Acting for Hungarian Cities’ Wellness

Samu Szemerey is an architect, urbanist, a founding member of KÉK Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre and the lead expert at Lechner Nonprofit Ltd.

At “reSITE 2017: In/visible City” conference, he showcased the audience some exemplary projects from Hungarian context and also presented how Hungarian cities are trying to improve the quality of life and the well-being of their citizens. His practice mainly focuses on establishing smart city strategies and coordinating them across the country. He initiates bottom-up projects, innovative business ideas, and puts many efforts to make various stakeholders “to get into and stay in urban governance.” By focusing not solely on Hungarian cities but also on cities in the Central European context, he helps these cities building partnerships as well as adhering to long-term goals i.e. social-economic integration, regional collaboration, knowledge economy, self-financing and smart city strategies.

In his speech, one of his striking examples is an Uber like transportation network created by the citizens in 2009 during the transportation strikes in Budapest. The main question is: “Then why it didn’t become widespread and prevail such smart cities/citizens initiatives?” Samu Szemerey prioritizes one answer over many, and argues that the city basically lacks such smart eco-systems to provide the city with knowledge, competence, an operating viable business model etc. He also underlines that “Infrastructure is the commons of the future. How we organize and how we govern these commons” is the main issue for all city actors to tackle with.

KEK is one of the project partners in the Shared Cities: Creative Momentum project co-funded by Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

(c) reSITE 2017

reSITE is an international nonprofit platform based in Prague. We work at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, politics, culture, and economics. We act as a catalyst for social action and innovative leadership.

We encourage an exchange of ideas about making cities more livable, competitive and resilient. We protect and promote public space, architecture, and sustainable development in cities.

Why? To stimulate action for sustainable urban design and therefore better cities. We stand for public space.


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