Ostrava Changes Its Public Space
Ostrava, the third largest city in the Czech Republic in terms of its population and area, is one of the
most attractive targets of investment in the Czech Republic as well as within Central Europe. This is
one of the topics we have discussed with the Mayor of Ostrava, Ing. Tomáš Macura, MBA.
It has been thirty years since the Velvet Revolution.
What is the current economic and social status
In my view, Ostrava is doing very well, prospering.
With minimal support from the government at the turn
of the century, Ostrava has succeeded in a crucial socialeconomic transformation. When heavy industries closed
down, over a hundred thousand job positions disappeared.
Ostrava has succeeded mostly thanks to the potential of
its tenacious and meticulous inhabitants. Scary two-digit
numbers of unemployment have decreased to the present
5%, also thanks to city investments in the industrial zones
of Hrabová and Mošnov. The investors operating there
alone have so far generated almost 14,000 job positions.
We have managed to reduce city debt by nearly half,
making Ostrava the city with the smallest debt in the
republic. This was achieved through measures aimed
at the reduction of non-productive costs, an increase in
transparency and improvement of the city’s economy
and the operation of its institutions. The increasingly
better economy of the city is very important as it allows
larger investment in safety and environment, grants to
city districts, etc. We are producing financial reserves
for major investments planned in future. Even if more
finance is needed to perform these plans, as a city we
may use loans with favourable loan terms. Ostrava is now
considered a highly trustworthy partner, well-known for its
The city emphasizes the change of public space.
International architectural competitions have been
announced. What construction projects shall we look
forward to in Ostrava?
Ostrava has the ambition and all the prerequisites
to become a true metropolis with all it entails: from
high quality architecture and attractive housing to job
opportunities and a proper backdrop for leisure.
The street of 28. října in the city centre, and Opavská
street in Ostrava-Poruba, will turn to city boulevards; the
Ostrava-Jih district will get a good square, badly missed in
this part of the city; Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky)
also needs a radical revitalization. “Jiří Myron Theatre“ has
been renovated, and renovations are taking place in the
House of Culture Poklad. The historical building of the
former City Slaughterhouse will become a modern art
gallery. Ostrava shall also contribute to the financing and
organization of the construction of the Moravian-Silesian
Of course, I need to mention the greatest and most
significant international architectural competition,
regarding the construction of a new concert hall,
concluded this June. The winner is the famous American
studio Steven Holl Architects teamed up with Architecture
Acts from Prague. By the end of 2021, all stages of
the planning and design will have finished, and the
54 ǀ POSITIV 3/2019
construction shall begin. The plans say the construction will
be completed in 2024, though we sincerely hope and will
do our best to compress the work and open the concert
hall in December 2023. The construction of a modern
concert hall will make Ostrava a significant cultural centre
like those metropolises and will proudly stand in line with
those cities which already have their cutting-edge concert
halls. Those with exclusive architecture and acoustics
undoubtedly nudge the development in culture and
education in their city, and t also enhance tourism in that
Even this brief summary proves that Ostrava is going
to experience huge architectural changes and urban
development as soon as we finish what we have already
Ostrava annually invites new investors, local and
international, and offers development areas. What are
you going to present at Expo Real in Munich this year?
Investors will be offered investment opportunities in
the very centre of the city as well as in development
zones. One of the primary prerequisites of success is to
bring life back to the historical centre of Ostrava, which
is our priority, together with increasing the number of
residents in this location. At the time of the trade fair, the
competition for projects of rental homes Nové Lauby,
near the central Masaryk Square, will still be running (to
finish on Oct. 31st). We have created a dedicated web site,
www.pozemky.ostrava.cz, with all the relevant information.
Another plan in the historical centre intends to solve
vacant lots near Smetana Square at the Antonín Dvořák
Theatre, and at the Exhibition Grounds (Výstaviště Černá
louka). Primarily we want commercial buildings providing
housing, services and retail to be built there. However,
there can also be office blocks and facilities providing
education, culture, etc. We expect similar functions to fill
the vacant lots in the area of Českobratrská Street.
Industrial zones represent a different kind of opportunity:
Ostrava–Mošnov is a perfect hub connected to dense
railway and road infrastructures and an international
airport, unique by European standards. Investors can
choose lots in fifty-four hectares of city-owned estates.
Mr Macura, you have spent the majority of your
professional career in private enterprise. What steps
in particular is the city taking to enhance the business
Enterprise, and conditions for its development, speaks
about the quality of life of a society, its economy as well
as of our policies and our prospects. No matter if it is from
the view of an entrepreneur, an employee, a student or
a senior. Enterprise generates values which a society needs
so as to look after the good quality of life of its citizens.
The city authorities do their best to facilitate the best
possible business environment. In close cooperation