15 November 2023, Budapest > Perspectives pour une ville durable

On 15 November 2023, I participated in the “Perspectives pour une ville durable” roundtable discussion with experts from Paris and Budapest. The event was organised by Francia Intézet / Institut français de Budapest and the French Embassy as part of the 21st Environment Month event series.

In urban environments, the impact of climate change is becoming more and more tangible; it is inevitable to reconsider and revise the climate policy in order to make our cities more livable and sustainable. Frequent heatwaves, the risk of flooding, the reduction of biodiversity, and the depletion of water resources are all problems that require action at the local level.

At the roundtable disussion we explored what key local government measures have been taken to make our cities green and sustainable, and what specific ecological initiatives can be implemented in an urban environment.

Invited speakers:

  • Pauline Lavaud, adviser to the mayor of Paris on energy and climate change, water affairs and public space maintenance;
  • Ada Ámon, adviser on climate issues to the mayor of Budapest, head of the Department of Climate and Environmental Protection;
  • Dóra Csernus, director of climate and environmental policy at the Equilibrium Institute;
  • Cecilia Lohász, head of Valyó (City and River Association);
  • Levente Polyák, co-founder of Eutropian 

To complement the discussion, we organised a Cooperative City Walk in the Józsefváros district with Pauline Lavaud, adviser to the mayor of Paris on energy and climate change, water affairs and public space maintenance, showcasing a range of interventions and innovations in the district supporting a greener city. We visited:

Blaha Lujza square: exploring the recent transformation of the square, making it more green, more safe, and more social

Cargonomia: cargo bike collective offering solutions for environmentally friendly urban freight transport

Tolnai Lajos community garden and Tolnai kindergarten, a green and inclusive kindergarten, introduced by Gábor Erőss, deputy mayor of Józsefvárosi Municipality

Bacsó Béla street + Déri Miksa street: the results of greening streets with more vegetation, less parking, and more public space for community activities

RenoPont Energetikai Otthonfelújítási Központ: energy support office counselling citizens about their energy use

Pollack Mihály square: understanding the environmental conflicts around a planned university campus

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