Smart street projects in Budapest announced


Zsolt Moln谩r

Following Vienna始s example, the Management of Shopping and Thematic Streets (BUM) announced the intention to create 11 smart streets in Budapest, in order to boost street shopping, eliminate empty storefronts, and tighten cooperation between entrepreneurs, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

R谩day utca, a popular shopping street in Budapest, is also part of the project. (Photo: Zsolt Moln谩r)

The development would affect, among others, the B茅la Bart贸k 煤t, Falk Miksa utca, and R谩day utca. 

The non-profit management company, operated by the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKIK), says that it wants to create a strongly cooperating business community in the Hungarian capital始s shopping and thematic streets.

鈥淭he vision of smart street is not a new service for entrepreneurs and the general public," says Attila Antal, director of BUM. "We want to change the mindset of retailers in the long run. We can only create a smart economy in Budapest by convincing retailers to share information."

He also emphasizes that in smart city and smart street initiatives, IT development is not the key to success, adding that the basis of the smart economy is collaboration and information. He adds that in Budapest, there are five shopping centers per one shopping street, while in Vienna there are eight shopping streets per mall.

According to the director of BUM, this is not an argument against the plazas, but rather one for so-called thematic streets, which may allow Budapest to catch up to Vienna both in terms of tourism and liveability.

According to the press release, one of the first test projects of the smart street initiative in Budapest was the creation of kib茅, a website that offers entrepreneurs not only rentable retail spaces but extra economic information as well. The platform will also feature competition analysis and financial return predictions, allowing people to estimate how profitable their future business would be at a given location.

"A perfect example of economic cooperation within a street is Bart贸k B茅la 煤t, which has become one of the world始s 50 best quarters in the past five years," Antal adds. "Even there, one cannot avoid having to carry out developments, but it perfectly demonstrates that connection between businesses, joint events, and dedicated management bring about results, measured not only in terms of fame but forints as well."


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