Plans reveal new green look for two main squares in downtown Budapest
With an accent on greenery, contemporary landscaping and public charging points, the central squares of Vörösmarty and Podmaniczky tér are currently undergoing a major revamp. Due for completion before this September, the renovation will see nearly 100 new trees planted altogether, safer cycling at Podmaniczky tér and the Lion Fountain at Vörösmarty tér moved from its current focal location.
Many will admit that Podmaniczky tér, the urban space around Arany János utca metro station, was due for a revamp, given its old-school kiosks and sunken-level bus stops. Reconstruction discussions have been ongoing since 2017. Péter Szentgyörgyvölgyi, mayor of downtown District V, presented plans on 9 January, and promises to create a small park in the middle of the city by planting 84 trees and increasing the immediate green area by 30%.
The trolleybus terminus at the square will disappear, the pedestrianised area will increase and cycling will be made safer, with bikes given their own lanes.
Natural stone tiles, water features and new public furniture will revive this popular meeting place where the street lighting will be renewed and charging points will be set up.
The trees will be comfortably bedded in thanks to a modern root-management system, ensuring rapid growth and long-term vitality, while integration with nearby utilities and housing is assured.
The decision to renovate Vörösmarty tér, a central square always busy with tourists, was taken in May 2017. Its rather ad-hoc appearance will disappear, while utilities and electrical points will be hidden behind a uniform sheen.
A new public and ornamental lighting system will replace the old, public furniture and street features will be renewed, the old-fashioned concrete stone pavement relandscaped with high-quality paving of andesite, granite and limestone, natural in appearance.
Sections of connecting streets will also be renewed, including Deák Ferenc, Bécsi and Apáczai Csere János utca, along with Vigadó and Harmincad utca running up to Erzsébet tér.
As part of the overhaul, given the proximity of the metro line and public utilities here, only 15 new trees will be planted. The statue of poet Mihály Vörösmarty will not only be restored but stand out better, though the Lion Fountain will be shifted into a separate space where the British Embassy once stood at the corner of the square and Harmincad utca.
Renovation started on both squares on 7 January and is set to be completed by 31 August.