Development newsletter!!!

Plato Gallery now fully open to the public in the historic former slaughterhouse building

On 21 September 2022, the former city slaughterhouse building in Ostrava’s city centre hosted the opening of the first ever public exhibition held in the new premises of the Plato Gallery – Ostrava’s premier contemporary art space. The exhibition is entitled “Optimized Fables about a Good Life”.

The process of rescuing the historic slaughterhouse and breathing new life into the complex began in 2017, when the City of Ostrava announced an architectural competition for an ambitious conversion project. The winning design was submitted by the renowned Polish architect Robert Konieczny and his KWK Promes studio, and the project has radically transformed the buildings while also preserving their authentic historical character.

Construction work was completed in the spring of this year. Now the complex comprises five exhibition areas, which can either function separately or be combined to create a single large space. This flexibility is due to a unique architectural feature – revolving walls, which also make it possible to incorporate some of the outdoor areas into the exhibition space itself.

For information about more events at the gallery, see HERE.

Photo by Martin Straka.


The City will be run by the same coalition as in the previous electoral period

In the last week of September, a coalition agreement was signed following the latest local elections. As in the previous electoral period, the largest party in the City Assembly (ANO 2011) will join forces with the SPOLU grouping and the Czech Pirate Party to run the city for the next four years.

The Mayor of Ostrava Tomáš Macura (ANO 2011) was re-elected to his position for the second time – making him the city’s longest-serving Mayor since 1990.

The coalition intends to continue working on the projects it has already launched in previous years.


Ostrava is again presenting a range of investment opportunities at EXPO REAL in Munich

EXPO REAL in Munich is Europe’s premier event in the real estate investment sector. In the previous two years the event was hit by COVID-related restrictions, but this year Ostrava – together with Prague and the Moravian-Silesian Region – is once again able to take part in a joint presentation entitled Czech Cities & Regions.

This year’s EXPO REAL will showcase a number of sites in Ostrava that offer outstanding opportunities for investments in residential developments and civic amenities – on Českobratrská, Masná, Polská, Opavská and Plzeňská Streets. Industrial real estate is represented by land at the Mošnov Strategic Industrial Zone. The specific development conditions for the individual sites are tailored to the situation and needs of each location.

EXPO REAL focuses on the real estate market, investment opportunities, development projects (both residential and commercial), architectural trends and urban development. It attracts large numbers of developers and other investors, development agencies, end users, expert consultants, architects, and representatives of local and national government.


Visualisation: Vizualizace:  CHYBIK+KRISTOF ASSOCIATED ARCHITECTS s. r. o.


Černá Louka is set to undergo a major transformation

Clear rules and guidelines for the future development of the Černá Louka (Black Meadow) area in central Ostrava are to be defined by a new urban planning study. In 2022 the City tasked the Municipal Studio for Spatial Planning and Architecture (MAPPA) with drawing up this detailed document.

Several construction projects have been launched or completed in the vicinity of Černá Louka during recent years. These include the Nové Lauby residential complex, the new University of Ostrava campus, and plans for a full reconstruction of Pivovarská Street. In response to this, the City of Ostrava has decided to set out clear rules for the future evolution of the area. A basic framework was put forward in a proposal by the Netherlands-based Maxwan studio, which won a competition for an architectural and urban planning concept that was organized by the City in 2010. According to this proposal, Černá Louka would ideally have functioned as a vibrant urban park encircled by a number of buildings (which had not yet been built). However, circumstances have changed substantially during the intervening years, and the new urban planning study by MAPPA offers a better reflection of the current situation and future development requirements.

One key basis for the new study was a survey in which various users of Černá Louka expressed their opinions on the best future course of development. The survey was partly conducted online, and partly in person. Two hundred respondents took part in the survey; they particularly appreciate the relaxing atmosphere of the area, and they are keen that this atmosphere should be preserved. The full results of the survey have been published on the MAPPA website.

The MAPPA study was presented to the public on 27 September in the Puppet Theatre.


Photo by MAPPA.


The first phase of construction work at Ostravica-Textilia is complete

The reconstruction project at the former Ostravica-Textilia department store has now entered its next phase. The investor (the developer Ivančice property a.s.) and the general building contractor (Bystroň Group a.s.) recent gave a progress update, including an outline of the work planned for the upcoming winter months, which will focus mainly on the interiors. Monitoring inspections are held on a weekly basis to ensure that the construction work is proceeding as planned and to the required quality.

