscape: Arboretum standards]. care for nature and the landscape: Arboretum standards: Planting trees, plantations and vegetation areas during construction
Brno: Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, 2013, 48 pp. trees]. Brno: Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, 2013, 48 pp work]. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 1997–02.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 161
Trees and vegetation 2
Trees 1

[ rules: trees ]
Utility lines should be laid using vacuum excavation and Trees growing in front gardens, Trees must be given sufficient
protective pipes and, if possible, below the root system. adjoining gardens and courtyards space for water infiltration and
whose canopies extend into the rooting. The minimum space
Any and all contact with the root space street or square should be seen for infiltration is 6 m2 and the
has to be recorded in the tree inventory. as part of the public space and minimum space for rooting is
treated accordingly. an area of 16 m2 and a depth of
0.8 m.
The salt contained in melting snow is harmful to a tree
and reduces its lifespan. Protection options are limited.
The best solution is to use inert material, such as sand,
instead of salt on roads to ensure survival of the tree. If
In terms of height at maturity, If the natural root space is
there is no other choice, less toxic calcium chloride should trees can be categorised as small insufficient, certain technical
be used, contaminated snow should be diligently removed (up to 10 m), medium (10—15 m) measures have to be taken or the
or the planting space of each tree should be rinsed each and large (over 15 m). planted tree has to be seen as
Large trees should be given temporary and then replaced after
spring one to three times with 100 l of clean water. priority in the city. a certain period of time.

According to the Environmental Sometimes it becomes necessary

Protection Department, to plant a tree in the technical
replacement planting should infrastructure zone. In such
correspond to the long–term case, the feasibility of the
policy, such as the one set out in planting has to be checked
the General Tree Alley Plan. with the appropriate technical
→[D.2.2 Rows, alleys and groups of infrastructure manager and
trees/p. 165] specific protective measures

Trees used in the public space Planted trees need to be protected

have to be of the corresponding against overwatering by proper
quality. A qualified supervisor layout and grading.
should check the trees to be

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

162 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
1 Trees

[ rules: trees ] [ examples: trees ]

Trees need to be planted by Excavation work in the root zone
professionals, and measures that will lead to root removal
to protect the tree against may take place no nearer than
mechanical and chemical damage 2.5 m from the trunk of the tree.
have to start being introduced in If a utility line is to be replaced or
the design phase. reconstructed, a non–excavation
method or the air–spade method
should be given priority.

The minimum distance of the Any construction work in the root

planted tree from a root obstacle zone has to take place under the
is 60 cm for a small tree and supervision of a specialist.
80 cm for a large tree.

317 Trees in the public realm increase its liveability

[ Prague 1, plaza at the intersection of Dlouhá, Kozí, V Kolkovně and Masná ]

A tree is a living organism and 318 Future generations will likely

as such develops over time. enjoy shade from this tree. The
Determining the silvicultural rooting space extends past the
goal and the way to achieve this visible infiltration surface
goal — i.e., the choice of a suitable [ Brno, Moravské náměstí ]
silvicultural treatment —
is an integral part of the design.

A tree needs to be protected 319 Protection of the planting

properly during construction strip against compaction using
work. The root zone has to be gravel mulch
surrounded by a high fence. If [ Germany, Leipzig ]
construction work has to take
place in the root zone, an arborist
should determine the means for
protecting the trunk, root system
and crown.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 163
Trees and vegetation 2
Trees 1

[ diagram: trees ]
323 An example of an unacceptable
change to the level of the ground
where the tree lost most of its
root system
[ Prague ]

324 Unacceptable but common

practice. Material stored in
a tree’s protective strip
[ Prague ]

320 The advantage of certain climbing plants is that they grow quickly
if planted against the appropriate supporting construction. They can
thus be a welcome addition to trees
[ Prague 5, Radlická ]

321 Integration of parking and

rows of trees; the wide joints of
the pavers off the sidewalk allow f
infiltration of water
[ Brno, Hlinky ]

s22 Typical planting of a tree

a Trunk protection, e.g., using a reed mat

b Mulch 8—10 cm, must not come in contact with the trunk
322 The rough soil structure
prevents compaction and ensures c Top soil 30—40 cm
oxygenation. At the same time, it d Bottom layer of soil — must not contain organic parts
can be paved like unmade ground e The depth of the hole corresponds to the height of the root ball
f The bottom must be permeable. Otherwise drainage has to be
installed to drain water from the root ball
g Width of hole at 1.5 times the width of the root ball

The wall of the hole must be roughened.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

164 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
1 Trees

[ diagram: trees ]

s23 Staking a tree s24 Anchoring a tree by the root ball s25 Example of separating mulch from the lawn using metal edging

a 10 cm a Mulch
b Straps used to tie trunk tied to three struts b At least 75 mm
c The bottom wooden struts protect the tree from urinating dogs c 1 m

The stakes must not be hammered into the root ball.
The tension of the straps must be checked regularly to prevent

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 165
Trees and vegetation 2
Rows, alleys and groups of trees 2

D.2.2  Rows, alleys and groups of trees

The benefits of mature trees — especially or age of tree or by the distance of the trees from each other
or the dependence on a road. Conversely, an alley of trees
their ability to provide shade and cool the is typologically more clear–cut: it is primarily a space that
environment and thereby compensate comprises two rows of trees flanking an “important” path,
usually pedestrian. An alley of trees creates an important
for the negative impacts of extensive urban element in the city and an axis in the landscape.
paved areas — exceed the negatives The trees that form an alley are usually of the same
of falling leaves, fruits and other debris. species and age. Other attributes of an alley include
regular rhythm, a unified space and clear direction.
A tree–lined street constitutes a row of trees lining
a street, and as an urban element only rarely does
Rows, alleys and groups of trees should be seen as both it achieve the same importance as an alley of trees.
g integral landscape elements and compositional elements An avenue is usually made up of a single species,
of urban space. Planning methods and technological but there are tree–lined streets that are made up of
procedures should be modified accordingly. a number of species or varieties, but only rarely is this
planned. If seen, it usually means that the original row
of trees is being replaced with a different kind of tree.
Rows and alleys of trees In certain situations, a row of trees can be the right
According to the appropriate standard[D.2_07] a row of solution, but it all depends on the urban composition,
trees is defined as “trees, usually of one kind, planted the presence of valuable solitary trees (most often in
in a row and spaced at regular intervals”. Rows of the historical city and in the original cores of rural
s26 Protection of an existing tree trees are often combined with a linear element or settlement, in housing estates), etc., and should not
building (e.g., stream, road, fencing or property be proposed automatically or across–the–board.
a Root zone (b+c) = tree protection zone border). The same standard then defines an alley of
b Diameter of crown of tree
trees as “two or more rows of trees along a road”.
c + 1,5 m
d Protection of the trunk using wooden sheathing If referring to rows and alleys of trees as architectural Bosquets and composed groups
e Excavation using a non–destructive method (air–spade) elements, then rows of trees can be defined as a group Of trees in public space
f Original terrain of trees whose primary attribute is rhythm and linearity. Trees are able to define a space using the same
g New level of terrain A row of trees need not be characterised by a single species means as architecture. This can be in the form of
a regular grid of trees with a high and thin canopy
If a tree loses more than 40 % of its root system, irreversible damage [D.2_07]   ↗ ČSN 83 9001. Sadovnictví a krajinářství: Terminologie: covering the entire public space, or a group of smaller,
occurs and the tree dies. Základní odborné termíny a definice [Vegetation technology in shady trees in the middle of a sunny square.
Heavy machinery must not be used in a tree’s protective zone. landscaping — Terminology — Fundamental special terms and
Material should not be stored in a tree’s protective zone. definitions]. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 1999–06.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

166 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
2 Rows, alleys and groups of trees

