"The Hallway of Hell" - Prague's Malešice is in for some changes: Housing construction next to the incinerator?
If you've ever merely passed Prague's Malešice, you know that this is definitely not a representative part of beautiful historic Prague. The Malešice-Hostivař area, where a large part of the technical background of the capital city is located, is the largest industrial site in Prague with its 650 ha. Here you will find an incinerator, a heating plant, cold stores, storage and production halls, a concrete plant, and the Central Depository of the National Library. Now, imagine that you are going to live here...
At present, the area is being considered for several housing projects that are not mutually coordinated and the creation of which could inconveniently limit current industrial operations in the future. The City Council has therefore commissioned the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) to produce an overall analysis of the need for industrial areas in Prague, which will be applied in detail to the test case of Malešice.
The focus is on how the site could be improved so that apartments could be built here, where real people and families would live. After all, it is an excellent area of Prague. It is unique not only in its extent but also in its location and great transport accessibility. In addition to the above-mentioned incinerator and heating plant, there is also the terminus of the metro line A, central workshops with administrative buildings of the Prague Public Transit Company, a railway junction used by the Czech Post, and a PPL depot in the area.
The hallway of hell
Let's remind ourselves that Malešice isn't called the hallway of hell among Praguers for nothing. Waste doesn't end its journey by being thrown into the bin. On the contrary, its journey begins right here. This is where municipal waste from all over Prague lands. Here it's swallowed by boilers and flames turn it into slag and energy. Ninety-five percent of all mixed waste ends up in the ZEVO Malešice incinerator. Two hundred garbage trucks come here every day, and each carries an average of six tons of waste.
Thanks to the industrial character of the area, which is also apparent from the type of buildings and public spaces, it is currently a homogeneous part of the city, which is facing pressure to change and the development of housing construction.
Will hell turn into heaven on earth?
"There is a tendency to convert this district into a residential area, which would significantly reduce the possibilities of its flexible use. However, this problem is not limited only to Malešice, it concerns many other industrial areas of Prague. There is no analysis or strategy in place that would think about the future of these production areas. That is why we have decided to create clear rules for these districts,"
said Petr Hlaváček, First Deputy Mayor for Territorial Development.
IPR's detailed analysis
Therefore, the Prague Institute of Planning and Development will prepare an analysis of production areas in Prague, which will aim to track their decrease or increase in the last decade and determine their needs and use in the future. An important part of the analysis will be the mapping of demands on these areas in terms of modern technologies and their impact on the environment such as noise or pollution.
The purpose of the analysis is also to assess whether the sites are suitable for the formation of mixed industrial-residential areas. The current zoning plan for the City of Prague allows for mixed construction in some parts of the industrial area, and thus housing construction. For the time being, the proposal for a new Metropolitan Plan envisages maintaining the industrial use of the entire site.
So, imagine that luxury apartments will be built here for more (or less) demanding clients, but due to the preservation of the character of the place, the new owners of housing units will have to tolerate the fact that they're breathing burned trash firsthand...