Across the Czech Republic, landscape architecture has yet to attain its rightful status as a crucial component of urban planning and public space design. The main aim of the festival, therefore, is to increase awareness of the potential, purpose and significance of the field of landscape design in relation to contemporary architecture, art and public spaces. The Landscape Festival project aims to both enlighten and cultivate an interdisciplinary dialogue between Czech andinternational experts, artists, public officials and the wider public.
The aim of this year’s festival is to connect Ostrava’s historical centre with the Dolní oblast Vítkovice (Lower Vítkovice) and Mariánské Hory districts. A special trail has been designed to highlight existing barriers across Ostrava, as well as to open up new pedestrian and cycling routes.
The festival seeks to underscore the importance of public spaces and greenery in urban spaces through architectural interventions and artistic installations, exhibitions, debates and happenings. The event purposefully seeks out notoriously dilapidated urban areas that hold the potential of being transformed into new hubs of cultural and social activities. Via site-specific installations and cultural happenings, the festival seeks to revive, cultivate and highlight future development possibilities for such areas. In a wider sense, the festival is exploring the identities of such locations – responding to inherent issues, and underscoring local values.
Following a number of inaugural events around Prague’s Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in 2013, the Landscape Festival fully came to life a year later. In 2014 and 2015, the festival was held in Prague’s Žižkov freight railway station; in 2016, the event was held in the Silesian city of Opava; and in 2017, the Landscape Festival came to the western Bohemian city of Plzeň. In 2018, the festival returned once again to Prague, albeit this time across three locations – Vítkov Hill,Rohanský ostrov (Rohan Island) and Štvanice island. For its seventh year, the Landscape Festival is being held in the north-eastern Czech city of Ostrava.
The festival is organised by the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery (operated by the Architectura association), the statutory city of Ostrava, and the K2N LANDSCAPE garden and landscape architecture studio.