Natural–looking groves and stands Renewal of alleys and rows of trees should ideally be Tree avenues in heritage zones should be planted
These are usually naturally growing trees creating carried out at once as part of the overall reconstruction in planting strips made of semi–permeable self–
a more or less homogenous group. These types of of the street. Only then can the technical infrastructure binding gravel or covered with a cast–iron grid.
groups can be used as a link to the countryside. In be re–laid, sufficient rooting area in the street ensured, If self–binding gravel is used, regular care of the
certain contexts, they can be a revitalising element in suitable conditions for the development of new plantings planting strip has to be guaranteed so that it remains
a busy urban space. They give an air of authenticity. created and their sufficient lifespan guaranteed. This permeable and material is not washed out.
comprehensive renewal has to be planned well in
advance, coordinated in a timely manner with other A General Prague Tree Alley Plan that will propose
Mixed groups of planted trees investment plans (especially with installation and such an tree alley concept in Prague that will
without a clear concept reconstruction of technical infrastructure). Wherever be accepted and systematically fulfilled has to
A group of trees that usually lacks a logical layout or a one–off renewal is impossible, the planted tree should be prepared — see  General analytical, strategic
species composition that would point to a clear artistic be of the same kind as the trees forming the alley (this and methodological documents →[Prague Public Space
or spatial concept or to an effort to approximate nature. does not apply if the taxon of the alley should be replaced Development Strategy/Proposal/par./p. 10].
Such plantings are problematic, as they weaken the and this process is scheduled into a number of stages).
character of a place and have no connection to the It is worth identifying those streets in which the In streets that are more than 18 m wide, trees 4—6 m
landscape. They are also of no greater environmental renewal of the trees lining the street can be carried from the façade of multi–storey building should be
value, nor do they have a successful aesthetic out at once and streets where only gradual renewal proposed. Wherever this is not possible, large trees
function. They are quite common, however. is possible. Streets where it is technically possible to may be planted closer to the buildings, provided
establish rows of trees in the future and where it is useful an appropriate species of tree is chosen and the crown
to arrange space for them should also be identified. of the tree is cared for properly (limbed–up trunk and
Basic conditions thinned crown). The spacing of the trees in a tree–
Tree–lined streets and alleys should be proposed in the Wherever important historical alleys and rows of trees lined street should be 6—20 m, but it should also be
context of whole quarters or districts, and in the case of have been preserved, their renewal should respect the a multiple of parking spots, driveways included.
exceptionally important alleys of trees, in the city–wide species and shape. In such case, it is worth modifying
context. They should help unify the space on the scale the conditions of the site to suit this species, even if The canopy of trees in a street usually extends into the
of the street and in terms of the logical structuring of the costs are higher. For urban units that are part of roadway or pedestrian areas. In such case, it has to be
the city on the city–wide level. The approach is similar the city’s historical reservation and heritage zone, possible to limb–up the trees up to the target height of
to solitary trees and groups of trees. Whereas on the the approach has to be based on a mutual agreement the crown base, which is at least 4.5 m above the roadway
local level they act as a focal point or dominant feature between the tree alley managers and the heritage and 2.5 m above the sidewalk. The target height of the
of a space, on the city level, if they repeat and their authorities, so that the often contradictory requirements crown base should be proportionate to the scale of the
basic characteristics are the same (species, shaping and of respect for the historical context and resilience to street and the possibilities allowed by the chosen shape
position), they can play an important role as a typical the demanding conditions of the city are fulfilled. of the tree. The species and silvicultural form of the tree
element characterising the district or the city as a whole. should allow the tree to be limbed–up to the target height.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 167
Trees and vegetation 2
Rows, alleys and groups of trees 2

[ rules: rows, alleys and groups of trees ]

Rows of trees and bosquets should be used as a means The kind of tree chosen for a tree A correctly laid out group of trees is
to integrate parking lots into their surroundings. To alley should have a straight able to create compositions using
trunk that can be limbed–up and the same means as architecture.
allow for an equal distribution of trees in a parking should be able to withstand the Some square can be “roofed
lot, the layout should be such that there is one tree for harsher conditions of the urban over” by an interwoven canopy,
every five parking spots. The minimum limit is one tree environment. thereby contributing to creating
public spaces that offer numerous
for every eight parking spots in a parking lot.[D.2_08] possibilities.
When building structures under public spaces,
a sufficient amount of earth should be left to allow
trees to be planted and grow successfully. This
Cohesive alleys of tree should be If underground premises have to
applies even if there is no plan to plant trees at the renewed all at once as part of the be constructed along the planting
time, as the lifespan of underground structures general reconstruction of a street. axis or under other locations that
tends to be longer than the lifespan of frontage. Renewal should be possible even may be suitable for planting trees
if the subsequently installed in the future, then they have to be
utility lines extend into the tree designed to allow medium–sized
planting zone. and large trees to be planted.
A sufficient depth of soil has to be

Tree–line streets need to be If a tree crown extends over the

planned in the context of roadway, the base of the crown
an entire district or the city. must not be lower than 4.5 m.
When determining replacement Over a sidewalk, this limit is
plantings under specific projects, 2.5 m. This height is attained by
it is always necessary to base the gradually limbing up the tree as
concept on the General Tree Alley part of the tree’s development
Plan. If not, then the planting has care.
to be designed at least with regard
to the entire street or linear urban
spatial structure.

Medium–sized or large trees

should be planted in parking lots.
The appropriate ratio is one tree
to every five parking spots, so that
the crowns of the equally spaced
trees meet to form a canopy,
thereby achieving the effect of
[D.2_08]   ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague a bosquet.
Building Regulations: Section 33: Form and character of parking.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

168 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
2 Rows, alleys and groups of trees

[ examples: rows, alleys and groups of trees ]

325 A natural looking poplar tree grove in the suburbs that blends 327 Trees in a parking lot favourably influence the quality of the space 329 Use of natural spontaneous growth
well into the surrounding landscape [ Germany, Berlin ] [ Germany, Berlin ]
[ France, Amiens ]

326 If properly cared for and maintained, large trees can be placed as 328 An exemplary use of trees as a secondary entrance gate. The place 330 Taking into account the local context when designing public
near as 3—4 m from a building façade forms a single visual, architectural and spatial unit space. The planting is evocative of a birch grove
[ France, Paris ] [ Prague 1, Františkánská zahrada ] [ Germany, Berlin ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 169
Trees and vegetation 2
Rows, alleys and groups of trees 2

[ diagrams ]

d H 2O

331 A tree alley creates an interior space and accentuates the path
[ Prague 4 ]

s27 Placement of root barriers

a The root barrier must be no closer than 0.5 m from the axis of
the trunk
b The root barrier prevents roots growing into areas where they are
not wanted Slope

Installing the root barrier too near the trunk could result in the
tree becoming unstable in strong wind, as the roots will grow in
one direction only.
s28 Example of placement of a planting strip in the parking zone
c 0,5—1,5 m
d Free development of roots outside the root barrier a If possible, modify to the width of the machinery used
e Minimum possible distance corresponds to the utility line b Raised by 0.15 m — helps prevent soil contamination
buffer zone c Extension of the rooting space — 16 m2

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

170 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
3 Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes

D.2.3  Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes

In the case of each growth, it has and hollows, the floodplain of the Vltava River Basic principles of using shrub and herbaceous
and its tributaries, fragments of the agricultural plant growth and biotopes
to be determined whether the landscape), which together form forest and The design should not be limited only to a landscaping
aim is a clearly formed element or non–forest biotopes, natural or cultivated. or environmental concept, but it should consciously
—— To a important degree, they also fill in undefined make use of both approaches or a synthesis thereof.
a natural, changeable process. or hard–to–define urban spaces, termed vague Often it is more important to design the paved surfaces
spaces, without the clear attributes of a public and architectural elements surrounding the green
space or preserved recreational landscape (road elements to provide an architectural framework or to
buffer zones, brownfields, residual spaces, spaces work with a creative theme, e.g., through a work of art,
Characteristics, role and meaning after demolition, abandoned spaces of the original than to actually form and modify the plant elements. This
In this manual, shrub and herbaceous plant growth and fragmented open landscape), where they appear in is important especially in the case of an environmental
biotopes mean all surfaces that have biologically active the form of filler of a technical character, spontaneous concept. It is necessary to draw attention to, or provide
soil with vegetation growing in it and that cannot be growth, natural seeding and older landscape relicts. information about, the natural detail and ensure that
designated as lawns (turf). This means shrubs, bushes, it is viewed undisturbed. Such approach requires
ground–covering bushes and plants, hedges, shade– This is always living growth that develops and a thematically unified landscaping and creative design of
tolerant plants, perennial flowerbeds and herbaceous changes over time. From this perspective, the planting the entire space and an effective method of communication
borders, intensive ornamental flowerbeds and gardens, but objective may be a clearly defined element that needs with future users (including the public in the project,
also high growth with different storeys, including trees. to be formed and maintained or a natural process that conducting an information and awareness campaign).
They can be combined and created into a whole range controls itself through auto–regulatory mechanisms
of possibilities. They can assume an architectural shape and random events. The first concept is the domain In heavily used spaces, such as streets and squares or
in the case of topiary or can be left to grow naturally. of traditional landscaping and gardening; the second in certain municipal districts, the spaces should be
the domain of the ecological (or environmental) unequivocally protected and restricted through the
Growth and biotopes can be found in the approach. Certain contemporary gardening elements, use of a kerb, bench or fence, to prevent their being
city in very different situations: such as flowerbeds, have been transformed recently trodden and to better define the space designated for
with regard to new population and environmental plants. This is important especially if it is not possible
—— They are the basic materials of city parks or gardens findings (i.e., perennial plantings with a greater degree to provide intensive gardening care or where “wilder”
together with trees, lawns and other elements. of autoregulation and extensive maintenance, annuals forms of vegetation have been used. These elements
—— They can be part of a street in the form of planting from direct sowing) and environmental ethics (sowing should have a clear artistic form and be subject to
strips (verges) and parterres and can be similarly of meadows with regional seed mixes, moisture–tolerant the overall composition of the public space.
integrated in the spaces of squares, usually plants in the decentralised drainage system, etc.).
in the form of clearly defined flowerbeds. Shrub and herbaceous plant growth and biotopes should
—— They are an important part of the preserved be used in a whole range of combinations with the aim of
landscapes that enter the city (forested hillsides making utmost use of their creative potential, e.g.: using

