Urban diversity and the production of public space in Budapest

  • Lajos Boros Department of Economic and Social Geography, Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • Szabolcs Fabula Department of Economic and Social Geography, Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • Dániel Horváth Department of Economic and Social Geography, Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • Zoltán Kovács Geographical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungary Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary ; Department of Economic and Social Geography, Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2697-4682


Public spaces are spaces for representation of individuals, social groups, ideologies, values, cultures. At the same time, public spaces are commodifi ed and "disneyfied" in capitalism, thus, the creation of a homogeneous, "desirable" spatial form and use of public space is often intended. Therefore, their production is characterised by constant rivalries and struggles and causes social confl icts. In addition, the production of public spaces in post-socialism has distinct development paths which is often characterised by contradicting traditions and objectives regarding the spatial form and the everyday practices taking place there. These contradictions create conflicts between various individuals, social groups, actors of urban policies etc. The
aim of the paper is to investigate how urban social diversity is (re)presented in the public spaces of the 8th district of Budapest, Józsefváros. Which groups and values are more visible than others? How do local people use public spaces? The research is based on the content analysis of policy documents and interviews conducted with local residents of Józsefváros - one of the most diverse districts of Budapest. According to our results, the fragmented nature of the local society is refl ected in the use of public space: diversity is present between the public spaces and not within them. Furthermore, some of the recent developments support the homogenisation of values and behaviours in public spaces.


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How to Cite
BorosL., FabulaS., HorváthD., & KovácsZ. (2016). Urban diversity and the production of public space in Budapest. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 65(3), 209-224. https://doi.org/10.15201/hungeobull.65.3.1