Update – November 3, 2017: Prague 5 has announced today that the observation wheel project will not move forward. Investors failed to deliver the necessary building permits on schedule, ending the contract with the municipality for the lease of the land. Timsbury Capital was due to submit permissions from conservationists and other institutions. The company says it will apply for an extension but Town Hall has moved to start a debate with the public on the future of the Smíchov waterfront. Read more about the proposed Prague Wheel in the article below.
They’re a familiar sight in the tourist centers of major European cities like London, Paris, and Vienna.
And now, Prague might get its very own Ferris wheel if city councillors approve a new proposal, writes iDnes.cz.
On Thursday, city officials met to discuss the new project, entitled Prague Wheel.
“The realization of the project will represent a unique location in the context of Central Europe,” promotional materials for the project read. “Its significance will significantly overshadow today’s tourist destinations such as the Prague Zoo, the Prague Castle, or the Petřín Tower, which is visited by one million people each year.”
The location? The banks of Smíchovské nábřeží, across the Vltava from popular summer hangout Náplavka, which has seen a rise in cultural exposure in recent years thanks to popular establishments like Jazz Dock and the summer cinema Výletní kino Smíchov.
The aim of the project is to raise further awareness for the area, which has long been under-utilized. This year, the city took further measures to clear rows of cars from the riverside banks.
Proposals for the Ferris wheel estimate the height at 60 meters, to rival similar rides in Paris and Vienna.
If approved, Prague Wheel could begin operation from January, 2017. It would be operated by a private company, who would lease the land from Prague’s City Hall under a 10-year contract.
Opposition to the project, however, has been high, with Prague 5 Deputy Mayor Lukáš Budín calling it “outrageous” and “wholly inappropriate,” pointing to a lack of public transportation in the area and the amount of space such a project would take up.
The location is currently occupied by a children’s playground and a skate park, which would be razed to make room for Prague Wheel.