Prague is the 9th in our TheCityPlan series. After Dublin, Milan, New York, Guadalajara, Istanbul, Cairo, London and Hamburg, we present another European city whose extraordinary growth in the last 20 years does not seem to have undermined its priceless classical beauty. Prague stands out as a vibrant city at ease with modern times.
As is now custom, our survey documents are semi-automatic
GIS-generated maps, a system that allows us to highlight specific, less obvious, density factors that would be difficult to identify on standard city maps without the availability of a large scientific database.
As usual, the four relative-density maps consider: population distribution and orography; land use and public service provision; public transport density; and last, the distribution of natural vegetation.
With 1.300.000 inhabitants, Prague extends over a series of hills and is crossed by two rivers: the Vltava, the larger, and the Berounka that flows into it.
It is quite clear that like other cities, especially in Europe, Prague’s ancient city centre has remained largely residential. This has helped avoid - even in periods of strong population growth - the urban sprawl seen in many cities. Even today, Prague’s population is still concentrated in its central core.
The infrastructure pattern shows how the main road network penetrates to the city centre, creating a “porous” hub. This factor has certainly contributed to more balanced, evenly distributed urban development. Similarly, the distribution of public services follows population density in a fairly functional, harmonious manner. High service density is to be found around the bend of the Vltava River, at the city centre. In contrast, the more outlying areas are characterized by service attractions or systems concentrated around major functional poles.
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