As part of a recent monitoring visit, representatives of the City inspected the site and assessed the contractor’s progress on repairing the interiors of the building – a legally protected heritage site. This is the last phase of the reconstruction during which the basic structural skeleton is still fully visible; this was a key reason why the contractor invited City representatives to visit the site at this stage. Representatives of the contractor and the architects responsible for the reconstruction project gave detailed information on the surface finishing work planned in the various parts of the complex, including what will be done with the most historically valuable elements of the building.

Bystroň Group began work at the site exactly five months ago, on 7 April 2022. After more than two decades during which this historic department store lay abandoned and derelict, the current owner of the building (Ivančice property a.s.) finally launched a complete reconstruction of two parts of the complex – the Textilia department store (built in the late 1920s to a design by the avant-garde Berlin architect Marie Frommer), and the 1911 residential and commercial building designed by the Moravian architect Felix Neumann.

The third part of the complex – the former Commercial and Industrial Bank building – is in different ownership. The owner has now taken the first step towards the eventual restoration of the building, having carried out a historical survey of the façade. A brand-new extension will be built on the vacant lot (28. října Street, opposite the Hotel Imperial). The new extension will contain residential units, and the original bank building will be converted into a hotel.


Photo: Business Boutique Interier


The Business2Science conference will show how business and science can cooperate

On 10 November 2022 the second Business2Science conference will take place, following on from the success of the event’s premiere last year. The aim of the conference is to support effective cooperation between the spheres of business and academic research. This year’s conference will address the topic Forms of excellence on various Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).

A frequent barrier standing in the way of B2S (business-to-science) cooperation is the traditional distinction that is often drawn between basic research and applied research. Researchers and business representatives are increasingly highlighting the fact that this is an artificial distinction, which often prevents effective communication and collaboration.

This year’s conference will showcase the wide variety of forms that research excellence can take, exploring various phases of the process leading from the research itself to the successful market launch of a product or technology. A better understanding of the diverse perceptions of excellence at various phases of the innovation cycle will help facilitate the transfer of new ideas as well as the creation of new added value.

You can see the conference programme HERE.


Ostrava continues to support talent

31 October is the deadline for entries to the City of Ostrava’s second annual Talent of the Year competition, following on from the success of last year’s launch. The competition is designed to support exceptionally talented higher education students, who can win up to 100 000 CZK for achieving outstanding study results or carrying out excellent research in technical, scientific and artistic degree programmes.

A total 1 million CZK has been set aside as prize money for the Talent of the Year competition in 2022/2023 – the same sum as last year. Entries can be submitted by students at various universities, not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad – though all entrants must be permanent residents of Ostrava at the time of submitting their entry.

The complete competition rules and the entry form are available at www.ostrava.cz (Education and Sport Department, Education Section) or at www.talentova.cz (City projects, Talent of the Year). Talent of the Year is one of many ways in which the City of Ostrava is committed to supporting education.


Photo by Martin Popelář


City of Ostrava once again ranked the friendliest local government authority in the region

For the fourth time in a row, Ostrava’s City Authority has been ranked first in the Moravian-Silesian Region in a competition to find the most citizen-friendly local government authority. Second place was taken by Opava, with Kopřivnice in third. The competition is organized by the Czech Republic’s Intioer Ministry, and 2022 saw the event enter its seventh year. The nationwide winner this year was the town of Kolín.

The competition evaluates the quality of the services provided to clients; it also places emphasis on the provision of extra services (going above and beyond the services that the authority is legally required to provide) or the provision of standard services to an outstanding level of quality. There are 70 evaluative criteria in total – including communication with clients, the level of digitalization, improvements to sustainability, or the involvement of the general public in local government.

The awards ceremony this year took place at the Police Museum in Prague. As in previous years, a publication has been produced giving examples of good practice by individual local authorities.


Start-up support programme celebrates 10 years of existence 

Ten years ago, the Green Light start-up accelerator programme was launched – the Moravian-Silesian Region’s most comprehensive start-up support programme, organized by Ostrava’s Technical University.  The programme is completely free of charge for all participants.  Depending on which phase of development your start-up idea is currently in, you can choose between two options: GREEN LIGHT Start and GREEN LIGHT Accelerator.

GREEN LIGHT Start is designed mainly for people who have a bright business idea or are only just starting up in business, and who are unsure about what they should do next. GL Start is open throughout the entire year.

GREEN LIGHT Accelerator is targeted at people who already have a clear idea of the basic outline of their start-up, who have ideally trialled the idea with customers, who have at least a small team, and who want to give their start-up a real boost. This programme lasts four months, and you can only apply for it during the designated application period. Only selected projects are accepted for GL Accelerator. As part of the programme, participants develop a business plan, meet an investor, learn to present themselves and their business, and are given support with budgeting and financial aspects. The current application period lasts until 23 October.

