Integrated Urban Development Strategies

Integrated Urban Development Strategy is a complex document that is to harmonise the characteristics of the given town with the plans, concepts and possibilities of the actors involved in the life of the town in a best possible way; to offering a midterm development framework that channels all relevant and innovative investments and interventions. Constant partnership forms an important element, that is, involvement of the most possible actors in the preparation of the strategy; in addition, the regional strategy, integration and consideration of aspects beyond the limits of the town as fully as possible.

Rather specific legislative frameworks organise its preparation, each case, however, present a totally different task. Different towns and villages have definite ideas in different degrees about their future, their features will require different foci.

Integrated Urban Development Strategy is based on two other strategic document types, the urban development concept and the related underlying analysis. The former serves for establishing long term goals, while the latter for survey local conditions. Major frames and directions in these documents determine what midterm goals and major projects may be included in the Integrated Urban Development Strategy as consequence of consultations with the contractor, notions of other actors in the partnership and recommendations of experts.

Spatial convergence appears as a compulsory and focal element in preparing the strategy where the anti-segregation programme, based on multilevel data services of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, plays an elementary role as integral part of the Integrated Urban Development Strategy.

Our Approach

Numerous measures may foster the manifestation of development goals as expansion of mid-term objectives, such as action area approach where the Integrated Urban Development Strategy of a given town bounds zones where a comprehensive complex programme based on diverse developments is to manage specific local problems. Moreover network projects are usual elements of Integrated Urban Development Strategy that serve developments of not a specific area or even parallel locations. Thematic key projects include development possibilities which are local but have a paramount importance to the town.

When compiling the strategy, HÉTFA Research Institute bears in mind aspects that we consider essential for preparing a credible strategy serving the entire interest of the town, such as:

  • Providing competent expertise in all themes, from engineering tasks to ensuring economic and social aspects.
  • Involvement of actors as fully as possible, personal interactive mapping of opinions of partners. To achieve this we use workshops and forums.
  • Thorough investigation of perspectives of local key actors – institution leaders, major employers, policy makers, with interviews if possible.
  • Constant publicity, publication of all approved project elements and discussion.
  • Exploration of financing possibilities, during project preparation, especially EU funds.

Preparing Integrated Urban Development Strategies poses various challenges as well. That includes, for instance, unified, harmonious channelling of often rather diverse occasionally conflicting ideas. Addressing potential partners, especially intuitional actors and civil organisations may also present difficulties as well as bridging differences in cognitive frameworks and triggering participation.

Leading Experts

Gábor BALÁS, Zsolt BARANYAI, Zsolt SZENDREI

Finalised materials, references:

Integrated Urban Development Strategy for Budapest 8th District (2015)
Integrated Urban Development Strategy for Budapest 17th District (2015)
Integrated Urban Development Strategy for Dunavarsány (2016, under preparation)