2019. May 27. “An initiative that catalyzes residents this much…”

The city of Budapest supports Budapest100 for 5 years. On this occasion, we interviewed Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky dr., human deputy-major of Budapest.

Why is Budapest100 important in the life of Budapest?
The most important factors I would like to highlight is the community building effect, the attention to the built environment and the volunteering. Municipality of Budapest is happy to support this event, because we believe that the program diverts our attention to the everyday values of the city, brings the residents, neighbors, and generations closer to each other.

Do you have a favourite part, district in Budapest?
One of my favourite places is the rehabilitated Normafa area, due to the lovely panoramic view and the closeness of nature. When weather allows, I love to use the chairlift to the János Hill with Panni, my daughter, or we go hiking in the direction of Makkosmária for example.

Which Budapest100 program did you enjoy the most in the last years and why?
We can think of Budapest as an architectural citadel, since nowhere else live so many eras together. Budapest carries a wide variety of styles of the last hundred years. It’s worth taking a breath, look up and enjoy the view. Among the programs of the last years I loved the 120 years old Nagykörút agenda the most, as we could get an insight into the history of houses that we normally just pass by day by day in the busy heart of the city.

Budapest100 by its intention deals not only with the buildings but also with the residents and communities. What do you think, does the program fulfill this intention?
Absolutely. An initiative that catalyzes residents this much, with the opportunity to show their buildings inside out with all the hidden treasures and unfold their history, and this is not a burden but a pride for them.

What do you think of the international success of Budapest100?
It is always a pleasure to see the success of an event inland or other parts of the World, supported by Budapest. Budapest100, with its community building effect, created a value in Hungary. We are happy to hear that foreign cities have adopted Budapest100 and its well prepared concept.

Budapest100 will become 10 years old next year. What would be the topic you think would worth having a closer look?
There shall be a number of jubilees next year, for example, we will remember the Trianon treaty. The latter could also serve as an agenda showing how the life of residents’ changed after the peace treaty. It would worth to show how the lost territories influenced the life in Budapest, for instance via the place of residence of the torn families. The 150 years unification anniversary of Budapest is also approaching, that could also worth a thought.

What does Budapest100 represent in the capital’s cultural life, given that the program is organized by civil communities for 9 years?
Bottom-up initiatives are always important, as they show the commitment and responsibility of residents towards the city. It is good to see that from civil groups to the leaders of the city everyone agrees that the Hungarian culture is a treasure, a heritage, a part of our national identity, a retaining force. It is important to guard it and pass it on!

Cover photo: Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky dr., human deputy-major of Budapest
Photo: András Leiner