Urban planning in the Czech Republic has a long history, however can be broadly categorised into the time periods before, during and after the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic between 1948 and 1989.
The 1886/1889 Bohemian Building Order required that geographic plans were to be submitted to municipalities before development. By the late 19th century, the central area of Prague remained largely untouched compared to other European cities, apart from some Haussmann-style redevelopment of the city walls and parts of Josefov. Following World War I and prior to World War II, The First Czechoslovak Republic, under the leadership of president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, underwent a period of significant free democratic, industrial and social advances,  and Czechoslovakia ranked 10th in the world in industrial output. This period produced some good examples of progressive planning and architectural ideas, most notably examples of the Garden City theory at Sporilov and Střešovice, and of Cubist and Constructivist architecture domestic architecture at Baba and Podolí, demonstrating Czechoslovakia’s interested in promoting its free, democratic culture through planning.
Under the socialist government, physical planning became a tool for maintaining the system of repression and meeting the demands of the communist regime. Urban planning was a ‘top down’ process, almost completely administered by the national government according to national economic goals and objectives  which rigidly determined the amount of services needed in each neighbourhood. Local municipalities lost autonomy, had no budgets apart from national allocations,  and were restricted to simply placing the national projects in their area.  The physical and spatial planning and investment under central government focused mainly on construction of grand schemes, (often energy and mineral resources, chemical manufacturing and heavy industries) and not on, small scale ‘consumer’ needs, or protecting the local environment. During the first years of communism in Czechoslovakia, virtually all property was nationalized and the state took control of all maintenance.
Despite the nationalization of all property and maintenance in the first decade of communist rule, little investment was made in new development or urban improvements, and by the 1960s; Czech cities experienced a severe housing shortage, and declining quality of buildings and sanitary conditions. This combined with a sense of insecurity within the government around the time of the Prague Spring. In response, the central government embarked on a large construction scheme, in which it built new, extensive residential areas in the form of prefabricated concrete, high-rise ‘New Towns’, which now ring the peripheries of many Czech cities and towns,  colloquially known as Panelák.
Communist planners succeeded at accommodating nearly every Czechoslovak family in a dwelling with hot water, central heating, private bath, toilet, and kitchen. Large construction firms turned out massive quantities of concrete modular units in a handful of shapes that were fit together to form gray blocks of high-rise apartment buildings. A young couple with one child could expect to obtain an apartment of only approximately 250 square feet, including living room, two small bedrooms, kitchen, and bath.— Rubenstein & Unger,1992.
The waiting time to get a state-owned apartment was often over ten years in some cities, with preference given to some groups like politicians, police and army, while other Panelák were devoted to large factories to house their workers.  Shopping options within these developments were quite limited as estates were often built without retail outlets.  While modular, blocky and quite impersonal, a very mixed social composition was housed within these estates, in keeping with socialist values of equality and classlessness. In 1992 even in the biggest and most desolate mass housing schemes, university professors could be found living next to bus drivers. 
A fundamental planning goal in Communist Czechoslovakia was state investment in large manufacturing enterprises . Factories led to the degradation the environmental conditions,  mostly in the form of soil contamination, and in Prague, air pollution in the confined valleys became a problem for many years.  The tenement Panelák houses were often built at high densities close to the source of this pollution. 
There was a contradictory attitude of the communist party toward the protection of urban heritage, which was at once both a symbol of individualistic wealth and an expression of man’s triumph over nature. This led to a general neglect, inertia and gradual deterioration of many historical monuments and buildings in the country, but is widely attributed as the reason the Czech Republic has been able to retain and accumulate so many historical landmarks today.