Terézváros Municipality is one of the densest districts in Budapest. The proportion of paved surfaces is extremely high, while cooler green surfaces are scarce and this causes increasing concerns with respect to the lives of citizens and climate change: very high temperatures, heatwaves, flooding during the summer thunderstorms (due to climate change) and other extreme weather conditions are threatening the health of citizens. To tackle the climate crisis and improve the lives of its citizens, the new Terézváros Municipality administration decided to prioritise environmental protection and greening of the district. They are implementing measures such as increasing green surfaces, planting trees, endorsing decarbonisation and promoting awareness about environment and sustainability among the residents.
The core of the project is that each initiative promoted aims to recycle waste as material and the mitigation objectives, aimed to decrease the effects of climate change, come with adaptation propositions aimed to defend the district against climate change. In this mission, the communication towards the citizens is of utmost importance as well as their involvement, which is done mainly through a biweekly district magazine, a website and social media. The initiatives proposed include the following:
- The system of community composting leads a reduction of waste disposal costs and emissions.
- The office greening project aims to make the municipality building plastic-free.
- The organisation of a ‘green procurement’ course, introducing a tool by which purchasers pay special attention to environmental aspects and the effects of the given product during its lifecycle.
- Planting trees and reducing traffic levels is a step forward.
- Community gardens: 30 cm-high raised beds, and gardening on the balconies of the buildings is very popular and has a significant role in greening the district.
- Glass recycling is one of the most popular projects.
- The collection of used cooking oil enables it to be recycled as biofuel.
- The inner courtyard greening project helps in greening the district and, at the same time, it represents community spaces.
- The Green Library programme: the municipality believes it is very important that schools and nurseries also have knowledge on sustainability, environmental protection and climate change, and provides funds for schools and nurseries to buy books on these subjects.