In Prague’s high-end street connecting the Old Town square to Vltava River, lies Miloš Forman Square, causing discontent amongst residents.
Signatures are being collected in a petition by the Citizens of Prague 1 association, against the construction of a four-storey glass department store, near the InterContinental Hotel.
Nevertheless, a building authority has already issued a zoning decision for its placement, on the basis of which an application for a building permit may be made. In Prague, fifteen appeals were filed against the ruling.
This debate has been ongoing for some time. Developers are on the edge of their seats in the attempt to discover how to fill the undeveloped land in the historical center of Prague. Local Citizens of Prague 1, the Institute of Planning and Development of the Capital City of Prague (IPR), or the Czech Chamber of Architects are fundamentally opposed.
The chamber of Architects, led by the former Mayor of Prague Jan Kasl has expressed that the square “is not a gap or place intended to be stopped”.
The Citizens of Prague 1 association, for example, filed an appeal against the decision, that is set to believe that the developer’s intention to push a glass commercial building, generous driveways, and a parking lot for tourist buses into the monument zone, lies behind the revitalization of the InterContinental hotel and Miloš Forman Square.
“If we do not speak out loud enough today, the next goal of voracious developers may be, for example, the Old Town Square with a plot along the destroyed wing of the Old Town Hall. That is why we say a fundamental NO to the construction of any building in the area of Miloš Forman Square in the very heart of the historic center and demand that our elected representatives have a responsible attitude towards our common cultural and historical heritage and unequivocal support for our position,” said the spokesman of Prague 1 Petr Bidlo.
Mr. Bidlo also made an appeal on behalf of the Capital Council to the IPR. The Arnika Association for Environmental Protection, on the other hand, opposed his appeal, claiming that it would be ineffective without a request for a review of the municipality’s original favorable decision.
Arnika also criticized the municipality for allowing investors and owners of the InterContinental Hotel – entrepreneurs Oldřich Šlemr, Eduard Kučer and Pavel Baudiš – access to city land around the construction site at all.
The building authority still supports that such a project will revitalize and be beneficial to the square.