Urban areas
Revitalization of the Royal Game Reserve in Prague – Stromovka Foto: Lubomír Stibůrek, the city of Prague

Revitalization of the Royal Game Reserve in Prague – Stromovka

Up to two million people a year visit Prague's Stromovka Royal Game Reserve. Its central part has undergone a revitalization in recent years, which was needed mainly due to the non-functional water system. However, many compromises had to be sought and found when planning adjustments. Stromovka is not only a frequently visited landscape park, but also a valued natural monument. The project design had to address the often-conflicting requirements of nature protection agencies, heritage conservation agencies and the real needs of the landscape park in a city centre.

The Adaptation Journey

 
The positive impact
The revitalization of the central part of the park takes into account long periods of drought. In order to make the water from the Vltava River flowing through the Rudolph's Adit (Rudolfova štola) to Stromovka Park more usable, a new technology for the pre-treatment of water for irrigation of the park was implemented.

The park is also prepared for floods and torrential rains. The bottom of the former pond serves as a place for water seepage during torrential rains.

To fertilize the lawns, the city of Prague uses compost from parks processed in its own composting plant.

Thanks to the continuous renewal of vegetation, care for grassland ecosystems and the use of permeable paved areas, the park can respond better to extremely high temperatures and torrential rainfall.
 
How does it work?
The water system in the Stromovka Royal Game Reserve is already in operation. Thanks to the complete reconstruction of the bottom and the dam of the former pond, the existing system was restored, but in addition, new water areas were created with wooden piers for walks.

The tarmac paths in the park were replaced by packed gravel paths. Extensive landscape modelling of the terrain was carried out, followed by the restoration of lawns and flower meadows. In the central part of the park, many domestic as well as foreign tree species were planted, which in the past disappeared from the park after repeated floods. In Stromovka Park, local pre-treated water is used for watering to save drinking water.

In addition to more managed residential areas, we can also find less used waterlogged localities intended for nature protection in the park. The park was complemented by sculptures and objects made of oak wood.
 
Original state
The water management system in the park was in a poor condition. The roads were covered in tarmac. The residential meadows were of poor quality, they were often waterlogged. The facilities of the central part of the park were unsatisfactory. As a result of the floods in 2002 and 2013, there were many dead trees there.
 
Operation and maintenance
Data are available for the entire Stromovka park. Every year, 30 million crowns are used for the maintenance of almost 89 hectares of the park. The amount includes all arboricultural work and tree planting, which take place beyond the scope of routine maintenance.
 
Why was the measure chosen?
The project documentation was continuously discussed with the investor and heritage protection authorities, and various versions were considered. Emphasis was placed primarily on the appropriate functional integration of new water bodies into the existing water management system. The resulting design meets the high demands on the composition of the landscape park without compromising the functionality of the water management system and the requirements of nature protection.
 
Obstacles and challenges
It was necessary to find a compromise between the Management Plan for the Natural Monument Royal Game Reserve Stromovka and the Management Plan for the much-visited Stromovka Park.

In the central much-visited part of the park, for example, it was necessary to preserve more intensively used areas – the residential lawns. At the same time, however, more extensively maintained areas in this part of the park had to be preserved as well. In the end, the waterlogged part remained untouched. A flowery meadow was newly established on the construction site. In some parts, only the lawns were regenerated, not newly established. Littoral zones and quiet zones for birds were created close to the new water areas.
 
Operation and maintenance
Additionally, it is necessary to solve problems caused by non-compliance with the rules by visitors. Although there are wheelchair accessible entrances to the bottom of the pond, it is necessary to add ramps for prams on the entrance stairs to the bottom of the former pond, because due to unruly visitors, especially cyclists, unstable and endangered by erosion and passages are being created.

The amount of bird droppings on the piers over the new ponds was not expected. The piers need to be cleaned at least twice a week by a pressure washer.
 
How much did it cost?
The total cost for the renovation of the central part of the Royal Game Reserve Stromovka reached 90 million crowns without VAT. The cost was covered by the budget of the capital city of Prague.

The lifespan of the individual pieces of vegetation and the technical equipment is different. The investor's priority is to ensure the sustainability of implementation, to ensure a high quality and systematic maintenance and good staff for the management of the park.

Neither the savings nor the return on investment were calculated for this project.

Revitalization of water elements Urban greenery Water purification and recycling Biodiversity Heat waves and thermal island Lack of water and drought 

Locality:
Royal Game Reserve in Prague – Stromovka, Czech Republic
Timeframe:
2015 – 2018
Author:
Ing. Pavel Šimek - FLORART
Contractor:
PSS Bohemia, s.r.o., Forests of the capital city of Prague
Investor:
The city of Prague
Contact:
Ing. Alice Dědečková
alice.dedeckovahaha.@praha.eu
“Everybody knows Stromovka! Before the reconstruction, its central part was a standard park without added value, and without the possibility of recreation for visitors. After the reconstruction, there are several water areas suitably connected with the visitor infrastructure. The fact that the area retains its natural character and at the same time is able to host 2 million visitors a year speaks for itself.”
Ing. Michael Hošek
Expert guarantor of the competition

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