The potential of unused railway areas


  • Jiří Kugl Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Urban Design, Town and Regional Planning, Thákurova 7, 166 29 Prague 6, Czech Republic



railway, unused, brownfield


Railway transportation faces many of the issues that are related to standard brownfields - due to changing technologies and industries, more effective systems (of traffic control in this case) and evolving needs many of the areas are actually no longer necessary for proper function of the railway. That is especially prominent in the case of railway stations, where a significant number of the stations use just a portion of their available tracks, buildings and areas (for example for unloading or repair). The remaining areas are sometimes sporadically used, but more effective and conscious management of the station could fairly easily lead up to the release of these areas for another, more useful function for both the city and the station. This paper will explore the differences between “standard” brownfields and unused railway areas like the typical ownership structure, particular location within the city and the effect station has on the city structure, composition and topography of the areas or the fact that railway areas are most often never really fully abandoned and they do continue to serve in some, albeit diminished capacity. Paper also aims to map out how much of the railways areas are underused or unused in Czech Republic (country with highest rail network density in the world). This paper will then recommend the best ways to use and revitalize them and it will show some successful examples of revitalization projects from all around the world.


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Sustainable Development of Inudstrial Heritage