The Municipality of District 5 has recently opened the new "main street" between Kálvin Square and Szabadság Square. The spectacular HUF 5.5 billion (EUR 20 million) project has already pushed prices up in District 5. The streets have received new decorative pavements and the previous expensive column lighting has been replaced with an energy-saving public lighting system in the revitalization. The beautifully tended public parks, the dazzling interactive fountain at Szabadság Square, and a significant reduction in car traffic, has made this area of the city more friendly, more attractive, quieter and fresher.
Budapest's new nearly three-kilometer-long high street running from north to south is an urban axis with reduced motor vehicle traffic between Vigszinhaz utca and Kalvin ter. As one of the largest revitalization projects of urban space in Europe, the project was started in 2006, and was completed with the help of the European Union. LED technology is employed in the street lighting and there is wireless Internet access available throughout. The area includes Honvéd Street, Szabadság Square, October 6. Street, Erzsébet Square, Bécsi Street and Petofi Sándor Street, Ferenciek Square and Kecskeméti Street together with Egyetem Square.
Aim of the project
Elaboration of a well-proportioned area that meets the new functions of the inner city: parallel with the pedestrian area of Váci Street, development of a new high street joining the adjacent areas. The goal was to develop a main street in the inner city (a further project includes the bank of the Danube) that physically and mentally connects the Downtown to the Lipótváros areas of a different character for city dwellers as well as for the tourists coming to visit Budapest.
The idea of developing an north-south axis of the downtown of Budapest (earlier the town of Pest itself) has been considered by town planners nearly for one and a half century, an example of which is the way Szabadság Square has been shaped to give space to such an axis.
The overall construction after World War II, based on changes to be made fundamentally for a heavy motor vehicle traffic - namely the reconstruction of Kossuth Lajos Street - have literally cut the downtown into two, for decades, while maintaining the north-south transit traffic on the axis of Kecskeméti Street and Petofi Sándor Street.
Finally, the concept of renewing the functions of the area in question and getting rid of the transit traffic passing through the inner city and its main street, brought more life, increasing real estate value in its wake.