In 2017, Budapest100 was listed as a good practice by the European Union’s Integrated Urban Development Program – URBACT on the field of sustainable urban life and existence.
URBACT is a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development. They enable cities to work together to develop solutions to major urban challenges, reaffirming the key role they play in facing increasingly complex societal changes. They help cites to develop pragmatic solution that are new and sustainable, and that integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions.
They enable cities to share good practices and lessons learned with all professionals involved in urban policy throughout Europe.
Budapest100 as a part of the 97 URBACT good practice, has received the opportunity with the help of Újbuda Municipality to adapt its own methodology in different European cities as an applicant of the URBACT Transfer Network.
In 2018, thanks to a successful application process the network got founded under the name of ‘Come in! – talking houses shared stories’. This cooperation provides space for knowledge exchange and mutual learning between the representatives and inhabitants of the cities in Europe. The residential areas of the joining partner cities all have strong identities, they are tackling a strong local spirit and built environment, which can be unprocessed, undiscovered or even locked into a negative connotation. The representatives of the cities have therefore chosen Budapest100 as a good practice, which might help to start addressing the difficulties of local communities and identities in their own cities using the built environment as a tool.
The first phase of the URBACT program took place in 2018, was about partner engagement, involvement of candidates, mapping the potential partner cities’ local characteristics and understanding the methods and goals of Budapest100.
Because of a yearlong preparation, The Come in! network can welcome the following cities: the good practice will be adapted in various built environments, e.g. in the historical centre in Gheorgheni (RO) with its unique and mostly unexploited Armenian heritage; in Forlì (I) focusing on its sensitive rationalist heritage or in Varaždin’s looking at its (HR) untapped modern buildings just next to the beautiful Baroque city centre; in the modernist districts of Warsaw (Pl) just like in Plasencia (ES) and will be even tested in newly built environments as well (e.g. in modern housing estates in Újbuda (H) or Pori (SF)).
The partnership network is led by the Municipality of Újbuda, for involving the partners, for the assessment of transfer potential and for the professional supervising of the implementation process Ferenc Szigeti-Böröcz as a transfer expert and Rita Szerencsés as the former project manager of Budapest100 are responsible. They visited all the candidates till October 2018. They measured the tangible and intangible cultural and built heritage, the local stakeholders and resources plus the pros and cons of the transfer itself.
As a conclusion of this process, a so-called transferability study was launched, which is a preface for the two years of intense work ahead of the partnership. During this period, the joined cities will develop their way of adaption, how Budapest100, this grassroots initiative can be realised in their cities, using their own human resources and capitals related to the essential pillars of the good practice like volunteering, built environment and community building.
In 2020, as a result of this knowledge transfer small-scale pilot festivals will take place in all the 7 cities with the integration and active involvement of local people. This would mean that micro personalized Budapest100 festivals are expected to be realized across Europe.
This network approach is also an experiment for the founders and organizers of the Hungarian Budapest100 program. The locally and originally well-functioning methodology will have a chance to compete in different scales and context, which can affect knowledge-wise the original festival itself.
The next session of Come in! network will be held in Warsaw in February 2019. We will keep you posted with the results.
08 December 2018, Budapest
Rita Szerencsés, former project manager of Budapest100