Budapest - NBS for climate resilience and pollution control

Rivers and lakes, Urban, Woodland and forest
Nbs actions:
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Area Characterisation

To address these challenges, Budapest has drafted several strategic documents, in which NBS are promoted as a way to improve the environment, sustainability, and quality of life. These documents include:

  • The Budapest 2030 Long-Term Urban Development Concept. This strategic document aims to protect and increase green areas, so as to ensure ecological connectivity and develop walking and cycling corridors. It also promotes greater investment in brownfield sites, the prevention of urban sprawl, and 'smart' city development.
  • The Integrated Urban Development Strategy 2020. This strategy prioritises making Budapest a liveable and environmentally-conscious city.
  • The Budapest Green Infrastructure Strategy (under development). The Green Infrastructure Strategy aims to compile an inventory of green infrastructure, draw conclusions on previous investments, and identify development objectives and areas for action. The strategy will seek to promote biodiversity and connectivity; adapt to climate change; increase the quality of social and health conditions; and improve the economic and tourism potential of the city.
  • The Budapest Environmental Program 2017-2021 (under development).
  • The Spatial Management Plan of Budapest.


Budapest is implementing several projects to tackle the challenges mentioned above. One of the projects is the creation of so-called 'pocket parks', which have been established in the first district of the city. Apartment buildings in the centre of Budapest typically have internal common gardens, which are often covered with concrete. Removing the concrete covering to establish small 'pocket parks' can improve water retention and the area's micro-climate. In addition, it can provide opportunities for gardening, or even for small-scale food production. Pocket-parks are critical in increasing the amount of green areas in neighbourhoods that have limited space for such development.

Community gardens have a similar effect in increasing green space in the city. Community gardens such as Grundkert, Kerhtatár, and Lecsó have prompted the development of new gardens across Budapest. The number of community gardens has now grown from 3 to 17 in the past five years.

Budapest also invests in transitional and riverside zones in order to rejuvenate city parks. It has done this in the Nehru park in the IX district, and by establishing outdoor leisure areas in the XX district. Finally, there has been a strong focus on preserving the suburban zone, forests on the city's outskirts, and existing green areas. This can be seen in the revitalisation of Szilas creek in the XVI district, the revitalisation of Rákos creek, and the continuous management of the forested areas by the Duna-Ipoly National Park and other forestry bodies.

Potential impacts/benefitis

NBS benefits
Transferability of the Results

Lessons learned

The FP7 projects FASUDIR and ARTS have provided valuable lessons on how to involve city authorities in urban sustainability processes. In the FASUDIR project, city authorities were involved in developing a new software tool for city-level modelling. The ARTS project showed the importance of building alliances through coupling mechanisms that involved different stakeholders. This connected municipal authorities and civil society organisations. The project also brought to light the need for transparency in planning, decision-making, and programme implementation. Overall, ARTS stressed the importance of building trust and capacity, and the integration of local knowledge into decision-making.

Publications & Reports

NBS are typically funded from municipal budgets, national sources and EU funding mechanisms.


András Reith, ABUD and László Pintér and Logan Strenchock, Central European University

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