The 5th District Local Government is creating a community space serving all ages on Hild Square, which is barrier-free and meets the needs of children with disabilities. In the spirit of the green approach prevailing during the design, special solutions such as a green roof, vertical green surfaces and a green bus stop are used; and in the framework of the blue approach, they also pay a lot of attention to water-saving solutions - it is clear from the local government's press release sent to Pestbuda.

The Budapest City Council, which is responsible for the operation of Hild Square, transferred the operational tasks to the Inner City Local Government from 1 October 2021, without providing the financial resources assigned to it. Due to the operational shortcomings of the previous years, the square and the playground had become so neglected by that time that its complete renovation became inevitable. The investment will be carried out by the Inner City Local Government as a voluntary task, from its own financial resources, instead of the Budapest City Council, reads the announcement.

Hild Square in 2021

The Inner City Local Government took into account the needs of the population, especially the families living in the 5th District and the community of the neighbouring kindergarten, both in taking over the operational tasks and in the renovation of the square - within the framework of community planning. They are currently working to provide it with a public toilet equipped with a changing table, a child-friendly drinking fountain, a humidifier, a ping-pong table, new benches, a community library, bike racks, waste bins, a renewed green surface, public lighting, lockable gates and 0-24-hour live security with a surveillance camera system.

All of this and the green approach and climate-conscious development strategy of the Inner City Local Government cannot be reconciled with the district opposition's position that a few swings and climbing frames would be enough for the 5th District.

According to the plans, the works will be completed this autumn (Photo: Inner City Local Government)

According to the information, 13 new trees will be planted in the spirit of the green approach, of which 4 are 20-25-year-old, 15-20 metre tall individuals - compared to the typical planting size elsewhere, they are "giant trees" - which, thanks to their existing canopy size, provide shade already in the first year after planting for visitors. The proportion of green surface in the park will increase from 24 per cent to 37 per cent, to a total of 851 square metres in the square. The formation of the largest possible plant surface is achieved with special solutions such as vertical green surfaces made of creepers or the integrated green bus stop.

By rethinking the green surface in the square, new shaded areas and a new microclimate are created. The green roof planned to be built on top of the comfort point, which also includes the toilet, will consist of drought-tolerant, herbaceous perennial plants that thrive in very extreme conditions in their natural habitat, so neither watering nor mowing will be necessary. The bus stop surrounded by plants was handed over in 2022 as part of the bus stop greening program of the Inner City Local Government, at the same time 11 bus stops are now green in the Inner City and 4 more are planned for this year.

A climate-conscious public park and barrier-free playground will be created on Hild Square (Photo: Inner City Local Government)

Just as in the recently renovated public areas of the inner city, the blue approach is also enforced on Hild Square, i.e., the conditions for rainwater management are also taken care of. The water supply for the vegetation is provided by locally collected and retained rainwater, groundwater from a drilled well, and a water-wasting-free automatic irrigation system.

Interestingly, a telephone exchange building stood on the site of the investment until 1944-45. The fact that the remains of it were continuously demolished until 1952 made the construction difficult, but the basement level was only buried. Although the rehabilitation of the area would be complete with the removal of the remains of the building, this is not possible to preserve the trees living here.

Therefore, a complete soil replacement is carried out in the area up to a depth of 250 cm, where this does not endanger the living conditions and the stability of the trees to be kept. Precisely for this reason, this work is carried out using special technology, in strips, under the supervision of a tree protection specialist. Another complicating factor during the development is that the area is affected by many utilities, and several utility reconstructions have become timely.

However, all of this did not dissuade the Inner City Local Government to populate the playground of the renewed Hild Square public park in the 5th District with the heroes of the Kuflik tales - in a unique way up until now. The writer András Dániel – the dreamer of Bélabá, Zödön, Fityirc and their peers – himself participated in the design of the play elements of the playground inspired by his popular fairy tales.

The heroes of the Kuflik tales will appear on the renovated playground (Photo: Inner City Local Government)

The developments of the Inner City Local Government have already won recognitions such as the BIG SEE Architecture Award, which awards the best architectural solutions at the international level, the eco-awareness green certification, the Flowering Hungary diploma for the use of innovative tree planting methods, or most recently the 2022 Settlement Development Award and the Construction Industry Level Award. During the renovation of Hild Square, people can also expect it to be carried out at the high professional level marked by the aforementioned awards and with the great dedication and attention typical of the Inner City Local Government, as a result of which this public space will surely become the new favourite of many.

"Both as mayor and as a father, I consider it extremely important to provide as many high-quality opportunities as possible for families to spend time together outdoors. And the fact that we are also climate-conscious during the renovation of Hild Square, as well as thinking about children and visitors with altered abilities, not only strengthens the cosiness of the 5th District but also sets an example for all of us in shaping attitudes," said Péter Szentgyörgyvölgyi, mayor of the Inner City, summarising the significance of the renovation of Hild Square.

Source: Inner City Local Government

Cover photo: Design render of the new park (Source: Inner City Local Government)