At the heart of downtown Pest, Vörösmarty tér is scheduled to be fully renovated and renewed by the summer of 2019. The 1.6-billion-forint investment will include reconstructing the square’s surrounding area, too. The extensive development plans will transform the beautiful plaza into a comfortable, modern and stylish pedestrian zone. The pavement will get a new look as natural stone tiles, street furniture and drinking fountains will be installed, and more green patches will be available. The popular Christmas Fair here will also receive a new appearance, with a more orderly and elegant design.
The renovation of Vörösmarty Square, the most bustling crossroads plaza in downtown Budapest, was postponed several times in the past. This central spot at the northern end of Váci Street, with the famous Gerbeaud Confectionary and a statue of Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty, was transformed into a pedestrian zone in the middle of the 1980s. The square houses the popular Christmas Fair since 1998, along with several cultural and culinary events throughout the year, which are sometimes an eyesore with their disorganised wooden stalls, ruining the gorgeous architectural environment.
In 2015 the Municipality of Budapest released a tender for renovating the square and unifying its appearance. More than 70 submissions were handed in (including plans with solutions for eliminating the wooden stalls), but in the end none of the proposals were realised. By now the time has come to give Vörösmarty tér a fresh design and entirely renew its look. The current plans include upgrading the general appearance of the square and the surrounding streets with natural and stylish solutions, providing a new utility infrastructure for the fairs, planting trees, and installing street furniture and drinking fountains so that tourists could freshen up and rest a little in the summer heat.
According to the latest information from the General Assembly of Budapest published at budapest.hu, renovation is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2018. The project will be managed by Város-Teampannon Kft. and would be finished by the end of August 2019. Besides Vörösmarty tér, reconstruction is planned in the nearby streets, too, including Deák Ferenc Street, and the section between Bécsi Street and the Vigadó building.
The square and the streets will get new, natural, non-skid stone tiles, and there will be more green patches with plants and trees. The utility infrastructure is planned to be completely renewed, including the lighting and the curbs, and pedicabs and bicycles will be banned in the area. A fountain with a large water surface is also included in the plans, aiming to cool down the square in the summer heat.
The tender spells out strict criteria for planning the exact location and appearance of the diverse events organised in the square, that is, detailed and accurate outlines are required that will need to be adhered to when renting out the spots.