Magdolna Quarter Program / Magdolna Negyed Program
Budapest, 2005-2015

The Magdolna Neighborhood Program of Budapest-Józsefváros (MNP) is Hungary’s first truly integrated socially sensitive urban regeneration program initiated by the Municipality of 8th District. Taking place in one of the most deprived areas in Budapest – so called Magdolna neighborhood –, it aimed to strengthen local society as well as improving housing and living conditions. The area-based integrated approach as well as instruments for public participation was put in practice in the framework of MNP. The project addresses not only the traditional renovation of old housing stock but also the crucial social problems as well.
The project combines a number of physical and social interventions in order to tackle the complex problems of the quarter. MNP includes several sub-program focusing on refurbishment of municipal owned housing stock and semi-private condominiums, renewal of public spaces, implementation of crime prevention actions, set up social as well as employment program, realization of community building and cultural program. Three phases of the Project have been implemented so far. The first was carried out in 2005-2008 funded by the district and city municipalities, while the second in 2008-2011 as well as the third in 2013-2015 were supported by the ERDF. However these three phases are only the first period of a long-term development strategy for the neighborhood, which is likely to take 15 years.
The Magdolna quarter is located in the heart of Józsefváros, closed to the city centre. It is one of the most deprived areas in Budapest. Social segregation was constantly increasing fed by the continuous influx of disadvantaged people during last decades. The quarter is home to a large number of Roma people, who are estimated to make up 30 per cent of its population of 12,000. The area’s main problems are high unemployment, low educational levels, dilapidated housing, a poor living environment, low public safety and high criminality, including drug abuse and trafficking. The critical state of the housing stock is reflected in the statistics. Out of the 5,500 housing units in the neighborhood, 37% were of substandard quality and 42% were in municipal ownership.
The definition of socially sensitive regeneration in the Magdolna neighborhood as well as the idea of MNP came from the District Development Strategy which was elaborated by Rév8 in 2004. The project was inspired by the Birmingham urban renewal program in UK and the Soziale Stadt programme in Germany. The Rév8 is a publicly owned urban renewal company, established in 1997 with the aim to accelerate the regeneration process in Józsefváros. Rév8 is the planner as well as the project manager of MNP and it also plays a strategic role in the implementation in 2005-2015. The socially sensitive regeneration was introduced on city level in the framework of the Budapest Rehabilitation Fund with two pilot projects among them the first phase of MNP in 2005-2008.
The urban renewal program were financed by EU from the Regional Operational Program in Hungary in the period of 2007-2013. The 2nd and also the 3rd Phase of Magdolna Neighborhood Program was implemented as part of the Central Hungarian Operational Program with a budget of € 19,3 million including 18,5 million € EU-subsidy.
The living conditions were improved continuously by the renovation of 25 per cent of housing stock in the neighborhood (e.g. reconstructed public utilities, isolation). The proportion of substandard dwellings was reduced from 36,1% to 32,4% between 2001 and 2011 according to the data of National Census. The cityscape of neighborhood was affected positively with renovation all of green areas including sport, leisure and social facilities. The attractiveness of neighborhood was improved which can be reflected on the tendency of population which was shrinking till 2011. Last years a slowly increasing tendency can be seen related to the number of citizens (11.236 people in 2012; 11.543 people in 2015).
There were established several community facilities providing social, cultural and educational services which are very popular not only for local residents but they are able to attract people from other part of the city. Until now a complex non-profit social service network was built up included Glove Factory Community Centre, FiDo-park Youth Centre as well as reused vacant premises like Magdolna InfoPoint for citizens, community laundry, family care office. The proportion of economic activity was increased from 40,3 per cent to 52,9 per cent but the unemployment rate was 12,6 per cent in 2001 as well as in 2011. The proportion of highly educated people increased from 9,6 per cent to 13,7 per cent. The MNP contributes to establishing active communities applying participatory methods in some cases of building renovation as well as rehabilitation of green spaces.
Considering the achievement of objectives it can be highlighted that the MNP established nearly all the community and social facilities in order to local actors would be able to strengthen the social inclusion and reduce the segregation. The soft educational and training program are necessary to be continued in the future in order to increase the chances of the residents to get access to the labour market.

[Alföldi György, Gerőházi Éva, Somogyi Eszter, Tosics Iván: Integrated Approach to Social and Economic Inclusion Background material, 2013,]

2015 -
2015 -
2015 -

Urban Planner & Manager of the Municipality / Önkormányzati Várostervező és Projektmenedzser: Rév8 Zrt,
Lead Planners & Managers / Vezető tervezők, menedzserek: Alföldi György, Sárkány Csilla, Csete Zoltán, Horváth Dániel, ifj. Erdősi Sándor,
Planner, Developer, Manager Team of Rév8 / Rév8 Tervező, Fejlesztő, Menedzser csapata : Molnár György, Faragó Csaba, Kolossa József,
Client / Építtető: Budapest VIII. Kerület Józsefvárosi Önkormányzat
Project area / Projekt terület: 440 000 m2
Project cost / Projekt összköltség: 27,0 mEuro
Photos: Nyáry Gyula, Tóth Kornél

1 2 34 5 guide b v7_resize8 9



11 12 13 14 15