New Rules for Restaurant Gardens in Fight Against Visual Smog

restaurant gardens prague smog

Gardens with massive landings, awnings or plastic or plexiglass walls should soon be disappearing from Prague.

The municipality has expanded its Manual for Cultivated Prague, which aims to combat visual smog in public spaces.

The changes could be seen as early as next season after a manual on how to get rid of visual smog in the streets was introduced last year.

The manual has now been supplemented with new rules for the appearance of front gardens, in monument reserves and monument zones.

“Restaurant gardens are to complement and enhance public space, not to create obstacles,” said Adam Scheinherr, Prague’s Councilor for Transport, who recently took over the responsibility for monument care. “They must also be made sensitively and with taste.”

He pointed out, for example, that in Malé náměstí there is a fountain from the 16th century, which is currently drowned between umbrellas and landings of gardens occupying almost the entire square in the heart of the metropolis.

The rules say the gardens should not look like separate restaurants, and equipment in them should be kept at a minimum.

The rules will also apply to the actual placement of gardens in the space with the minimum area that must remain passable on the street extended.

“It is almost everywhere at least 2 meters or 1.8 meters, while in our country the law guarantees only 1.5 meters,” said the author of the manual Kristýna Drápalová.

The space that operators will have to leave through will therefore be extended to 1.8 meters.  Gardens, for example, must not create a visual barrier or prevent entry into the building.

The manual also sets out clear rules for where gardens can be placed on platforms.

They must be made of wood or a combination of wood and metal and gardens on the street with a slope must only be there to compensate for uneven terrain.

Gardens must also not have a solid fence which could be covered with advertising materials or logos.

The enclosure should be made of simple materials with a maximum height of just one meter and may not be shaded by solid structures. The side and front walls of the garden must also not be covered.

The rules will also apply to furniture, which must be made of natural material and be light and portable. There must not be grills, speakers, or TV screens in the gardens.

The rules will also apply to lighting, targeting the placement of cables.


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