The pandemic drastically changed the everyday function of the city, thus changing people’s lifestyle as well. The value of home has increased. Due to the restrictions, homes simultaneously became the place for studying and working, and many recreational activities were moved to the smaller neighbourhoods as well.
This induced a change in mobility habits as the need for travelling has decreased. Even in times of reopening, small-distance services are satisfying the needs of citizens. This means local trading and recreational units have gained a larger importance, especially the ones that during the crisis, can provide an impulse to local businesses.
The aim of the Mayor’s Office is to make Budapest an adaptive city, capable of adjusting to the changing circumstances after the pandemic; and in case of an incoming second wave, creating a safe and liveable environment for its citizens. Because of this, the task for the upcoming months is to increase the publicity of local services and recreational spaces and to insure better conditions of public space utilization for food-service units – taking into account pedestrians and cyclists. It’s important to simultaneously continue the implementation of traffic alleviation tools in favour of pedestrian and bicycle travelling. This could help to increase the role of trading and food-service units. It’s important to redefine the employer-employee relationship, placing bigger emphasis on home office and flexible working hours, thus favourably influencing mobility needs.
We will likely face radical changes in the city’s life, not just during, but after the pandemic as well, so medium-term actions will also be required for a successful adaptation. The aim is to improve the situation of small and medium-sized businesses, form small scale local, cultural axes and revitalize the streets of the city, in order to achieve a Budapest that becomes a city of small distances.