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 171
Trees and vegetation 2
Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes 3

a greater number of ground–covering plants with solitary Plantings with a natural species composition should to arrange for the corresponding surveys during the
bushes instead of a contiguous row of shrubs; trimmed be used in urban spaces that are not part of liveable concept phase: dendrological (shrub) surveys and,
hedges in contrast with freely growing plants, such as public spaces and that cannot or should not be used possibly, phytocoenological and biological (biotope
annuals and perennials sown directly into the ground; for such purpose, e.g., road safety buffers, to reinforce spaces) surveys. It is necessary to assess the site and,
and flower meadows that highlight the seasons, attract water management functions and environmental based on the assessment, propose an improvement to
butterflies and other insects and make the space more aspects. Autoregulation processes made possible by the site conditions and determine the suitable species
attractive, aesthetic, environmental and educational. such plantings promote biodiversity. Spaces with such and varieties of plants for planting or sowing.
Diverse flower meadows and beds with a natural character plantings are better linked to the open landscape and During construction work, the sites where
should be combined with additional information. are easier and less costly to maintain. Specific–purpose plants are to be planted need to be protected
In addition to artistic criteria (structure of shrubs, technical plantings alone are inappropriate. Taking against soil compaction and contamination.
species combinations with regard to flowering season into account environmental criteria does not mean that
and colour, the relationship between non–living these spaces should be allowed to become overgrown,
materials and plants, and smell), ecological and however. In Prague, whose surroundings have historically Care
environmental criteria (nesting birds, support for been without forests, it is in fact important to focus The conditions for care, maintenance and development
diversity, infiltration of rainwater) need to be taken on maintaining grassy biotopes, which are usually should be set out in the care and maintenance plan
into account along with semantic criteria (use of species–rich and increase biodiversity substantially. developed for each park or group of public spaces. It is
traditional species of plants that are part of local or always necessary to arrange for appropriate professional
European culture) and biotechnical criteria (suitable monitoring, including a preliminary assessment
species for the respective environmental conditions). Basic establishment conditions and proposal for management modification.
As the plant elements included in this chapter
Shrubs in public spaces — such as streets, squares and are very diverse, it is not possible to stipulate the
city parks — have their place, help to break up the space, exact conditions for establishing them. Generally
bring detail, change according to the seasons and attract speaking, the same conditions that apply to Trees
birds. They can be used where it is not possible to plant →[D.2.1/p. 158] apply to bushes; in the case of
a tree. Their use, however, has to make provisions herbaceous plant growth and biotopes, the conditions
for their negative aspect: they can form hidden spots set out in the chapter entitled Lawns →[D.2.4/p. 174]
that lack sufficient social control and security. They and professional standards apply.[D.2_09]
are also appropriate as part of private front gardens It is worth determining the value of existing growth
and wherever it is possible to guarantee proper care and the possibility of using it. It is usually necessary
and maintenance. They should not be used in those
places where these conditions cannot be guaranteed. [D.2_09]   ↗ ČSN 83 9021. Technologie vegetačních úprav v krajině:
Rostliny a jejich výsadba [Vegetation technology in landscaping: Plants
and plant care]. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–02.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

172 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
3 Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes

[ rules: shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes ] [ examples: shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes ]
Biotopes and other natural growth Building front gardens that are 332 A successful combination of
have their own natural beauty protected by a fence or wall, are native shrub willows reminiscent
that residents often do not notice. not anonymous and are cared for of a river landscape by
The architect has to find ways to and maintained by the building a playground
mediate this beauty. owner or user are good places for [ Germany, Berlin ]
flowering shrubs and plants.

Involving the public through In some spaces, especially where

educational events for families, the greenery has no specific
observing transformation, recreational purpose, the growth
e.g., of a flowering meadow, should approximate nature and
is the best way to ensure positive be designed to require as little
acceptance and reinforce maintenance as possible.
perception of natural elements
in one’s surroundings.

If shrubs and herbaceous plant It is always necessary to properly

growth or biotopes are part assess existing vegetation and
of busy public spaces, they apply its potential in the design.
need to be clearly defined and
protected by the appropriate
structural design.

Shrubs should not be proposed Shrub and herbaceous

if it is not possible to secure plant growth and biotopes
sufficient social control and require regular monitoring
corresponding care and and professional care and
maintenance of the public space. maintenance.

333 A solitary shrub surrounded by low groundcover is an example of

the many uses of shrubs in the city
[ Germany, Leipzig ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 173
Trees and vegetation 2
Shrub and herbaceous plant biotopes 3

336 Annuals sowed directly into 339 Some beds or biotopes

the ground are an attractive and are best combined with
cheap option. They should not be information. They then function as
used at the boundary between the an exposition and can be used to
city and the open landscape to educate and raise awareness.
prevent the risk of dissemination [ Prague 3, Jičínská ]
of non–native species into the

337 Shrubs planted in places

where it is necessary to maintain
good visibility. They could be
replaced with groundcover
[ Germany, Berlin ]

334 A herbaceous bed, established with thorough knowledge

of the ecological relationships among plants, makes use of natural
growth dynamics
[ Prague 3, Jičínská ]

335 Cleary defined shrub growth in a front garden located in a side street 338 Effective and at the same time aesthetically successful use of 340 Even an ordinary wild rose bush can become an “exhibition piece”
[ France, Paris ] a fence to delineate and protect shrub growth [ Germany, Berlin ]
[ France, Paris ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

174 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
4 Lawns

D.2.4  Lawns
A lawn should be established with According to ČSN 83 9031[D.2_10], lawns are divided into four types: The success of a truly recreational lawn (field),
—— Ornamental lawn — thick and fine, low hardiness which becomes a sought–after and well utilised space,
the knowledge that it is expensive to and high maintenance (mowing intensive) also depends on how it is received and understood by
maintain. It should be established —— Park (recreational) lawn — made from hardy the public and how possible user conflicts are resolved
and courses types of grass, low hardiness (e.g., dog walkers versus picnickers). A sociological
wherever it can serve well for and medium to high maintenance. analysis and risk assessment and the timely involvement
recreational purposes and function —— Playing field (hardy lawn) — year– of users are all just as important. The design should
as an undivided space that is round use but high maintenance. be based on a broader social agreement.
—— Meadow (extensive) — wide species A lawn should comprise a single space with as
perceived as clean and calming. composition, multiple–use depending little division as possible to allow it to be used for
on purpose and site, rarely used. recreational and other purposes. This aspect is also
important for easy maintenance and aesthetics (it
In addition to the above types of lawn, the German RSM helps consolidate a space, provides proportion). Lawns
Characteristics, role and importance standard for categorising lawns, which is used in Europe, should not be established in strips that are less than
Lawns are an integral part of parks but also some wide includes these types of lawn as well: golf turf, parking turf, 1 m wide. Street furniture and traffic signs should
streets, boulevards and the open landscape. They are extensive roof greenery and biotope spaces. Biotope surfaces not be placed on grassed areas, as maintenance then
a spatial element intended for recreational purposes are discussed in more detail in the chapter entitled Shrub becomes more expensive and the value of the lawn
— sitting, laying, playing, exercising or picnicking. and herbaceous plant biotopes →[D.2.3/p. 170]. deteriorates. A different option should be chosen in
They are a terrestrial formation covered with grass places containing a great number of technical elements.
(an ecosystem dominated by grasses growing on soil A lawn has to be designed and situated so that
rich in humus and microorganisms in the top layers) Basic conditions of use pedestrians do not take shortcuts across it. In
that have a considerable hygienic and environmental lawns in public space parks, sectors where dogs are allowed to run freely
importance, help retain dust and CO2, allow infiltration If a lawn is to be used as intended, it has to be situated in should be clearly marked. In warranted cases,
of stormwater and regulate temperature extremes. As the proper place and its role within the overall design of the principle can be reversed: areas where dogs
architectural elements, they provide a unifying framework the space has to be well thought out. The topography of the are not allowed to run freely can be marked.
or, conversely, emphasise an individual space or structure. lawn, the way the lawn is connected to the surrounding
Lawns come in various forms depending spaces, the type of lawn to be chosen based on frequency The various types of lawns used in the city have to
on their cost and purpose. It is, therefore, and type of use, the level of care and maintenance required, be chosen well, i.e., depending on their degree of use
important to choose the right type of lawn. and soil conditions all need to be considered as well. and maintenance. It has to be determine whether the
lawn will be intensive (ornamental lawns, playing
fields and park lawns) or extensive (meadows).
[D.2_10]   ↗ ČSN 83 9031. Technologie vegetačních úprav v krajině: An intensive lawn needs to be cut 8—30 times a year
Trávníky a jejich zakládání [Vegetation technology in landscaping —
based on the 1/3 rule: no more than 1/3 of the plant above
Turf and seeding].. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006–02.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 175
Trees and vegetation 2
Lawns 4

