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Use of Water Surfaces in the Czech Republic for Housing

Abstract: Housing on the water is an alternative to standard living in family houses. Under the climatic conditions of the Czech Republic, the use of floating houses for recreational function (seasonal housing) prevails, in larger cities there are several unique projects of permanent floating houses. In the context of climate change (from the Czech Republic’s point of view the need to build new water retention systems) even in the context of expanding built-up area or the human desire to seek alternative ways of life, the possibility of housing on the water is a reasonable solution. Implemented and prepared ambitious projects in developed European countries show that the concept of using the water surface as a housing area can work well if certain principles and standards are respected. The legislation of the Czech Republic does not know the definition of “housing on the water”. Spatial planning cannot define or support these areas, regulations do not specify the term “floating house“. Residential floating objects are considered as vessels, a more precise definition of a floating house or houseboat is missing. The paper presents three selected localities with water surfaces potentially suitable for placement of a group of floating houses. The first locality is the sandpit Mělice (Přeloučsko), the second locality is in the capital city of Prague - Libeň Harbour at the Vltava River, the third place is Žernosecké Lake near Lovosice. Within these localities case studies are elaborated including a proposal for the arrangement of a group of floating houses with a connection to the banks and available infrastructure. In the design of each locality, several factors are monitored, such as the necessary area for the land use on the shore, the necessary area for water surface use, the possibility of floating house transportation, the influence of floating development on the surroundings... The aim of the research is to create a set of general requirements and recommendations for the formation of basic regulations and rules for placing and permitting floating “built-up areas” in the Czech Republic by using implementation results and case studies comparisons. General dimensions of a single-storey house are specified, as well as recommended widths of access piers, minimum distances of individual houses on the water, basic recommendations for layout design. If floating objects are to be in the standard of floating family houses, there should be a standard for their placement on the water. Safe and environmentally friendly connection to the infrastructure must be established, as well as ecological values and landscape characteristics of the area should be respected.

KLAPALOVÁ, Hana (2020). Využívání vodních ploch území ČR pro bydlení. In: Jiří Kugl, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 13. ČVUT v Praze, Fakulta stavební pp. 242-253. ISBN 978-80-01-06762-8. ISSN 2336-7695.