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Pest Embankment in the summer of 2020, Source: Visit Budapest / Facebook

Pest Embankment renovation enters last planning stage

Pest Embankment renovation enters last planning stage

Budapest Transport Centre has launched the tender for a contractor of the RAK-PARK project

The last planning phase of the renovation of the Pest Danube embankment, stretching between Kossuth Square and Fővám Square in the Hungarian capital, has officially begun. At the end of March, Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) launched the public tender to choose the RAK-PARK project’s contractor. The winning bidder will be responsible for preparing the documentation of the modified renovation plan, drawing up the construction plans, and obtaining the necessary permits.

Public consultations

Last year, Budapest Municipality opened the lower quay on the Pest side of the capital for pedestrians and cyclists and launched an online poll on the future of the quays. 75 percent of approximately 3,500 respondents said the primary role of the quay should be to provide recreation, and only 21 percent favoured car transportation. Curiously, the recreational box was ticked even by 53 percent of those polled who typically drive a car.

Respondents noted that installation of piers on the Danube should be paramount for the renewal plan, followed by increase in green space, shade trees and rest areas (89 percent), removal of barriers (82 percent), and creation of surfaces suitable for cycling and scootering (79 percent). In November 2020, 24 NGOs asked the city administration in an open letter to support the creation of a public park in the area which could become an integral part of the city centre.

One of the aims of the RAK-PARK project is to review the traffic order that has remained unchanged for decades and the functions of the public spaces in the area. The development will improve the conditions for cycling and pedestrian traffic, as well as replace the degraded pavement. The project takes environmental considerations into account and therefore envisages more green space, making public spaces on the Pest Embankment more attractive.

United by a common goal

In the implementation of the RAK-PARK project, the Capital City, the Hungarian government and the Budapest Development Centre (BFK) see each other as partners – not a small feat in view of the strained relations between the ruling Fidesz party and the opposition local administration.

Prior to the announcement of the public procurement, the Municipality of Budapest, BKK and BFK continuously agreed on the technical content of the project, and the Government of Hungary took over the implementation of the quay development from the Municipality of Budapest. Thanks to the negotiations, the renovation of the Pest Embankment has become possible in a way that suits everyone, with all the players involved concurring about the need to bring the dominance of cars on the lower quay of Pest to an end.

How the project unfolds

The Municipality of Budapest announced the architectural design competition for the RAK-PARK project in 2015. The design plans were completed in 2018 and are now being reviewed and updated.

The approved design documentation is expected to be ready by the summer of 2022. The construction works are planned to be completed in two phases - in the autumn of 2023 and finally in the summer of 2024.

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