Urban Node


Country: Hungary Population: 1.8 million
Often cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is not is the capital of Hungary, and one of the largest cities in the European Union, but also an important hub for trade and transport. The city is a vital traffic hub as many major European roads and European railway lines lead to Budapest. The river Danube, Europe’s second longest river, connects the node with important ports in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine before emptying into the Black Sea. Through the Rhine-Danube Canal it also reaches the Atlantic. Budapest has been selected for the focus phase of Vital Nodes.
At the Urban Nodes Workshop in Budapest, sixteen stakeholders participate. Challenges dealing with different (modes of) infrastructure, mobility and spatial developments on different geographical levels (local – city level, regional level and national – corridor level) were discussed.

Main challenges discussed during the workshop are, amongst others:

  • The need to reserve space for future use (e.g. sustainable logistics);
  • Road and rail bottlenecks in the city;
  • Lack of (open) data to monitor policy changes in mobility and logistics;
  • Adaptability in policy changes and innovations.

Besides zooming in on these challenges the discussion dived into multiple good practices as well. Examples are:

  • The cargo bike logistics that focuses mostly on the last mile deliveries and has its impact on the vitality of the city of Budapest;
  • The first SUMP based transport development strategy for Budapest (BMT = Balázs Mór plan);
  • The freight transport strategy, taking into account special access permits and weight restrictions.

During the workshop the participants used local, regional and corridor maps to draw and point out important aspects related to freight and logistics, while taking into account passenger transport and spatial planning aspects. In the final stage of the workshop also the role of Budapest on the TEN-T core network corridors was related to the more local challenges and possible bottlenecks.

Clear take-aways were:

  • The awareness of the urban node function;
  • Possibilities and impossibilities of micro and midi hubs in the city;
  • Vulnerability of the network in and around the urban node Budapest;
  • Interconnection between infrastructure networks.

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