For more information see HERE.


Another tram line will get a green makeover

The tram line along Horní Street (between the municipal district office and the junction with Provaznická Street) is the latest line in Ostrava to be planted with stonecrops using a special planting grid system.

This new grid system is genuinely innovative, and the Horní Street tram line is the first location in Ostrava where it will be used. If the line needs to be repaired at a future date, the removal and subsequent replacement of the vegetation is a trouble-free and efficient process; the plants can be removed in selected segments and then simply returned to their original place, without the need for new plantings. Apart from this, the basic planting methods will be the same as those that have already been successfully used along Dr. Martínka Street.

Work on installing the pre-grown stonecrops began on Friday 16 September and will continue until no later than the end of November.

Ostrava’s Public Transport Corporation (DPO) will then launch a major City-funded investment project to modernize the section of the tram line between the Josefa Kotase and Václava Jiříkovského stops, on the boundary between two major housing estates – Dubina and Bělský Les. This will be the fourth section of tram line in the city that will enable vehicles to travel at speeds up to 80 km/h – uniquely in the Czech Republic. Noise barriers covered in greenery will be installed along the route.



Three new concert halls have agreed on future cooperation

On 2 September 2022, representatives of the three largest Czech cities – Prague, Brno, and Ostrava – met in the capital to brief each other on the progress achieved so far in their projects to create brand-new concert halls. The meeting was attended by the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and his Deputy Petr Hlaváček, Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura with his Deputy Zuzana Bajgarová, representatives of the orchestras based in all three cities, as well as representatives of other relevant institutions.

The delegates agreed on a joint declaration: All three projects to build new concert halls in Prague, Brno and Ostrava are synergic; when completed and opened to the public, the new venues will substantially boost the Czech Republic’s profile on the cultural map of Europe as well as making the country more attractive as a destination for the world’s leading orchestras and soloists.

None of the three new halls can be built without state funding. The delegates attending the meeting agreed that investing public funds in projects such as these will yield a strong direct and indirect return on investment for the general public as a whole. The representatives from the three cities also agreed that they will continue to inform each other of ongoing progress on their projects, share their experiences and support each other’s efforts.

Visualisation by Steven Holl


A symbol of Poruba has undergone a complete reconstruction

After repairs lasting 18 months, one of the most distinctive symbols of Poruba – the huge archway known simply as “Oblouk” – has now been restored to its former glory. The project is finally complete, two and a half years after the Poruba municipal district bought the majority ownership share from the rental property group Residomo (today Heimstaden).

The arch was built in the 1950s, and it is a typical example of the then-fashionable style known as socialist realism. It is 250 metres long, containing 201 apartments and 14 non-residential units. It is known for the artistic sgraffito décor on the façades (consisting of 114 separate images). The contractor for the reconstruction work was Bystroň Group, which has a wealth of experience renovating and restoring historic buildings.

Because the Poruba arch is a legally protected heritage site, the reconstruction was supervised by heritage experts from Ostrava City Authority, who attended monitoring days, helped select some of the materials and components used, and provided guidance on issues such as the colour scheme of the façades or the types of windows to be used.

Work at the site still continues, with the focus now shifted to improving the public spaces in the arch’s vicinity. Pavements are now being repaired, and new street furniture (benches and bins) will be installed.

Photo by JIří Birke


The Bazaly mural is now complete

After 25 days of intense work, a team of ten people headed by the Ostrava street artist Bogy has now completed a brand-new mural on a retaining wall flanking the road above Baník Ostrava’s Bazaly football stadium. The opening ceremony – including a guided tour of the mural – took place on Monday 19 September at 7 p.m. To accompany the ceremony, the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra performed an arrangement of the Baník Ostrava club anthem.

The mural is based on a design that won an art competition run by the City of Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region. Ostrava was the main organizer of the competition. The City also contributed the prize money for the top three entries, which were chosen by a jury consisting of City and Regional representatives as well as art experts.

Street artist Jan Bogy Lörincz used paints including three colours containing pigments made from coke dust from the Jan Šverma coking plant in Mariánské Hory, bricks from the Jan Maria mine in Ostrava’s Hranečník district, and crushed limestone.

The mural is a loose representation of milestone events in Ostrava’s history – from the Great Kickoff (when the Baník Ostrava football club was founded 100 years ago) as far back as the Big Bang and the emergence of life. A prehistoric family’s amazement when black rocks from the Landek hill caught fire and burned, its warmth attracting people to the area from far and wide. The vision of a better life. Underground explorations. A society blinded by a red flag. The key to a new era, and Ostrava’s present.

Photo by Moravian-Silesian Region