Green spaces in Budapest’s City Park have increased thanks to the very investments that the city’s mayor has complained about, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said in a letter to Gergely Karácsony.
Gulyás said in the letter posted on Facebook that the capital’s leadership should welcome an increase in green spaces given their professed green credentials. He referred to one “dilapidated and graffiti-marked” site in the park which has been demolished, creating more than 1,500sqm of new green space, while a cafe there takes up a mere 120sqm. Gulyás said the park’s renewal and landscaping enriched tens of thousands of square meters of green areas, adding that almost 150,000sqm of green space has been regenerated, while 72,000sqm of paved land has been dug up. Fully 500 deciduous trees, 70,000 shrubs and almost 140,000 perennials have been planted during the development, he said.
Referring to the Liget project, an ongoing investment to revamp the park and its surroundings by creating a new cultural quarter, he said green areas would increase by tens of thousands of square meters from 60-65% of the park’s previous total. Also, the Green Budapest scheme recently adopted by the central government will add 73 hectares of new green spaces within the capital’s borders, while 187 hectares of existing urban green spaces will be renewed, Gulyás said. So, he added, the government’s environmentally friendly policies have gone well beyond rhetoric, and, Gulyás insisted, it has achieved more in this regard in the last three decades than anyone else.
Gulyás accused the mayor of using his current office as nothing more than a “political springboard”. So instead of cooperating with the government, he is casting around for disputes, he added.