Városliget (City Park), which was one of the world’s first public parks, is the pride of Budapest. Our capital’s most frequented park has earned itself recognition not only by virtue of its age and for being among the first of such facilities, but also through its unique historical heritage and a clear mission from its very conception that makes it unrivalled in Europe. Our ‘Liget’ is an urban public park for relaxation, a green oasis, and a home to institutions of culture, entertainment and recreation. Our forefathers had good reason to envision this place as a venue for the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian Transport Museum, the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture and the Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle). Other establishments built here include the Budapest Zoo, the ice rink and Széchenyi Thermal Baths. These popular institutions attract millions of visitors per year; the park also offers nice and calm leisure time for its visitors in the middle of the capital city. With most of its institutions being in need of renovation, Városliget has reached a condition in the past few decades that make it unfit to live up to its great traditions and calling. The park cannot fulfil its true mission: it has grown drab, its vegetation is well past its prime, its facilities and equipment are outdated and its air is being polluted by tens of thousands of vehicles on a daily basis. The comprehensive renewal of Városliget cannot be delayed any further. Such rehabilitation can only be implemented at a 21st-century standard, while fully respecting the park’s 150-year-old heritage. The institutions in Városliget must be renovated, while the park’s green area must be rehabilitated and enlarged. As a result, by 2020 Városliget will be more liveable, modern and much greener than it is now, enriched with attractive institutions, making it worthy of its old fame.
After the Városliget Lake is revamped, it will serve as a decorative water surface embracing Széchenyi Island and the rebuilt Páva (Nádor) Island all year round.