The Cranberries, Budapest, and Urbanism

What do “The Cranberries,”  Budapest and urbanism have in common? Well actually more then one would think.

“Oh, my life is changing everyday,

In every possible way.
And oh, my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems,
Never quite as it seems.” -The Cranberries, “Dreams”

The more I learn about urbanism, cities, and life within cities the more I realize that life isn’t stagnant. Cities like life are every changing, they meet the current needs of society. Yes, although “Dreams” by The Cranberries is more of a song associated with openness of love, this is also how I recently feel about Budapest. When you experience change in your life, such as a when I moved from the US to Budapest, you realize that it really never is as you could predict. Yet the beauty of unpredictably is it provides insight.

Budapest has provided me with insight not only into the complexities of understanding the association of people and place in urbanist studies, it also provided clarity into my personal relationship with the built environment. I have come to realize that when I gave up my inhibitions of trying to analyze all of the similarities and differences between cultural variations within Budapest and the US; in a sense, I started to understand more about how I fit within the context of Budapest. I can not change an environment to fit me, instead I must fit myself within the environment. That is the interesting thing about cities, we can find aspects of a city that are a direct reflection of our ideologies, and if you don’t we start to see how that environment impacts us physiologically.

I have started to realize that the aspects of cities that are the most intriguing are the aspects that aren’t necessarily analogous with our ritual lifestyle. I myself, am particularly interested in the organic development of cities. Living in Budapest, a city with such rich history is reflected within the streets, buildings and people whom occupy it. The development of the city shows the development of the “magyar” identity, an identity that is continuously “magyar” but also ever changing? The magyar identity is a dream to me, because it hasn’t been as it seems but yet it’s a beautiful mystery that I will continue to explore.

“And oh, my dreams,
It’s never quite as it seems,
‘Cause you’re a dream to me,
Dream to me.”

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Crowdfunding + Urban Planning and Design

The following post is a writeup created for “Magyar Urbanisztikai Tudásközpont Nonprofit Kft./Hungarian Urban Knowledge Centre (www.mut.hu)” providing case-study research surrounding the topic of sustainable city developments. 

Site Source: The City Fix

Article Title: Friday Fun: You too can build a sustainable city through crowdfunding

Author: Ryan Schleeter

Crowdfunding is increasingly being utilized within the urban planning and design realm as a means to sponsor urban renewal projects.  Crowdfunding encourages citizen oriented design projects to raise money towards urban improvement projects such as; parks, gardens, and public spaces. To encourage sustainable results from crowdfunding local governments can sign up on citizinvestor.com, which is a platform that raises money for civic projects. An additional source for cities to establish their own platforms for crowdfunding is Citizinvestor Connect. This crowdfunding source allows citizens to voice their opinions about specific project ideas that could be utilized to establish more sustainable civic environments where they live.

The idea is that by allowing citizens to participate within the donation process of public projects, they create a more inclusive and sustainable urban planning process between citizens and governmental agencies. Although there are some pitfalls to crowdfunding; such as possible inaccessibility to citizens whom lack the ability to provide financial support. The many positive potentials for new capital to fund artistic and economic ventures is advantageous for many cities and countries. Crowdfunding can be utilized within a plethora of projects ranging from renewable energy technologies, to start-up ventures and real estate development. Crowdfunding will aid in meeting the needs of citizens by reimagining cities through a sustainable and inclusionary process.