Landscape Festival begins in Ostrava

4/6 2019

On Thursday 30 May, a four-month-long festival focusing on landscape, urban planning and public space was launched in Ostrava: LANDSCAPE FESTIVAL OSTRAVA 2019. This is the seventh Landscape Festival to be held in the Czech Republic, and this year's event turns its attention to Ostrava's distinctive urban fabric. The aim of the festival is to strengthen links between the historic city centre and the Lower Vítkovice complex.

Landscape Festival begins in Ostrava

Source: Ostrava City Authority Archive, Lukáš Kaboň

The event addresses several problematic locations in Ostrava which are in need of attention – to revitalize them, modify and improve them, or to find new, innovative solutions. Lining the visitor routes will be 30 site-specific installations created by renowned architects and artists from the Czech Republic and abroad, including students from local universities.

Deputy Mayor Kateřina Šebestová gave more details:

"This year, Ostrava is hosting the Czech Republic's largest festival dedicated to public space, and the City is one of the co-organizers. The festival will bring together architects, urban planners, artists, and the general public. Our organizing team has designed routes which will highlight current barriers to movement within the city – and our aim now is to test possible ways of overcoming these barriers. From previous editions of the festival in other cities, we know that some of the artistic installations have become an integral part of the public space, and the same process can also happen in Ostrava. We don't yet know whether it'll be a playground, some greenery, or some unusual street furniture – but we'll know in a few weeks."

The three routes from the city centre to Lower Vítkovice have been designed to draw users' attention to barriers within the city – and also to test out new pedestrian and cycle routes. Along the way, visitors can discover not only traditional tourist attractions, but also less well-known sights like the Šalamoun district, the unique sculptural site in Sad Milady Horákové park and the grounds of the City Hospital, the Cingrův Sad park, the area around the former municipal slaughterhouse, a little-known bridge over the Ostravice River, and more. It will also be possible to try out a potential future route from the city centre to Lower Vítkovice running along the right bank of the Ostravice River; though this route is unfortunately still not passable, it appears to be the most realistic future option, and as a riverbank route it offers considerable recreational potential.

The festival is being organized by Prague's Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in conjunction with the City of Ostrava and K2N LANDSCAPE. The gallery's director Dan Merta characterized the event:

"By means of architectural interventions and artistic installations, exhibitions, happenings and expert discussions, the festival aims to raise awareness of the importance of public space and greenery in cities. We seek out areas which are currently neglected and in poor repair, but which possess the potential to become new centres of cultural and community life. We then try to revitalize and cultivate these locations, pointing out possible directions for their future development."

This year's festival will include a total of 6 exhibitions, which will begin by mid-June and will remain open to the public until 10 October. Besides traditional topics, the exhibitions will also focus on industrial conversions or other somewhat neglected issues such as how transport infrastructure impacts upon the quality of public space. A full listing can be found HERE.

The expert part of the festival will include a debate at the Plato gallery on the topic "Shared Art in Shared Spaces" (Wednesday 19 June). On Thursday 20 June, the Science and Technology Centre in Lower Vítkovice will host the conference "Green Roofs as Part of Urban Infrastructure". These events will be followed in September by an international seminar entitled "Landscape – City – Public Space", and the festival will culminate at the beginning of October with the international conference "INDUSTRIAL URBAN LANDSCAPES OSTRAVA 2019".

A map guide including a festival programme and the locations of the individual installations is available free of charge at Ostrava Information Service (OIS) branches, cafés and cultural institutions in Ostrava. It can also be downloaded at