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Urban Metabolism: The Case of Budapest

Urban Metabolism: The Case of Budapest
István Pomázi
István Szabó
Journal Article
, Pages 25
At the period of economic globalisation and speedy urbanization, in the most
developed countries the sustainable uses of natural resources have become more and
more important and policy relevant. Exploring urban metabolism applying material
flow analysis could help to better understand the complex features of input-output
processes, and the material consumption of the society.
Hungary's capital, Budapest together with its surroundings is one of the highly
developed metropolitan regions in Central Europe where the concentration of
economic and financial resources and technical and social infrastructure have made it
possible to support about 2.5 million people (25 per cent of the country's total
population) on about 2,500 km2 land area. This population of capital region depends
on a continual supply of materials, energy and information to maintain function and
everyday life. Economic activities are highly concentrated in Budapest agglomeration
producing roughly 40 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product.
The economic and social changes in Budapest between 1950 and 1990, coupled with a
large population increase, brought with them greater material and energy
consumption needs and unprecedented waste generation habits. After the political
and economic transformation in 1990, radical economic, demographic and social
changes have occurred which had altogether a great impact on different resource uses
(e.g. water, energy, land and food), and resource efficiency.
The case study highlights the economic, social and environmental transformation of
Budapest by emphasizing the following most important aspects: development and
transformation of the economy and society; material resource consumption and waste
generation and related environmental impacts. The main findings and
recommendations of the case study can contribute to underpin both more resource
efficient urban policy and design, as well as enhancing sustainable consumption and
production in Budapest.
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