the ground should be cut so as not to weaken it. The height strips. A specialist creates the proper sowing mix. The mix has to be based on the site conditions (shady, dry, wet)
of a lawn should not exceed 10 cm. In order to achieve the benefits of wildflower lawns are low maintenance costs. and anticipated use. Universal mixes should not be used
desired appearance even during the summer in Prague’s without first assessing the suitability of the species for the
drier central European climate, additional watering is Parking and heavy–duty lawns have to cope with heavy specific conditions and purpose. When creating a mix,
needed. Frequent mowing and higher overall maintenance use, such as cars driving over them, and be resistant to low–input species should be used (new small–leaf forms of
costs should be expected. Extensive lawns may not need to compaction. The vegetative layer of the soil is reinforced clover, varieties of tall fescue and crested hair–grass) in the
be mowed or watered as frequently, but they cannot be used with a load–bearing structure. Such lawns are often interests of reducing water consumption and fertilizer use.
in busier places and wherever a soft, low and uniform turf is part of the decentralised drainage system and help to The correct technological procedure for establishing
desired. These are meadows and fields that require mowing reduce paved surfaces. They are suitable in particular the strata and for seeding has to be adhered to, deadlines
zero to three times (in some cases five times) a year. for extensive parking near stadiums and recreational observed, and finishing and development care arranged,
Intensive and extensive lawns need to be designed areas as a substitute for paved areas, for fire–fighting especially regular mowing, re–seeding, weeding,
with maintenance costs in mind. They should not be machinery around buildings, and for grassed paths and fertilisation, aeration and protection against diseases
used as a filler for residual spaces. Transforming large trails. They include gravel lawns or grass growing in and pests. During the first few months, the area should
areas of poorly maintained park lawns where they serve honeycomb–shaped grass pavers made of hardened plastic be closed off to allow the grass to grow undisturbed.
no importance into extensive lawns (e.g., meadows) or brick. A condition for using such lawns is a special
will not only result in savings, but, if carried out substrate with a layer of gravel of the appropriate grain.
well, can bring about an aesthetic improvement. If Care
such spaces are located in parks or housing estates, Removal of biomass (cut grass) has to be compensated
a neat appearance can be achieved by maintaining Conditions for the proper with fertiliser or intensive mulching using a special
a mowed strip along the roads and paved areas. establishment of lawns mulch mower, which is able to cut the grass very finely
Establishing lawns is a professional job that requires strict and spread it out evenly over the lawn. Scheduling
If a lawn is considered, the site conditions have to be adherence to technologies and must be carried out by the mowing, fertilisation, mulching and aeration
taken into account. For example, the extremely shady a professional gardener or, if more complex technologies and determining the machinery required should be
and competitive sites under trees may not be the best are required, by a lawn specialist.[D.2_11] An analysis of the part of the lawn care system, which in turn should
for establishing a lawn. Sites that are inaccessible to soil, treatment of the soil to withstand compaction and be part of the care and maintenance plan.
machinery, such as steep hills, are also not a good choice. contamination of construction work and the corresponding
preparation of the plant layer are all necessary. The sowing

Special lawns [D.2_11]   Standards for establishing a quality lawn are laid down in ↗
A wildflower lawn or meadow is something between ČSN 83 9031. Technologie vegetačních úprav v krajině: Trávníky a jejich
a lawn and a biotope. It is a type of extensive lawn. zakládání [Vegetation technology in landscaping - Turf and seeding]. Prague:
It can handle only minor use after it is mowed. It is Český normalizační institut, 2006-02. and ↗ ČSN 83 9011. Technologie
vegetačních úprav v krajině: Práce s půdou [Vegetation technology in
appropriate for large–scale landscaping and infiltration
landscaping - Soil working.]. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 2006-02.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

176 D Elements
2 Trees and vegetation
4 Lawns

[ rules: lawns ] [ examples: lawns ]

Possible conflicts between lawn The 1/3 rule
users need to be resolved by, for An intensive lawn requires
example, specifying zones where frequent and professional care
dogs can run freely. and sufficient funds. A lawn has to
be mowed so that no more than
1/3 of the grass above ground is
removed at any one time.

A lawn should not be established Large parking lots that are used
wherever its maintenance is sporadically can be designed as
problematic and it is not used gravel lawns.
as an open, recreational space:
in narrow strips up to 1 m wide,
between technical structures and
traffic signs.
341 The lawn is meant for games and recreation, making it
irreplaceable, especially if this purpose is reinforced by the shaping
[ Prague 6, Flemingovo náměstí ]

A lawn has to be designed and Lawn irrigation has to be chosen

situated in a way that people do carefully and only where the lawn
not take shortcuts across it. needs to look representative year–
round or where it use is expected
to be intensive. Components have
to be added to a lawn to make it
more resilient against drought
(new varieties of clover and
some grasses; properly chosen
planting substrate).

Lawn shaping can be an important

space design tool.

342 Use of a recreational lawn in a park

[ Great Britain, London ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 177
Trees and vegetation 2
Lawns 4

343 A gravel lawn in a parking lot that is suitable especially for 345 An integrated solution provides extra possibilities. The grassy 347 During maintenance it is often necessary to respond to natural
sporadic parking, e.g., on weekends levels combined with wide stone steps allow the space to be used in events and modify management accordingly. An uncut lawn with daisies
[ France, Le Crotoy ] all kinds of weather. The stone dries quickly after rain. [ Italy, Milan, Parco Nord Milano ]
[ Australia, Sydney ]

344 A lawn as a recreation space on a viaduct 346 It is good to keep a well maintained strip of park (intensive) lawn
[ USA, New York, High line ] along roads. Meadows (extensive lawn) or biotopes can be established
further from the road
[ France, Paris ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

Elements D 179
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3

D.3  Traffic elements and technical infrastructure

Technical and transport infrastructure is an important To keep the quality of the public realm high,
element that supports the urban environment. At the same attention also has to be paid to the higher levels
time, by its location and the placement of aboveground of the space and adjacent façades as well as to the
elements, the infrastructure influences substantially the minimisation and cultivation of the essential technical
The functional requirements form of public spaces and the possibilities for using them. infrastructure elements located in the space.
The functional and technical requirements under the Technical infrastructure in the streetscape should first
of technical and transport appropriate standard[D.3_01] need to be in keeping with the and foremost be placed underground,[D.3_02] the exception
basic role of public space as a liveable space. Technical being tram overhead lines. Although utility lines are
infrastructure networks infrastructure as such should never be the objective. underground and invisible, their effect on the appearance
As a rule, traffic infrastructure should be perceived – and layout of public space is great, especially when taking
need to be coordinated with visually or otherwise — as little as possible. It should not into account the related infrastructure elements located
be a dominant feature and it should never negatively above ground. If a conceptual approach is not taken to the
the basic role of the public determine the overall spatial design of a place. layout of underground elements, the placement of other
elements (e.g., trees and rows of tree) becomes difficult
realm as a liveable place. Each infrastructure element appearing above ground or even impossible. To prevent problems with future
needs to be viewed as an element that helps to create the repairs or modifications, a conceptual study of the general
overall architecture quality of a place. Proper professional compositional and functional design of the public space
care should be given to locating and designing it. The has to be undertaken before underground utilities are laid.
design of infrastructure elements should correspond to the Such study would be subject to review (by IPR Praha).[D.3_03]
overall character of the public space. The “less is more”
Each infrastructure element rule applies to the quantity, size and distinctiveness of
above–ground infrastructure elements. Random solutions
located above ground without a concept or context are inadmissible in the public
realm. Infrastructure elements should primarily be part
needs to be perceived as of buildings or main architectural structures that create
the composition of the space, or at least be associated
an element that helps create with them. To minimise barriers, they should be grouped
into a single structure of the smallest size possible.
the overall quality of a place. [D.3_02]   ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. 11/2014 Coll.,
Prague Building Regulations: Section 18: Requirements
for technical infrastructure and technical facilities

[D.3_01]   ↗ ČSN 73 6005. Prostorové uspořádání sítí [D.3_03]   Prague City Council Resolution No. 556 of
technického vybavení [Spatial arrangement of conduit of technical 16 April 2013 on the conceptual approach of Prague
equipment]. Prague: Český normalizační institut, 1994–09. to public spaces and investment coordination.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

180 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
1 Underground utilities

