Ostrava has begun the regulation of “advertising
smog”. Why? Is this step not a contradiction to the
support of enterprise?
Advertising takes up a considerable part of public space.
It influences human perception of retail points and
products but it also affects the way we see public space.
As a society we have grown somehow immune to the
scale and design of advertisements.
We believe in the high quality of products and goodquality advertisements whose clear language and elegant
form bring value to the enterprise. It took us some time
to create our manual and regulations; now the long-term
and even more complicated job is ahead: to show that
efficient advertising does not have to spoil public space,
and to support businesses and transform theory into
The city is a great investor in public space, organizing
numerous architectural competitions. When will we
see some of their results coming to life?
In the past three years, the City Council of Ostrava has
organized eight architectural competitions. The greatest
competition in the recent history of our city has been
the plan of the construction of the new concert hall.
The winner was Steven Holl Architects, however, there is
still a very long time before we see the results. A project
whose plans have already been finished is the renewal
of historic slaughterhouse buildings.
As any other project, the slaughterhouses have gone through
a challenging phase of planning and preparation. Now we
are in the phase of the procedure to appoint construction
contractors, whilst construction itself should begin in the first
quarter of 2020. That will be the first real and visible results
of the architectural competitions. More will follow relatively
soon, including one for the recently approved car-park block
near the Regional Government Offices.
Ostrava is a polycentric city: transport and parking
are extremely important here. How do you feel about
the connection of public and individual transport in the
Transport is very important, especially when you have
such polycentric character as Ostrava has, but also
because the city is a metropolis covering the needs
of many nearby urban areas. Even though the problems
of Ostrava are not as huge as in other large cities, the
situation is growing worse. We cannot sit and wait for
a breakdown and then repeat the same mistakes already
experienced by others, like increasing the capacity
of streets, roads and parking lots. The city’s public
transport must be a better, or at least an equally good,
alternative. Ostrava has worked on that for some time
already, therefore we can proudly claim that our public
transport is the best in the Republic. I believe the time will
come when cars will not be the centrepieces of our lives.
The Czech standard still is a town or a city where streets
serve as car parks.
Connecting public transport and IAD (Integrated Access
Device), the park-and-ride system in this case, is one
of the ways. Ostrava is therefore preparing a few projects
of car-park blocks to be offered to private investors,
including the previously mentioned car-park block near
the Regional Government offices or near the city hospital.
Investments in these infrastructures are huge and could
be beyond the city’s capacity, thus they go hand-in-hand
with the regulation of free parking. That means the
park-and-ride system for long-distance commuting and
good-quality alternative forms of transport to cover short
distances, such as bikesharing and pedestrian zones.
Let us not forget about these.
Thank you for the interview.
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