Introducing City Neighbourhoods II.
While introducing Brno's neighbourhoods, in this issue we have moved from the north towards the east and our eye was caught by three districts – Líšeň, Vinohrady and Maloměřice and Obřany. Two of them can be proud of their long history; in contrast Vinohrady is one of the youngest Brno municipalities and its character and traditions are still developing.
The dynamic development of Líšeň is a result of its advantageous location within Brno – good road links including an easy connection to the highway. It is in the vicinity of the protected nature reserve of Moravian Karst and the Mariánské valley, both of them being frequently sought-after localities for active relaxation by the city residents. Between 2001 and 2003 the existing built-up area was provided with drainage and new roads were constructed. The area of the housing estate is "airy" enough and permitted the planting of greenery between the blocks along with playgrounds for the children. The current focus of the local authorities is concentrated on the "Rokle" project, where the green heart of the housing estate encompassing an area of 11 ha will be constructed. The idea is to create a park for all age groups, which will change living standards in that particular locality. Contemporary planting of isolating greenery will create a refreshing barrier around the housing estate and contribute to decreasing the impact of the increasing traffic burden.
Líšeň also serves as the headquarters of many companies. These companies are of significant importance regarding the level of employment in the region. After modernization and transformation of production the company uses a third of the former Zetor area. This new way of using the area will influence Líšeň a great deal and the development of Brno as a whole. The former Zetor area will be transformed into parts devoted to production, trade and services. Also a new studio for Czech Television of, which will become its main headquarters in Brno, will be built in the area. The Líšeň authorities support the development of the neighbourhood and are prepared for cooperation with new investors.
The typical silhouette of Vinohrady looms over Brno on the eastern edge of the city. By area, Vinohrady classifies itself as smaller part of the city, however by population of 14, 000 inhabitants, it is considered to be a medium-sized one. Last year saw the 30th anniversary of its creation. In the autumn of 1981 the construction of the housing estate, which became one of 29 city neighbourhoods in 1990, began. Construction continued until the end of the 90s' and the novelty of the new housing estate was its unusual colourfulness and the creation of underground collectors that concentrate the utility networks of the estate inside.
The municipality, which was built from scratch, developed into a district with a notably developed infrastructure. In Vinohrady there are several shopping malls situated together along with business facilities and infrastructure for both teenagers and seniors to spend their free time. A typical feature of the municipality is its universal accessibility. A remarkable number of citizens have moved to Vinohrady from adjacent villages. An orientation and knowledge of viticulture and wine as such is very natural for the residents and therefore Vinohrady is the only one of the Brno municipalities that is registered as a wine growing area and in April of 2004 the municipal vineyard was planted.
Maloměřice and Obřany
The city district of Maloměřice and Obřany came into being in 1990 and it consists of two neighbourhoods which were attached to Brno in 1919. However the history of the area goes back to the 12th century. Currently the most well-preserved village units in Brno can be found there. Nonetheless, Maloměřice and Obřany are also a destination for the future. Localities for development are present here, and there are plenty of them, for instance Soběšská at the end of Obřany and west of Maloměřice where construction will begin within the next 2 years. It should serve as a home for around a thousand people and construction on a similar scale is planned to begin under Hády. The citizens of Brno not only need a pleasant home but also localities for relaxation. The area around the Svitava river and Cacovický island are suitable areas for this purpose. Both sides of the river are occupied by playgrounds and are connected by footbridges and on the river banks there are tennis courts, rugby and football pitches. In Obřany there is also a riding facility at Panská lícha. Unfortunately the busiest access road to Bílovice is the biggest urban problem of the whole municipality. In addition, Maloměřice is still burdened by its industrial history. The whole length of Maloměřice is marked out by huge marshalling yards and the picturesque landscape lives side by side with the leaning chimney of the Maloměřice heating plant. Another industrial memorial is the dilapidated building of a weaving mill on Esslerka street above the bridge. However, its existence is not over yet and we can expect it to be reborn as a building offering luxury loft flats right above the river. The same is to be expected from the whole neighbourhood which is gaining a totally new appearance and character in connection with a general tendency to push industrial facilities to the outskirts of the city.
Břetislav Štefan (Líšeň)
Jiří Čejka (Vinohrady)
Klára Liptáková (Maloměřice and Obřany)