D.3.1  Underground utilities

When deciding where to place underground at the time[D.3_05] and this has to be based on existing should be based on the design of the space as a whole,
design concepts and documents; if none exist, logic not randomly, usually placed parallel to the main axes of
utilities, future repairs and modifications — has to be used, often based on traditional rules and the space. On pedestrian surfaces, covers should be made
planting trees in particular — have to principles for placing trees in public spaces. Proper out of the same materials as the footway. If the surface is
coordination — not only with regard to projects, but made of pavers, the pattern should match the surrounding
be considered, even if not planned. especially with regard to the long–term plan (general pattern — see the chapter entitled Floor of public spaces
coordination plan, regulation plan) — is essential. →[D.1.1/p. 127]. To eliminate damage to utility lines and
If safety buffers required by technical infrastructure adjoining surfaces, self–levelling covers that distribute
Utility managers have to be responsible
cannot be arranged,[D.3_06] special solutions are available to loads over a greater surface area should be used.
for ensuring their utilities, including all prevent tree roots from growing into utility lines. Protective
aboveground elements, are indicated pipes and root barriers are good examples (but they must Processes
allow a stable root system to develop, and their use has Better coordination and transparency of the utility
correctly in planning documentation. to be discussed with the utility manager in advance). managers’ statements and opinions during the design
Because of the great number of electronic process should be facilitated by the planned Information
communications networks and their uncoordinated portal →[Prague Public Space Development Strategy/
When laying and repairing underground utilities construction, these should be placed in multichannel Proposal/par./p. 45], a system for managing utility
in public spaces, no signs of such work should be cable ducts to allow other cables to be laid without network data records and ensuring data is accurate
apparent on the surface. When carrying out Repair excavation. Multichannel cable ducts need not be and up–to–date. Once a project is completed, exact
and maintenance →[par./p.  128] of asphalt surfaces, deep. As they offer a high degree of protection, measurements should be entered into the system.
the entire width of the sidewalk or lane should be safety buffers do not take up much space. Electric Utility network managers have to be responsible for the
replaced.[D.3_04] To reduce losses, public space and cables can also use multichannel cable ducts. accuracy of the current location of utility lines, including
infrastructure investments should be coordinated. surface features, in planning documentation. Technical
When laying underground utilities, efforts should Surface features infrastructure network must correspond to the design
focus on ensuring future modification of the public spaces The placement of surface features of underground documentation and it is unacceptable if trees cannot be
is possible. Underground technical infrastructure has networks (manholes, covers, sewer inlets and gutters) planted due to the different position of the safety buffer.
to be laid out to allow trees to exist where appropriate. In the interests of the city, utility network managers
Space has to be reserved even if trees are not planned need to be coordinated. They have to respect the
[D.3_05]   ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. 11/2014 Coll., Prague quality of the public spaces and design and lay the
Building Regulations: Annex No. 1: Trees and utility lines. networks accordingly. As a matter of principle, the
[D.3_04]   ↗ Principles and technical conditions for repairing road
surfaces and undertaking excavation work for utilities networks. [D.3_06]   ↗ Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Lesnická a dřevařská internal regulations of the individual utility network
Final repair of covers. TSK, approved by Prague City Council fakulta. SPPK A02 001: 2013. Standardy péče o přírodu a krajinu: managers may not distort the legislative environment
Resolution No. 95: R-5724. 2012. This document was revoked by Arboristické standardy: Výsadba stromů [Standards of care for (e.g., increasing the size of safety buffers).
Prague City Council through its Resolution No. 127 (2014). IPR Praha nature and the landscape: Arboretum standards: Planting trees].
is of the opinion that the original conditions should be observed. Brno: Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, 2013, 48 s.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 181
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Underground utilities 1

Before technical infrastructure is How underground technical Surface features of utilities should
placed underground, a conceptual infrastructure is laid depends be first and foremost positioned
study should be conducted of on method that will be used to outside the trajectory of the
the overall compositional and repair and maintain it. Repairs are wheels of vehicles. If they have
functional design of the public best carried out without causing to be placed in the roadway,
space concerned to prevent future irreversible damage to the surface a cover should be imbedded
modification from negatively or obstructing pedestrian and in the middle of the lane.
affecting the space. vehicle traffic. ↗ ČSN 73 6110. Design of urban roads.

When implementing technical After the underground utility lines To eliminate damage to
infrastructure network projects, are repaired, the surface should underground structures
the design documentation has also be returned to its original and roadway and sidewalk
to be strictly adhered to. Upon state. Surfaces should connect surfaces, self–levelling covers
completion, the network manager seamlessly and look whole once should be used.
has to enter into the central again. When repairing asphalt
database detailed and accurate surfaces, the surface should be
data on the actual execution of repaired across its entire width.
the project, including all service →[D.1.1 Floor of public spaces/p. 127]
connections and surface features.

Underground utility lines have Surface features of underground The grates of storm drains and
to be positioned with existing utilities should connect flawlessly other open elements should
rows of trees in mind and should to the surrounding surfaces (by be imbedded with the ribs
always allow trees to be planted height, material and colour). perpendicular, not parallel, to the
in the future according to the →[D.1.1 Floor of public spaces/p. 127] direction of movement.
typology of public spaces.
↗ Prague Building Regulations:
Section 19: Requirement for spatial
arrangement of technical infrastructure

Surface features of utilities must Longitudinal drainage of water

Roots should be prevented from be positioned with regard to the into a sewer inlet or infiltration
growing out of the planting strip overall design of the space, so point can be designed in the
and into the utility safety buffer. that they do not obstruct walking, form of a drainage strip along the
Roots and utility networks can especially in places with heavy kerb with paved gutters. On large
be protected during repairs of pedestrian traffic. pedestrian zones and squares,
the networks by technical means linear slot drainage can be used.
and not just by the separation →[D.1.1 Floor of public spaces/p. 127]
of the two. ↗ ČSN 736110

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

182 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
1 Underground utilities

[ examples: underground utilities ]

351 Linear drainage grates 355 A concealed power outlet for
imbedded along the kerb can be cultural events and markets in
used to drain raised intersections public spaces
[ Prague 6, Národní obrany ] [ Kolín, Karlovo náměstí ]

352 An example of a drainage 356 It is more convenient to

element in the street made use square covers instead of
of material similar to the round ones on stone–paved
adjoining surface surfaces because of the structure
[ Frýdlant ] of the pavement
[ Prague ]

348 The cover of the manhole matches the colour and materials of the
surrounding surfaces of the sidewalk
[ Lázně Bohdaneč, Masarykovo náměstí ]

349 For Prague, manhole covers 353 An “invisible” manhole 357 The location of the storm
bearing the city emblem are cover with a surface that matches sewer inlet on the cycle track is
typical. This type of cover is the material and height of the inappropriate; at least the grate
appropriate for roadways. In surrounding surface was subsequently modified to be
pedestrian areas, covers should [ Prague 6, Bubeneč ] less dangerous to cyclists
be made of materials that match [ Prague ]
the surface of the sidewalk
[ Prague 2, náměstí Republiky ]

350 A good example of a street 354 Linear slot drainage is 358 The current appearance
drainage system imbedded subtle and aesthetic, but can be of surfaces in Prague is due to
in the kerb problematic to maintain the requirement that only the
[ Kutná Hora, Palackého náměstí ] [ Germany, Berlin ] excavation strip be repaired. To
refurbish surfaces, it is worth
looking for means to increase the
quality of the surfaces, especially
through the proper coordination
of investments
[ Prague 7, Letná ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 183
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Aboveground elements 2

