A professional conference was held about the future of Budapest and the possible directions of development. The aim of the conference organised by Portfolio on the 16th of October was to present the most important city-development projects for the upcoming years, and to show the concepts and the economical-political symbiosis that determine the development of the city in the long term.

Dr. András Reith, the Director of Sustainability of Paulinyi-Reith & Partners participated in the panel discussion titled “The districts of the future are being built”, alongside with Péter Dongó, Executive Director of 99999 Informatika Kft., Dr. Benedek Gyergyovics CEO of Városliget Zrt., Réka Martini, Executive Director of the Strategic Division of the Hungarian Development Bank, Gyula Ágházi, CEO of Granit Polus Group, and Dr. Gergely Árendás, Executive Director of Property Market Kft. The discussion was moderated by Gábor Borbély, Research Director of CBRE, who in his introductory speech was talking about how Budapest could soon become the leading city of the region.

András Reith - co-author of the ‘Budapest 2030 - Long-term city-development concept’ - expressed his joy towards the fact that nearing 2020 the discussions regarding the capital’s development strategies projected to 2030 are revived. This city-development strategy, which was accepted by the Budapest General Assembly in 2013, has stated the importance of many ongoing projects. András Reith highlighted how important it is, that individual projects are executed in accordance with a unified vision.

During the discussion all the experts agreed upon the fact, that in case of city scale projects the matter of payoff of the investment has to be looked at in a much broader sense compared to the solely monetary approach in case of individual real estate developments. Social usefulness, sustainability, and other societal viewpoints have to be taken into consideration in these cases. Regarding sustainability András Reith emphasised the need for multidisciplinary researches, like the recently finished COMBI (Calculating and Operationalising the Multiple Benefits) project, which puts the positive effects of energy efficiency operations into numbers. Tools like this help to quantify the national economic advantages of particular developments. The project, commissioned by the European Union, was realised by ABUD, the sustainability strategy partner and provider of Paulinyi-Reith & Partners, its results are being used by the company group in the design process.

The participants of the discussion had the same opinion on the importance of reconciliation of viewpoints of the various actors, the residents, the developers and the planners, and the newly formed City Development Council will have an important role in it.

Experts and decision-makers as István Tarlós, the mayor of Budapest, Róbert Homolya, the CEO of MÁV Ltd., András Gerő historian or Dávid Vitézy, the Director of The Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport spoke at the conference.

The full program of the conference: