The future city game in Budaörs
Only a few kilometres from the Hungarian capital, Budaörs has been known as Budapest’s trade gateway. Multinational commercial companies based in Budaörs (e.g. IKEA, Decathlon, Auchan, Tesco) provide the city with a huge amount of commercial tax revenue. The commercial sector is the biggest employer of local residents, while a large number of people also commute to Budapest. Even though Budaörs has a lot of natural treasures (surrounded by mountains, thermal water, etc.), it attracts only a small number of tourists.
The Future City Game in Budaörs focused on the city as a whole. The game was co-organised by our partner organisations, Studio Metropolitana Urban Research Public Society and Budaörs City Council under the umbrella of the Budaörs 2020 interactive urban development strategy, and brought together public officials, students, young and senior professionals, enabling an exchange of ideas and opinions on the future of the city.
The commercial sector has a substantial impact on the city; it even dominates other city features. Regardless of age/gender/background, the players all identified the same problems: traffic, neglect of natural resources and the lack of creative community places. At the end of the game, the city administration claimed to have a much better insight into the wishes and expectations of the citizens. The mayor was impressed by the creativity of the ideas generated during the game and students’ interest in the city’s development, so he decided to establish a student cabinet within the City Council with a consultative role in city life.
The New Bridge
The winning idea focuses on the city’s ecology and traffic issues and tries to encourage people to commute by train and leave their cars at the railway station. To make it easier to get to the commuters’ station, the idea is to build a bridge over the existing railway. As the railway runs along the edge of the city, this would also divert traffic away from the city centre.
Winning ideas from the other teams
The New Market Place
The market place was a meeting point for locals. When the big supermarket chains opened their shops in the city, the market place slowly started to disappear and was eventually closed. The idea focuses on the establishing a meeting point by building a new multifunctional market place at the heart of the city. The market place would bring community life back to the city centre.
The Use of Natural Energy
This team devoted most of their time to research in order to establish how natural energy sources could be best used in the city. Budaörs is a windy city, which is very beneficial to the city’s air and, despite the dense traffic in and around the city, its aeration remains great. Wind could also be used as a source for wind power stations to produce electricity. Another issue that emerged during the research was the fact the city does not make use of its natural thermal water, although it could be used for heating as well as for health and tourism purposes (thermal spa).
Budaörs is so much dependent on and influenced by the commerce sector, that it sometimes neglects other aspects of the city’s life. The city actually doesn’t have enough cultural and recreation facilities. The team’s idea was to build a recreation centre which would offer various activities to people of all ages, thus offering residents another meeting point, as well as making their city a better place to live in.
Roman Theme Park
Budaörs was already populated in the Roman times. This team considered building a park on this theme. It would be a tourist attraction and could also be used for the purposes of the thermal water project.