Experts from UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, meeting in New Zealand last week, suggested Prague should reconsider the planned construction of several new skyscrapers in the district of Pankrac. The Committee said plans should respect the skyline of Prague's historic centre, which was one of the main reasons Prague was included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
Prague's famous Charles Bridge celebrates its 650th anniversary on Sunday. One of the oldest and certainly one of the most beautiful bridges in Europe, this ancient artery across the Vltava river links Prague's Lesser Town with the Old Town on the right bank and was vital to the development of the Czech capital.
In just three months Prague will make a bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016. However, there are a number of obstacles on the route to becoming an official candidate. These include calls for a referendum, property disputes about the sites of possible Olympic buildings, questions over the budget - and ground squirrels.
Experts from UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, meeting in New Zealand, have suggested Prague should reconsider the planned construction of several new skyscrapers in part of the city. The Committee said plans should respect the skyline of Prague's historic core. Lada Pekarkova, from Prague city hall's heritage department announced the news on Saturday. Currently, developers are preparing to build several new skyscrapers in Prague's Pankrac neighbourhood; local associations have protested against the idea. The International Council on Monuments and Sites, an advisory body to UNESCO, is reportedly also against. Ms Pekarkova said a final position would be taken at the end of the committee's session, which would be conveyed to the Czech Republic through diplomatic channels.
My guest for One on One this week is Canadian native Glen Emery, who was one of the first foreign entrepreneurs to begin operating in the Prague pub trade shortly after the Velvet Revolution. In the early 1990s, Prague had a reputation as a new "left bank", as thousands of young American and other Western ex-pats descended on the city attracted by cheap beer and the exuberant atmosphere that surrounded a society which was busy letting its hair down after forty years of communist oppression. One of the focal points of this new Bohemian scene was
In just a couple of weeks' time, Charles Bridge - without doubt one of the greatest symbols of Prague - will be the centre of celebrations. On July 9 it will be exactly 650 years since the laying of the first stone. On this "jubilee" anniversary, Charles Bridge is receiving its first extensive renovations in three decades. But already there has been some discussion about what the future holds for the landmark - and a call for a toll system to be introduced to reduce traffic.
The human resource consulting firm Mercer released the results of its annual World Cost of Living Survey this week. Covering 143 cities across six continents, it measures the cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The comprehensive study ranks Moscow as the most expensive city. Compared to last year, Bratislava jumped from 48th to 31st. To find out more about the survey and how Prague fared, I spoke to Mercer's Jana Kurtinova:
There was an interesting piece in Mlada fronta the other day about the number of people who could be housed in shelters here in Prague in the event, heaven forbid, of some terrorist attack or other disaster. The city's shelters have room for an impressive (or at least to my mind impressive) 500,000 of a population of almost 1.2 million.
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