Location: Budapest, Hungary
City population: 1,728,868
Project duration: 2011 - ongoing
Project cost: Unknown
Financing source(s): Private Foundation, Crowd-sourcing

Pocket Parks in Budapest

The creation of pocket parks are urban initiatives that steadily grown throughout Budapest since 2010. These pocket parks are a reaction to the impacts of rapid urbanization. These spaces, typically covering an area of 1400 square meters only, are multi-functional and provide a space for small-scale food production, recreation, community sharing, and can be a fundamental element of neighborhood rehabilitation. Moreover, it provides positive environmental effects such as water retention and the improvement of the area's micro-climate. Pocket-parks are critical in increasing the amount of green areas in neighborhoods that have limited space. [1][8][9]

Urban setting

  • Parks and (semi)natural urban green areas
    • Pocket parks / neighbourhood green spaces
  • Allotments and community gardens
    • Community gardens

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Economic development and decent employment (SDG 8)
  • Environmental quality, including air quality and waste management
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Water management (SDG 6)

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Disadvantaged groups
Project objectives
The aim of pocket parks is to try and meet a variety of needs [5]: - to provide a small community gathering space - to be a play areas for children - to produce and sell grown food - to provide recreation such as bird watching, exercise - to be a source of aesthetic appreciation
Implementation activities
In the past few years more than two dozen community gardens have been established in Budapest. In a short period of time, green areas, school squares or empty downtown dental homes were neglected in a residential area, where local and healthy vegetables, fruit production, recreation, and networking could be built into multi-functional community spaces. [2]

Type of initiating organisation

  • Private Foundation
  • Citizens or Community groups

Management set-up

Led by non-government actors

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Crowd-sourcing/Crowd-funding/Participatory bdget
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
  • Co-management/Joint management
Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project
Pocket parks and community gardens are mostly citizen led. There is support provided, in the form of education and consultancy, by initiatives such as the Contemporary Architecture Center (KÉK), that aims to increase the amount of pocket parks within Hungary. In some cases, the local government plays a role by providing the land as well as maintenance resources such as the water supply and soil. But, by and large, the movement is mostly self-organized. [1][6][7]
Project implemented in response to ...
... an EU policy or strategy? Yes
The National Environmental Programme is harmonised with the 7th Environment Action Programme of the European Union for the period until 2020 and the National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development of Hungary approved by the Parliament. The Programme also serves as a basis for using the environmental funds of the EU for the 2014-2020 period. [3]
... a national policy or strategy? Yes
Since 1997, the comprehensive framework for environmental objectives and measures in Hungary has been represented by the National Environmental Programme. The Programme aims at defining environmental goals and the relevant tasks and tools for Hungary, while considering national conditions, long term social interests and future development targets and commitments related to global responsibilities, international co-operations and Hungary's EU membership.Two initiatives are currently under way that will likely be relevant drivers of NBS adoption in the future: Hungary's contribution to the Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES), and a national Green Infrastructure exercise, which will be finalised by 2020 (supported by the Environmental Operational Programme). [1][3]
... a local policy or strategy? Yes
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. [1]
Expected impacts
  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Economic development and decent employment (SDG 8)
  • Environmental quality, including air quality and waste management
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Water management (SDG 6)
Details on impacts and indicators used The wide range of positive effects of pocket parks and urban gardens is known in literature. Pocket parks provide a small oasis for wildlife within the city such as birds and small mammals. The more pocket parks scattered throughout the city, the greater the decrease in the urban heat island effect and the greater the improvement in ventilation and water infiltration. These gardens and small parks also have clear social impacts by bringing together communities, enhancing public awareness of nature, and providing health and recreational benefits. They also facilitate cooperation between residents, municipalities and NGOs. Moreover, pocket parks and urban gardens that produce food are used either for consumption or sale in bottom-up local market approaches. In Budapest, these green spaces are particularly important in urban regeneration areas and densely populated areas. In such areas they help to reduce social tension. [1][2][4][7]

Presence of formal monitoring system

Unknown

Presence of indicators used in reporting

Unknown

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

Unknown

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

Unknown

 

Disclaimer: The data collection was carried out between June and August 2017, the information presented has not been updated afterwards.