Budapest’s Journey to Climate Neutrality


Budapest struggles with air and noise pollution caused by the increasing car traffic. The number of private vehicles increased by 20% and transport CO2 emissions grew by 24% from 2010 to 2020 - derailing the city’s net-zero ambitions. In 2020 there were 48 days where the measured level of PM10 exceeded the EU limits. While urgent interventions are needed, restricting car use is a politically sensitive topic. There have been rather sporadic attempts to transform single streets or smaller neighbourhoods into pedestrian areas, mostly for temporary periods (e.g., one side of the Danube Riverbank in the summer, during the pandemic). The Municipality is currently elaborating the criteria, methodology and funding needs of the Healthy Streets project to be adapted in Budapest. 67 million EUR was made available for district municipalities starting from autumn 2023 to submit and carry out projects that are in line with the Healthy Streets concept.

To be achieved through UP2030

 Create a monitoring and impact measuring methodology that will be applied in the Healthy Streets projects. The Budapest Municipality will also combine the Healthy Streets projects with specific walk/bike to school sub-projects in a specific neighbourhood with high vulnerabilities locations will be defined by the implementation of successful proposals. This project will represent an innovative experimental urban development approach in terms of climate action, safety, health (clean air, less noise) and social well-being for Budapest. Evaluating the impact of these projects will enable measuring the CO2 reduction achieved in Budapest, as well as to provide proof of the multiple benefits of these projects to support further up-scaling in more neighbourhoods.

Besides the financially incentivised call for application, further application opportunities emerged for the Healthy Streets approach which the city is developing through the UP2030 project. During the consultations with potential applicants, districts have already started to use Healthy Streets methodology, some even beyond the scope of the call for application. To widen the use of HS approach – developed for the call for application, the Healthy Streets Design Check – , Budapest will set up an extended LAA, invite more stakeholders in the discourse and build a knowledge centre around it for upscaling the methodology with different stakeholders and the involvement of local citizens. The city has defined objectives for upscaling and achieving urban development professionals to adopt and apply the methodology in practice in urban space development.

TOP Skip to content