Fitting a mobility plan into the overall municipal policy framework in Budapest. Hungary

By News Editor / Updated: 12 Dec 2014

The Heart of Budapest programme aims to revitalise Budapest city centre through a series of traffic calming measures. The programme was the third and last step of the Mid-Term Urban Development Strategy of Budapest, the Podmaniczky plan.


A principal shortcoming of urban transport planning today is the lack of coordination between policies and organisations. Addressing this deficit represents a major challenge for sustainable urban mobility planning. The Heart of Budapest was the last step of a three step policy ladder for the inner city that was created to co-exist with the municipality main framework document, the Podmaniczky plan, which aims to improve the city’s sustainable mobility.


The Heart of Budapest programme (2007) was created to revitalise the inner city of Budapest through large-scale traffic calming. This programme bears most of the characteristics of an SUMP as it is described in these guidelines. Stakeholders (e.g. local residents and shop owners) were consulted during the development process; the programme is clearly committed to sustainability by prioritising non-motorised local transport; and it integrates traffic calming with other issues, most importantly that of local business development and enhancement of the quality of life.

The Heart of Budapest programme is fully integrated into a wider policy framework as well. In 2003 the Budapest Urban Development Concept was endorsed, which defines the basic vision and long-term priorities for the city’s overall development. Based on this Development Concept, and after two years of work and extensive stakeholder consultations, the Mid-Term Urban Development Strategy of Budapest, more commonly known as Podmaniczky Plan, was accepted. To match the EU’s current budgeting period it sets the key priorities for development and lead projects for the period of 2005-2013.>The Podmaniczky Plan is a policy document with great importance, defining the development path of Budapest for almost a decade. This plan outlines a comprehensive implementation framework, such as the priority urban development measures, budgeting, institutional framework, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation timelines and procedures.

As the third element in the policy ladder, the Heart of Budapest is the last step: it is a specific project implementation plan that describes four concrete infrastructural projects in the field of sustainable urban mobility in the centre of Budapest.



At the beginning of the SUMP process it is important to review plans that may impact sustainable urban mobility planning, such as what has been illustrated here in this example of Budapest. In addition, planners should identify coordination requirements and potential across all relevant policy domains and levels. An example is the relation between land use planning and transport. Transport impacts need to be considered in the land use planning process to maximise the use of sustainable travel to new developments.



Gábor Heves, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe


More Information

This example relates specifically to the Activity 2.2, Strive for policy coordination, in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Guidelines document, available here 

Eltis case study with more information on the Heart of Budapest programme: /index.php?id=13&study_id=2961


Urban mobility planning
Gabor Heves
Gabor Heves
Gabor Heves
sustainable urban mobility plans
06 Jan 2012
12 Dec 2014