Renovation of Városliget’s green areas begin
12 June 2014.
Although the deadline for the completion of the comprehensive development of the Városliget (City Park) is spring 2018, the first phase of the renovation work within the framework of the Városliget Budapest project has begun. “The work that has already commenced and due to be completed during the summer by FŐKERT non-profit Ltd. is the first part of the reconstruction of Városliget’s green areas,” announced ministerial commissioner László Baán. The first tasks include the complete renovation of the sunbathing jetty for the Városliget lake, the cleaning of the water in the lake, and the rehabilitation of the surrounding vegetation, which means the planting of close to 4,000 new plants.
The embankment of the lake and – thanks to the installation of a circulator pump – the water quality will be improved, and a floating fountain will also be added as a new element. In addition, the playground referred to as the school children’s playground near the corner of Dózsa György Road and Ajtósi Dürer will be renovated along with the dilapidated and damaged fencing and benches of the park. Some of the rubbish bins will also be replaced with new ones and their number will be significantly increased (200 new bins will be installed).
It is a point of interest that following the landscaping practice now applied in many countries, the narrow pathways well-trodden by the users of the park will be tiled and lined by flowerbeds so the routes will be precisely where they are needed during daily use. Quality improvement of the pavements in the most frequented parts of Városliget – which attract visitors in large numbers – is also a task to be carried out, and through this the number of places that could lead to accidents will be decreased.
Like every green area in big cities Városliget attracts people walking their dogs, which at the same time can lead to tension between visitors with and without dogs. In order to sort out this issue, in the near future different zones will be established in Városliget which according to the aspirations of City Park Ltd. will create a clear situation that will be acceptable for all parties as far as walking dogs is concerned. Thus, there will not only be designated zones where dogs are not allowed to be taken, but ones in which they can only be taken for a walk on a lead and others where they are allowed to run free. Signs will indicate the zones and their boundaries.
During the implementation of the Liget Budapest Project the green area of Városliget will, by 2018, increase from its present size of 60 percent of the total area to 65 percent, thus the construction of the new institutions in the park and the reconstruction and development of the green areas will take place in parallel.
The Városliget Construction Regulation plan is now being drawn up, but the draft version stipulates the increased protection of the existing trees and the continual rehabilitation of the green area; moreover, a decrease in the traffic and environmental burden placed upon the park through the planned termination of vehicle traffic through Károly Kós promenade and parking inside the Városliget. This existing parking facility will be replaced by a multi-storey car park and underground parking to be constructed on the boundaries of the park and at the edge of the former Fairground.
The international design competition for the new museum buildings attracted close to five hundred projects and the winning designs will be announced on 19 December this year after a two-round selection process by a jury. The New National Gallery will be constructed on the site of Petőfi Csarnok (Petőfi Events Centre) earmarked for demolition, while the allocated site for the Museum of Ethnography, the Hungarian Museum of Architecture and the FotoMuzeum Budapest will be Heroes’ Square, and the House of Hungarian Music will be built on the area now occupied by the Hungexpo offices, also to be demolished.
The Grand Circus will also be completely renovated within the Liget Budapest Project and the Zoo will also be developed to a significant degree. The Holnemvolt Park (Onceuponatime Park), which is the Zoo’s new family recreational park, has been receiving visitors since 29 April, while in the coming few years this area will host Mesepark (Story Park) with a riding arena for children and a bird sanctuary. Later on Pannon Ősvadon (Pannon Wilderness) will also be built here. It will display the indigenous flora and fauna of the Carpathian Basin, and its central facility will be the so-called biodome, a huge subtropical hall, which is expected to be the largest in Europe.
Thanks to the comprehensive development, Városliget will be improved in all its elements in comparison to its present condition and offer more to everybody with its renewed green areas and expanded network of institutions, thus becoming one of Budapest’s determining cultural and tourist destinations and family events parks known all over Europe.
Városliget green area
Total green area: 750,000 m2, of which:
- lawn area is 500 thousand m2
- shrubs and ground covering plants: 72 thousand m2
- annuals 1,658 m2; of which an especially spectacular element will be on Kós Károly walk on 672 m2, and 441 m2 on 56-osok tere
- playground: 12,285 m2, sports grounds:1,515 m2, skateboarding area: 12,818 m2
- trees: 3,900 pieces (old)
- evergreen pine trees: 1,100 pieces
- water surface: 2.8 hectares
Renovation works by FŐKERT in spring-summer 2014
Compared to 2013, FŐKERT has 30% more resources available for the maintenance of the park in 2014. The following will take place from the extra funding.
Planting annual and biennial plants on the entire planted surface
- planting 8,825 biennials in 2013, planting 57,125 biennials in 2014 -> 600% increase
annual plants: 50,771
- increased use of complex fertiliser: 10,000 m2 instead of 8,000 m2
- Roll-on lawn installation: 4,000 m2 instead of 1,000 m2 -> 400% increase
- Regeneration of lawns by sowing grass seeds: last year the funds for this were not available, but this year 20,000 m2 is planned
- Increasing the frequency of cutting[S1] the grass from the previous four occasions to five -> 25% increase
Irrigation of green surfaces
- 7,000 hours instead of 3,800 hours is the target-> 84% increase
Improving public hygiene
- cleaning up and emptying bins (350) even at on weekends
Looking after the old trees
- in 2013 19 million forints were available for this purpose, this year 22 million -> 15% increas
- overall renovation of the sunbathing decks, rehabilitation of the vegetation in the surrounding area, planting of ca. 4,000 plants in this area
- improving the lake’s embankment
- installation of a floating fountain, and installation of a circulation pump system that will facilitate oxygen input and thus will improve the water quality
- renovation of the playgrounds
- repairing the damaged fencing, amounting to ca. 1,500 running meters
- replacing damaged benches and bins with new ones
- tiling trodden pathways and lining them with flower beds – where the green surfaces have been trodden by park users it is necessary to create paths in this way
- solving the issue of dog walking – creating designated zones
The Liget Budapest Project
Within the framework of the Liget Budapest project aimed at the complex development and renewal of Városliget five new museums will be allocated a site in the Városliget area and next to it. The Museum of Fine Arts announced an open – and after more than one hundred years – international competition for the construction of the buildings in co-operation with Városliget Property Development Zrt. The call for projects marked the launch of what is presently Europe’s most significant museum development programme. In accordance with the proposed solutions set out in the winning projects of the 2013 ideas competition for the location of the new buildings, the Museum of Ethnography, the House of Hungarian Music, the New National Gallery – Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, the FotoMuzeum Budapest and the Hungarian Museum of Architecture will be located on the edges and inside Városliget, but on the site of facilities earmarked for demolition, thus facilitating the protection of the park’s green area as well as its expansion and reconstruction.
Simultaneously with the international design competition, the preparatory work relating to other elements of the Liget Budapest Project will be carried out: the reconstruction of the park’s entire green surface, the expansion of the Zoo, the relocation of the Metropolitan Grand Circus into a new building, the partial reconstruction and expansion of the Hungarian Technical and Transport Museum will be implemented in parallel with the construction of the new museum buildings. The partial renewal of the park began in spring 2014.
The Liget Budapest Project will preserve the more than 100-year tradition of Városliget to provide the opportunity for culture, entertainment and green recreation to the maximum degree; moreover, it will renew the park. As a result, by 2018 Városliget will be transformed into one of Budapest’s key tourist and cultural destinations and family event parks, making it known all over Europe.
Although the deadline for the completion of the comprehensive development of the Városliget (City Park) is spring 2018, the first phase of the renovation work within the framework of the Városliget Budapest project has begun.