Alföldi György (szerk.): Budapest 2050 – a belvárosi tömbök fennmaradásának esélyei.; Budapest: Terc Kiadó, 2012. 210 p.ISBN:ISBN 978-963-9968-41-7;

György Alföldi (ed.): Budapest 2050 – the chances of survival of downtown blocks; Budapest: Terc Kiadó, 2012. 210 p.ISBN:ISBN 978-963-9968-41-7;

Our cities are constantly in transition, the interference of the influencing forces – social, economic, environmental – have impact on the physical fabric sometimes continuously, sometimes with breaks and leaps. The image of our cities, as in all times, represents the intensity of interconnections, just like the age-ring of a tree about the forces, opportunities of an era, and the relations to the previous and next eras, the scarce and abundant years. The cities of Europe and the developed world have gone through a great transformation since the middle of the 19th century. Budapest, along with its other European and American fellows, was transformed the most intensively by the dynamic industrialization of the 19th century, and by the emerged social and economic forces. That is when the structures and features of our cities evolved.

Although the physical environment emerged in the 19th century has significantly transformed in the 20th century, it has not changed a lot until now, and it can provide space to the living society and economies. The powerful and quick changes that we experience seem to expand the current urban frames, and raise the questions of the next stages of urban development.

What will the physical fabric of Budapest look like by 2050? Whether the urban frames developed before the 21st century will remain or will expand? It is a similarly important question to ask: who will live in the cities? What kind of relationship will the people or smaller groups have with the even more complex urban institutions? The physical fabric or the society will change more?

The opportunities of the future are also determined by the environmental changes of the Earth with population growth, urbanization, energy-consumption growth, run out of fossils and the degree of pollution growth. These environmental changes have influence not only on the energy-systems, but on the everyday thinking, on our natural and built environments, cities, buildings, households. But the question is how the large-scale developments influence the physical spaces remained from the 19th century?

Budapest has been playing a crucial role in the country as well as in the region for 150 years, but the territory giving place for residents is 2000-years old now, where the roots of Pest and Buda have evolved for 1000 years. This place was able to concentrate energies in the past. Its energetic points are the river Danube (defensive line, drinking water), the geographical location (transit point, meeting points of trading modes and routes) that have provided the central role of the territory for 2000 years. The still prevailing structure and the building stocks of the urban fabric of Budapest developed thanks to the smashing constellation of the factors that shaped the city at the end of the 19th century. The question is that whether the forces from the past are still in order in the future as well, what the future fate of the city will be, how these changes influence the physical fabric.

My research is about finding the physical fabric of Budapest by 2050 shaped by the interference of the social-economic-environmental forces, with the mean of investigating them. With a sample focused on the changes of the inner-city of Budapest, the dissertation will examine the main influences that will be applied – in several versions – for the frames of the future Budapest.

The dissertation deals only with the survival chances of the inner-city at the Pest side of Budapest in reflection of the expected changes. The most interesting questions of the development of the capital are whether the historical core of the city will remain in the next 20-40 years; in which way it will develop; whether a building block ensuring life for the 19th-20th century can remain as the basic elements of the life in Budapest.

The survival chances of the city’s physical fabric will be examined through setting up a hypothesis. It assumes that the blocks, the physical fabric of the inner-city of Budapest will remain in their current form by 2050. Examining the interconnection of the economic, social and environmental structures, what are the survival opportunities of the buildings in the 21st century that were constructed at the turn of the 19th and 20th century; what are the forces that help and provide the opportunity of the perseverance, and what are the forces that effect in the opposite way and set up limits.