The Rakosrendezo train station - Photo: Wikipedia

Budapest city council to seek public opinion on Rakosrendezo rehabilitation project

The Budapest municipal council will conduct on online survey on plans for a major property development project in the capital's Rakosrendezo area in the 14th district, the city's mayor said on Thursday.

Gergely Karacsony told a press conference that the survey will be open to all Budapest residents over the age of 14 with a permanent address in the capital.

He criticised the 5 billion euro rehabilitation project planned by UAE developer Eagle Hills as a “bad legal arrangement” that prioritised the interests of investors over the public interest. He said the same developer had carried out a project in Belgrade under a similar arrangement, which would be “remembered as a textbook example of botched urbanistic solutions”.

Budapest needs rustbelt zones where quality homes can be built in order to halt the decline of the city’s population, Karacsony said.

The municipal council agrees with the public developments linked to the project, such as the plan to extend the M1 metro line, he said, adding that the city disagreed with the way the government had selected the developer without a tender, thereby “allowing it to dictate the terms”.

He said that if the municipal council put together a joint development plan for the area in question, “major international property developers would be lining up to work on the project”.

Karacsony said the city council wanted to turn the Rakosrendezo neighbourhood into a green residential area with affordable housing and public parks. In response to a question, he said that in 2019, the new city administration had prepared a development plan for the area that included 8,000-10,000 homes, commercial services and “quality green areas” and enjoyed “broad professional consensus”.

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