Budapest's built environment in transition
Author: Dingsdale, A.
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 49, Number 1, 1999 , pp. 63-78(16)
Abstract:The construction of major new buildings has been noticed in Budapest since the mid 1980s. New hotels, office blocks, housing projects and most recently shopping centres have become a prominent feature of the landscape in several districts of the city. The paper first outlines a conceptualisation of the `Transition' in terms of eastern Europe as a whole identifying internationalisation, Europeanisation and national government policies as key strands in a specific case of a process of change interpreted as the interaction of antecedent conditions and current processes. It then addresses the question of conceptualising the built environment in terms of the `Transition' and three `schools of thought' in geography stressing the urban morphogenesis approach. It thus poses the question of how radical a change has `occurred on the ground' since 1989–1990. Consequently the paper examines the transition in the built environment of Budapest under three principal headings:
(a) the antecedent conditions of the built environment of Budapest by spatial structure,
(b) the relationship between new buildings and current processes,
(c) comparing models of the spatial structure of Budapest as a socialist city and as a post-socialist-(industrial) city or post-industrial (capitalist) city.
It concludes that although the processes shaping the city's built environment have changed quite radically since 1990 the physical fabric of the city and its antecedent usage have strongly influenced the spatial impact of the current processes. Budapest is a post-socialist industrial city with capitalist forms fitted into it. The city is passing from socialist to capitalist processes in a way that suggests that morphological analysis has clear potential in theorising the relationship between the global and the local.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Nottingham, NG11 8NS, U.K.
Publication date: January 1, 1999