D.3.2  Aboveground elements

Aboveground utilities always Cross–wire suspension used for street lighting. This option should be
In the structure of the compact city, it is best to preserve given priority over lampposts if it is not possible
have to be minimised in number the system of suspended street lighting and overhead to suspend lighting from cross wires.
and size and grouped with other tram lines on cross wires between buildings, as this frees
up the streetscape and, because poles are eliminated,
infrastructure elements. results in lower investment costs. Where there is a gap Placement of poles
between buildings, it is best to use cross–wire suspension Wherever it is not possible to use cross–wire suspension,
between a building and a post. The cross–wire suspension a comprehensive system has to be set up for erecting
system should be given preference to wires running a minimum number of poles, which includes overhead
In the structure of the compact city,
on posts.[D.3_07] When constructing new buildings or tram lines, street and sidewalk lighting and traffic lights
the system of cross–wire suspension reconstructing existing ones in urban built–up areas, for intersections. When deciding on the position of
between buildings should be preserved. especially in locations with tram lanes, arrangements poles in public spaces, Street lighting →[D.4.1/p. 198]
should be made with the owners of the buildings to allow needs have to be fulfilled. These needs are based on
cross–wire suspension to be attached and maintained. a lighting study, which always needs to be drawn up,
As proprietary relationships are complicated, all existing the structural requirements of the overhead lines and
Each aboveground element of technical and transport cross–wire suspensions should be preserved. Laws the placement of poles based on the where traffic and
infrastructure — overhead tram lines and street lighting, should be implemented to address the use of cross–wire signal lights are needed. To reduce investment costs
electricity boxes, traffic signs and information tables, etc. — suspension, and the Act on Railways should be applied to and obstacles in a space, one post should be used
must be viewed as a part of the design that helps create the relationships with building owners to a great extent.[D.3_08] for both overhead tram lines and street lighting, and
overall character and architectural quality of a place. Their such grouping should be carried out as part of one
thoughtless placement often creates substantial barriers on investment project. In other words, if a certain public
the sidewalk or in open pedestrian areas. Aboveground and Cantilever beams from buildings space is to undergo reconstruction, the final result
overhead infrastructure elements need to be minimised To free up the streetscape, small cantilever beams should see all utilities using the same set of poles, not
in number and size and grouped with other infrastructure extending from the walls of buildings could be different poles being used for each separate utility.
elements. Their form and appearance should be subject Poles in public spaces should be positioned
to the rules set out in the chapter entitled Materials along one longitudinal axis within the row of trees,
and surfaces of elements →[D.1.2/p. 147]. [D.3_07]   ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. 11/2014 Coll., the parking strip or as close to the edge of the
In terms of the quality of the public realm, attention Prague Building Regulations: Section 16: Public space standard. sidewalk and roadway as possible. Perpendicularly,
has to be paid to higher levels of the space and adjacent [D.3_08]   ↗ Act No. 266/1994 Coll., on railroads, stipulates that
poles should be erected at the point where two
façades and to minimise and visually improve the essential for a one–off compensation, owners have to allow the placement buildings meet to avoid obstructing windows.
technical infrastructure elements located in such space. and maintenance of overhead lines, signal lights or security
equipment on their buildings. The decision on the restriction of
ownership rights and on compensation is issued at the request of the
tram or trolleybus line operator by the appropriate administration

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

184 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
2 Aboveground elements

[ rules: aboveground elements ]

Utility boxes Investment projects that affect the The use of cantilever beams in
Utility boxes (technical and transport infrastructure) placement of poles and aboveground built–up areas with a closed
technical infrastructure in public frontage line should only be
should primarily be imbedded in the adjacent buildings. spaces should be prepared and a last resort. It is subject to,
If utility boxes are already located there, they should carried out together with all other for example, approval from the
be preserved. Standalone boxes should be placed (in similar infrastructure elements. appropriate city department
This should be done, for example, in (IPR Praha).
accordance with the design of the overall space) on the compliance with standpoint of the
axis of the poles or rows of trees. To minimise the number appropriate city department (IPR
of obstacles in the public space, standalone boxes should Praha) on the design concept.
be grouped into one shared architectural structure,
In the compact city, the priority Shared overhead tram lines
which in turn should have an optimal position within should be to place both the tram and street lighting has to be
the overall design of the space  →[photo 363/p. 186]. overhead lines and street lighting positioned on the same axis as the
All obsolete elements that no longer work should on cross–wire suspension between row of trees in the street. If there
buildings opposite each other. is no row of trees, the poles need
be removed immediately, not just disconnected. This ↗ City of Prague Regulation No. to be positioned as close to the
also applies to conduits imbedded in building façades, 11/2014 Coll., Prague Building kerb as possible.
Regulations: Section 19: Requirements
walls or in other structures in the city’s public realm.
for spatial arrangement of technical
infrastructure networks.

In areas where it is not possible In public spaces, poles and

to attach overhead lines to technical and transport
cross–wire suspension between infrastructure elements have to
buildings, they should be attached be positioned along the same
to cross–wire suspension between axis and with sufficient spacing to
lampposts. The poles should in allow movement along sidewalks
turn be positioned so they do not and across the street.
obstruct traffic.

The number of technical and To retain the rhythm of the

transport infrastructure elements street and the rows of trees,
needs to be minimised. Overhead all technical requirements for
tram lines should be grouped street lighting, overhead tram
with structures for street lines and the biological needs
lighting, traffic lights or other of the trees have to be taken
transport infrastructure. into account in the plan for the
layout of technical and transport
infrastructure elements.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 185
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Aboveground elements 2

[ examples: aboveground elements ]

Technical and transport Old and non–functional technical
infrastructure control boxes and transport infrastructure
should be positioned so they elements that are not owned by
do not disturb the composition any manager should always be
of the space or narrow or block removed immediately and not just
pedestrian traffic. The priority “disconnected”. This also applies
should be to integrate them in to wires attached to building walls
aboveground structures, in fences and roofs or on other structures in
or below ground. the city’s public spaces.

If it is not possible to integrate

boxes in existing buildings, they The placement of additional
should be physically grouped into boxes on poles and columns is
one structure that is positioned allowed on the condition that they
in compliance with the general cannot be placed underground or
design of the space to become integrated into a different building
a first–rate and fully–fledged part or structure, and only if the box
of the public space. is minimal in size and does not 359 Examples of a street with cross–wire suspension between
hinder movement in public areas. building, i.e., without overhead line poles or lampposts
[ Prague 7, Milady Horákové ]

In areas where the street line The cross–section of poles 360 Appropriate positioning of all
is not defined by buildings or situated in public spaces elements along one axis with the
fences or where the integration (overhead tram lines, street row of trees
of technical and transport lighting, traffic lights etc.) [ Slovakia, Žilina ]
infrastructure boxes into should be as subtle as possible,
a building or fence is not possible, preferably round, square or
they should be placed on the rectangular and placed at the
sidewalk lengthwise and along the same height.
same axis as the other elements.

Technical infrastructure All standard technical and 361 A minimised utility box
equipment must not be placed transport infrastructure attached to an overhead line
wherever it will disturb the overall equipment and elements should pole, painted the same colour
composition of the space, natural have a refined, simple design. as the post and not in the way
trajectories and optical clarity of →[D.1.2 Materials and surfaces of — this is a good substitute for
the public space. elements/p. 147] a standalone box. It should always
be designed with regard to the
surrounding space
[ Lázně Bohdaneč, Šípkova ]

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

186 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
2 Aboveground elements

[ examples: aboveground elements ]

364 A good place for utility boxes 368 The addition of big
is within the planting strip of prefabricated boxes of a different
a row of trees colour than the poles they are
[ Austria, Vienna ] attached to is a poor solution,
especially as they are placed at
a height in the way of pedestrians
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ]

365 Utility boxes should be 369 This ungrouped row of poles

placed along the same axis as the creates an unnatural barrier of
poles where they will not be in the elements toward the river
way of pedestrian traffic moving [ Prague 2, Palackého náměstí ]
along the sidewalk or across
the street
362 An example of a street in the historical centre of a city without [ Austria, Vienna ]
poles. The tram is connected via conductors in the ground, and the
lighting is located on the building façades.
[ France, Reims ]

366 A poorly planned and 370 The ad hoc placement of

uncoordinated placement of overhead tram line poles in the
different utility boxes — even space of the sidewalk only based
though an effort has been made to on structural requirements creates
group them, the result is entirely a barrier for movement along the
unsatisfactory sidewalk and negatively affects
[ Prague 2, Karlovo náměstí ] the way the square is perceived
[ Prague 2, Karlovo náměstí ]

367 An example of the

inappropriate placement of utility
boxes, thus negatively affecting
the appearance of the building
façade and corner
[ Prague 7, Strossmayerovo náměstí ]
363 An excellent example of grouping utility boxes and a first–rate
architectural design that suits the composition of the entire space.
Photograph from execution. A69 architects
[ Cheb, ul. Svobody, pedestrian zone ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 187
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Aboveground elements 2

D.3.2.1  Traffic lights

371 Overhead lines in the form

Traffic lights are appropriate only At the same time, drivers tend to drive faster and be
of poles with cantilever beams less attentive — see  Traffic calming →[par./p.  60].
positioned in the same axis as the
row of trees
in locations with heavy motor– Traffic lights should not be used for calmed
[ Prague 6, Bělohorská ] vehicle traffic, where the safety of intersections — see Quiet and traffic–calmed streets
→[C.1.2/p. 70]. They can be indispensable in Streets with
intersections and movement cannot heavy motor–vehicle traffic →[C.1.4/p. 74] and wherever
be ensured in some other way. they increase permeability and help pedestrians, cyclists,
the physically disabled and the visually impaired to cross.
Traffic light poles should be situated according to the
372 Lighting suspended on cross
rules stipulated for technical infrastructure — see the
wires between buildings frees up Traffic lights should be proposed in
space in the street and allows the chapter entitled Aboveground elements →[D.3.2/p. 183].
light to be focused better on the the city in wider contexts to ensure Pedestrian crossings should be at least 4 m
centre of the street
[ Austria, Vienna ] that traffic moves easily and that more wide. In busier locations, they should be even
wider due to the number of people accumulating
vulnerable users are protected. while waiting for the light to change and the
subsequent time limit for crossing the street.
In the case of larger intersections with extremely
373 The overhead tram line pole heavy automobile traffic and on hills, the different speeds
and the lamppost should not have Traffic lights make the organisation of all forms of of motor vehicles and bicycles, i.e., slower vehicles in
been doubled. A single pole could
have served the two functions. transport in the city (on foot, by public transport, general, should be taken into account. In terms of safety
Different poles are still used for bicycle and car) safer and smoother. They should only and even comfort of movement, an internal stop line with
different functions, even during be used where it is not possible to organise movement traffic lights should be placed within large intersections.
extensive reconstruction
[ Prague 10, Moskevská ] through unregulated means. Traffic lights need to For cyclists, it possible to establish a dedicated cycling
be addressed in terms of wider urban relationships lane with a separate set of signal lights that lets cyclists
under the city–wide motor–vehicle transport system enter the intersection earlier and stop sooner than cars
and in terms of pedestrian/cyclist relationships. if they share access to the intersection. Conversely,
The decision to use traffic lights should be made a segregated lane with its own set of traffic lights and
cautiously and should always be based on the character access to the intersection can be built. Indirect left
of the environment in which an intersection is found. turns for cyclists are a recommended alternative to
The use of traffic lights in places with a low traffic direct left turns, which is more dangerous for slow users
volume creates an excessive barrier to movement in places with heavy automobile traffic. Indirect left
and often leads to pedestrians crossing on a red light. turns should not replace direct left turns, however.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

188 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
2 Aboveground elements

[ rules: traffic lights ]

The waiting space for cyclists at an intersection Signalised intersections are Signal heads are suspended from
(bike box) is usually located in front of the stop line on intended chiefly for streets with cantilever bars only in important
heavy motor–vehicle traffic only if multiple–lane thoroughfares with
all arms of the intersection regardless of designation it is not possible to ensure safety heavy traffic. For side streets, only
of the lane or width of the lane. If there are multiple for cars and pedestrians in some basic or, as required, secondary
lanes for one direction, the bike box is usually placed other way. Traffic lights should signal heads without a cantilever
not be used for traffic–calmed bar are used.
in the rightmost lane. Bike boxes are not used only intersections and streets.
for directions that a bike cannot go in (e.g., roads for ↗ TP 81: Planning traffic lights.
motor vehicles only) or if there is very little space in the
longitudinal arrangement of the road — see the chapter
The form and placement of traffic In larger intersections, it is better
entitled  Cycling infrastructure →[C.2.5/p. 101]. lights should be planned and to divide long signalised sections
It may be appropriate to use traffic lights in coordinated in cooperation with into shorter ones using internal
combination with speed monitoring in outlying an architect based on a general stop lines: this will make it safer
design concept for the public for slower vehicles to cross.
districts to ensure maximum speed limits are observed space concerned.
by motor vehicles on main thoroughfares.

The placement and form of traffic In the case of longer intersections,

lights should be proposed as it may be appropriate to add
an integral part of the entire cycling lanes with separate
local system of aboveground signal heads in order to take into
technical and transport account the different speeds of
infrastructure elements along cars and bikes, especially on hills.
with other elements.

The rules on the placement and Detectors on traffic lights have

form of traffic control boxes are to be able to detect not only
set out in the following chapters: automobiles, but other vehicles,
→[D.1.2 Materials and surfaces of such as bicycles and motorcycles.
elements/p. 147]
→[D.3.2 Aboveground elements/p. 183]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 189
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Aboveground elements 2

[ examples: traffic lights ]

For pedestrians and cyclists, the A countdown timer for pedestrians 374 Timers that count down the
buttons on button–controlled increases comfort for pedestrians seconds to a green or red light
traffic lights should be as large as and can prevent pedestrians for pedestrians
possible to make it easier to press crossing on a red light. It can be [ Prague 1, Křižovnické náměstí ]
using the whole hand (it also used only for traffic lights without
lights up more noticeably once the dynamical control.
request has been registered).

If a cycle crossing is appended to Button controls should be placed 375 A large comfortable
an undivided pedestrian crossing, on the traffic light pole if possible. traffic light control button for
a two–coloured traffic light for pedestrians/cyclists with a bright
pedestrians and cyclists alike “please wait” light
(200 mm in size), situated on the [ Prague ]
other side the roadway, should
be used.

Separate cycle crossings should 376 A separate lane for cyclists

use a separate, three–coloured to enter an intersection with
traffic light with a small signal automatic video detection and
head (100 mm), situated in front “safety” control button. The
of the roadway and a small signal temporary bollards are not
head (200 mm) located on the appropriate in terms of the
other side of the roadway. quality of the space
[ Prague 6, Pelléova ]

The 100 mm signal head for 377 With regard to safety, large
cyclists is situated in front of the intersections should have a cycle
roadway or before an intersection lane with separate signal lights.
shared with other vehicles. The guardrails in this location
The 200 mm size is used are inappropriate
behind the roadway or, in the [ Prague 6, Milady Horákové ]
case of separate access to the
intersection, in the roadway.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

190 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
3 Traffic elements and signs

D.3.3  Traffic elements and signs

[ examples: traffic lights ]
378 With regard to safety,
Traffic signs in the city Traffic signs
signalised cycle crossings Traffic signs are a relatively distinct elements in the urban
should remain undivided by
a refuge island, in contrast to
should be minimised. environment. Their traffic–related character often does
pedestrian crossings not correspond to the character of public space. Large–
[ Prague 7, nábřeží Kapitána Jaroše ] scale traffic signs and information elements harm the
visual perception of the public space, make orientation in
In the urban environment, traffic
the space more difficult, block vistas and transform the
signs typical for motorways (portals, space into a purely traffic–related affair. Too many traffic
379 Compound signal lights for
signal heads) should not be used. signs also makes legibility harder, thereby reducing the
pedestrians and cyclists intelligibility and importance of the various elements.
[ Slovakia, Žilina ] The number of traffic signs needs to be minimised.
The preferred solution should be one where the same
purpose can be achieved without traffic signs using
Traffic organisation should be
only the nature of the space, and where the Floor of
addressed first by the physical public spaces →[D.1.1/p. 127] are designed using
layout of the space. appropriate structural, material and surface options,
or through road markings. If traffic signs are necessary,
380 Inappropriate doubling of the smallest permissible size should be chosen.
traffic light poles. If possible, the For Shared space →[C.1.1/p. 66] and Quiet and traffic–
control boxes should be placed
directly on the traffic light pole calmed streets →[C.1.2/p. 70], the use of smaller
[ Prague 2, Palackého náměstí ] A city cannot do without traffic signs and other traffic sizes of all traffic signs is preferred, especially in the
organisation measures. To improve the visual quality historical city. For Important traffic–calmed streets
and liveability of a public space, they should be →[C.1.3/p. 72] and Streets with heavy motor–vehicle
used in moderation. Thoroughfares passing through traffic →[C.1.4/p. 74], priority should be given to
important public spaces should be modified to use of smaller sizes, at least in the case of large–format
match the character of the space in every way, i.e., signs (such as IP 20a).[D.3_09] The appearance of all
even the design of the traffic signs and information traffic infrastructure elements has to correspond to
equipment used. Traffic signs in shared space and the urban character. Informational portals, signal
in traffic–calmed streets should be minimised.

[D.3_09]  ↗ Technické podmínky č. 65: Zásady pro dopravní

značení na pozemních komunikacích [Technical Requirements
No. 65: Rules and principles for traffic signs on roads.] 2nd
edition. Brno: Centrum dopravního výzkumu, 2002.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 191
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Traffic elements and signs 3

[ rules ]
heads and cantilever beams with signs corresponding Temporary road markings should be easily Public spaces should be designed
to the ones used for motorways are best not used. removable without damaging the surface. Adhesive so that the character of the
space, its layout and construction
All possibilities for using minimised traffic signs tape, for example, is good for this purpose. eliminate the need for traffic signs.
should be considered, as small signs often fulfil the
same function as big ones, but are aesthetically more
appropriate and welcoming in the urban environment.

