Bratislava plans to renovate 25 public spaces in the city for €14.3 million under the Živé Miesta (Living Places) scheme this year.
“We have been working on these changes for several months,” said Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo when introducing the scheme in late March, adding that the city wants to implement the first 25 projects by the end of this year.
Some projects are at the design stage while others are going through the process of public procurement or getting permits, specified the mayor. Among the first is a skatepark under the SNP Bridge, which is to be implemented in the near future.
The second part of the Living Places scheme is the standardisation of public spaces.
“We have been working on the Manifesto of Public Spaces for a year now,” said Vallo, adding that it includes novelties as well as principles for handling greenery. The manual should be introduced later this year.
The third part of the project is grant support for public spaces from the Bratislava City Foundation. It will support organisations but also citizens joining in improving public spaces with a total of €100,000.
Living Square project
The revitalisation of three central squares of Bratislava, SNP, Velvet Revolution and Kamenné Námestie will take place under the umbrella of the scheme, too.
Under the Živé Námestie (Living Square) project, SNP Square, Nežnej Revolúcie (Velvet Revolution) Square and Kamenné Square will merge into a unified public space without cars and with greenery meeting climatic requirements, the Bratislava authorities announced as they introduced the winning design by a German team of architects on April 7.
“The proposed design offers a better space for people to meet, addresses the complicated traffic situation, which has always existed here, to the detriment of pedestrians, and deals with new climate demands,” said Vallo.
The three interconnected squares totalling almost 35,000 square metres make up the largest public space in the centre of the capital. No reconstruction has taken place since the 1970s, with the exception of Klobučnícka Street and the surroundings of the Old Market Hall.
Following the planned reconstruction with an estimated price tag of €20 million, the three squares will create a loop following the course of the former moat that surrounded the historical city centre, extending the pedestrian area in the city centre.
Still too little
Public space revitalization projects are implemented by the municipality in cooperation with the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute (MIB).
“€14.3 million is a record sum compared to the past, when no investment was made in the renewal of public spaces, but at the same time it is a small amount compared to the investment that Bratislava deserves for its public spaces,” said the mayor.
The first phase of the renovation of public spaces to be implemented this year, includes, for example, Krížna - Karadžičova public park, Žilinská park, Legionárska park, the multifunctional park in Karlova Ves, Dunajská park, Husova park, the former ammunition depots, the Malý Slavín complex, the buffet on Partizánská Lúka meadow, the park on Radlinského Street, Komenského Square, Námestie Slobody Square and the public space under the SNP Bridge.
The projects under preparation are the Krasňany depot, the public space around the house of services in Dúbravka, the public space on Odborárske Square, the public space on Kazanská Street in Vrakuňa, revitalisation of the park on Mudrochová, the Staromestská rest area and the city walls, the new park by Rohlík lake, the Zochova zone and Dullovo Square.