Road markings
The appropriateness (scope)
If road markings are used properly, they and effectiveness of traffic signs
substantially improve the way traffic functions has to be considered.
and help with Traffic calming →[par./p.  60] and The more traffic signs, the worse
the quality of the space, as they
facilitating movement, especially when coupled are distracting, reduce visibility
with Cycling infrastructure →[C.2.5/p. 101]. and create a physical barrier.
Due to the higher flexibility of road markings, they
are often used instead of physical spatial solutions.
Priority should however be given to Floor of public spaces
→[D.1.1/p. 127] and their material differentiation to The use of traffic signs has to be
address the organisation of traffic. Specific examples weighed against the requirement
to reduce the number of visual and
include material, height or colour differentiation of physical barriers in a space. This
pedestrian crossings or parking spots in parking lots. can be done by grouping signs
In the case of monolithic poured surfaces, pigmented on a single post. Efforts should
also be made to achieve clearer
asphalt can be used to differentiate lanes, and so on. and more legible information
Skid–resistant materials with at least the same by minimising the amount of
adhesive properties as the surrounding surfaces information contained on a sign.
(pedestrian crossings, coloured cycling infrastructure,
Traffic signs standing in a row
etc.) should be used for large–scale road markings. should be of the same height. If
With regard to durability and skid resistance, the one post has a number of signs,
preferred type of road markings are made using plastic the bottom sign should be at
this height. The bottom edge of
with a skid–resistant coating, such as the application the bottom sign should be high
of a fine mineral aggregate to a synthetic rubber enough so that pedestrians,
resin. The construction of cycling lanes is governed cars and other vehicles
can pass under it.
by the rules of Cycling lanes →[par./p.  139].

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

192 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
3 Traffic elements and signs

[ rules: traffic elements and signs ] [ examples: traffic elements and signs ]
Traffic signs should be as small Traffic elements should be 381 Reduced size of a lane
as possible. If a traffic sign comes sufficiently visible. They should be change sign placed on a lamppost
in a “reduced size” option, this placed at sufficient distance from [ Prague 2, Karlovo náměstí ]
option should be used. other elements (such as trees)
that can restrict their visibility.

Portals and semi–portals Placing a sign on the other side of 382 An example of a reduced
with signal heads and traffic a sign for the opposite direction size lane change sign in the urban
information should not be used in of movement (e.g., for pedestrian environment on a thoroughfare
the city. zones and so on) is good practice. with heavy traffic. The small size
of the arrows are sufficient and
fulfil their purpose
[ Austria, Vienna ]

Traffic elements should preferably 383 An example of a reduced

be placed on overhead line poles size traffic sign in the urban
and lampposts. environment. This sign is smaller
than the current reduced size
traffic signs in the Czech Republic.
[ Austria, Vienna ]

No part of a traffic sign may be 384 Road markings on paved

in the way of drivers, cyclists or roads should be made using
pedestrians. On cycling routes, different coloured materials
traffic signs are positioned to and not paint
help to regulate the movement of [ Prague 1, Chotkova ]
cyclists and prevent collisions.

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 193
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Temporary traffic control devices 4

D.3.4  Temporary traffic control devices

385 A sign with two posts
Temporary traffic control devices should Although such solutions are always deemed provisional
restricting movement on the (regardless of the actual amount of time in use), they
sidewalk. The sign can be reduced
in size and attached to the
be used only to a limited extent in the city. affect the character of the environment greatly and the
nearest lamppost way people perceive the space where they are used. For
[ Prague 2, náměstí Míru ] this reason, a quality architectural solution needs to be
found that complies with the rules for Street furniture
The form of temporary traffic control
→[D.5/p. 207] and fulfils the relevant purpose without
devices should be in compliance making the city centre look like a traffic haven.
386 An example of the
with the urban environment Wherever cars are a threat to pedestrian safety,
primary measures, such a reducing speeds, traffic
inappropriate use of elevated
motorway–type signs in the urban
and street furniture despite the signs, modification of the functional surfaces and so
environment. Such elements
should not appear in the city at
temporary nature of these devices. on, should be implemented first — see Traffic calming
all. Their size blocks the view →[par./p.  60]. Wherever the traffic situation
down streets, screens buildings cannot be resolved systematically in some other way
and often blocks sidewalks. Temporary traffic control devices are currently used and physical barriers are required, an architectural
[ Prague 3, Jana Želivského ]
as a substitute for proper engineering solutions. They solution that corresponds to the character of the
are used chiefly to change the way automobile traffic is space should be found instead of using concrete
387 An example of the organised in the city in those places where the existing barriers and bollards, as is currently the case.
inappropriate placement of situation needs to be changed for reasons of safety and Provisional modifications often direct cars onto
elevated motorway–type signs in
the urban environment. Here they convenience for pedestrian and cyclists, but it is not a section of the roadway that is not intended to bear heavy
bring inappropriate scale into the possible to implement the change properly for various loads — the shoulder. Modifications should be consulted
structure of the city reasons (financial, procedural). Temporary traffic with the road manager. Provisional modifications are
[ Prague 5, Smíchov ]
control devices are also used to verify planned extensive also problematic for cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning
modifications of public space (even various options) between temporary traffic control devices, e.g., bollards,
under real traffic situations and if traffic complications has to be done manually, which is more demanding
are expected if real construction work were to commence. in all respects than cleaning using machinery.
388 An inadequate form of
protection against damage to These devices also often have a safety function (e.g.,
trolleys in the urban environment. they protect pedestrians on refuge islands in the middle
This could be resolved by, e.g., of the roadway). At the same time, they are sometimes
the suspension of more subtle
signal elements on a cross–wire used on the roadway to protect automobiles from each
suspension or in some other other in areas where traffic is complicated. They are often
city–friendly way overused, and because of the city’s financial situation, they
[ Prague 5, Nádražní ]
are becoming a long–term or even permanent solution.

Prague Public Space Design MANUAL IPR Praha 2016

194 D Elements
3 Traffic elements and technical infrastructure
4 Temporary traffic control devices

[ rules: temporary traffic control devices ] [ examples: temporary traffic control devices ]
In the city, temporary traffic 391 The utilitarian looking
control devices should only bollards, used for the provisional
be a provisional solution division of a place, do not
and only used for a specified correspond to the character of the
period of time. urban environment. This element
is by its shape, material and
especially colour inappropriate
for use in the city, and a substitute
should be found
[ Prague 4, Jeremenkova ]

If temporary traffic control 392 The plastic blocks serve

measures are used in public as a temporary substitute for
spaces, users should receive a kerb. The “traffic look” does not
information about the reasons match the urban environment.
for them, their purpose and They should never be used as
their duration as well as about a permanent solution and their
the permanent solution being use has to be carefully considered
proposed in their stead. 389 A good example of a restrained design of posts [ Prague 7, Letná ]
[ France, Grenoble ]

Temporary traffic control devices 393 Temporary traffic control

in the urban environment must measures that are very visually
have an urban character. The fact disturbing often end up
that they are temporary must being permanent
not be an excuse for a form that [ Prague 7, Holešovice ]
is strictly utilitarian and lacking
in good design.

The use of assembled physical 394 Concrete barriers —

elements to control traffic inappropriate physical barriers
as a substitute for a full– for access or parking or to protect
fledged engineering solution pedestrians at crossings. They
is unacceptable. are often used as a permanent
solution in the city. Their “traffic
look” does not correspond to the
390 White bollards are a better example than the frequently urban environment and their use
used green ones here should be reviewed
[ Prague 2, Albertov ] [ Prague 4, Podolí ]

2016 IPR Praha Prague Public Space Design MANUAL

Elements D 195
Traffic elements and technical infrastructure 3
Road safety elements 5

D.3.5  Road safety elements

[ rules ] [ examples ]

Road safety elements should be Any traffic safety elements

situated in the urban environment
395 The inappropriate and
excessive use of crash barriers on
used to a very limited degree in the have to have an urban character
as this is defined in the chapters
roads running along the Vltava
River gives the bank a “traffic
urban environment and should have on street furniture. The use
of items with a “traffic look”
look” and restricts access
to the river
the character of street furniture. in the urban environment is [ Prague–Troja, Podhoří ]

Crash barriers should not be

used in the city at all. Crash barriers should not be used
in the urban environment at all. In
396 The inappropriate placement
of crash barriers between
special, warranted cases, a design buildings in a shared space
The current extent to which road safety elements are used has to be found that is appropriate [ Prague 4, Pankrác ]
for the urban environment.
emphasises to an excessive degree the traffic character of
public spaces and calls attention to the simplified perception
of the space and the one–sided protective function that
allows for the quick movement of motor–vehicle traffic
through the space, which is principally undesirable in
the city. Reducing the use of these elements allows for 397 Crash barriers prevent the

an appropriate Layout →[C/p. 57], organisation of natural use of public spaces

by pedestrians
traffic and proper design of the adjoining spaces. [ Prague ]
Crash barriers should not be used in the city at all.[D.3_10]
Crash barriers should not be used in the city at all. One should
always look for a solution that uses urban–type elements
with a character corresponding to a wall, fence or some other
urban element that is in compliance with the principles
set out in the chapters entitled Barriers →[D.5.7/p. 231]
398 Inappropriate placement
and Materials and surfaces of elements →[D.1.2/p. 147]. of concrete barriers in the space
Guardrails are dealt with in the chapter of the sidewalk
entitled Railings →[D.5.7.1/p. 233].