In collaboration with experts from other EU member countries, and within the framework of direct EU subsidies, we research and elicit methods and practices that provide answers to current problems. We then make these results available for all interested parties, through a range of far-reaching communication tools.
We also act as external experts in EU funded projects for other organisations, undertaking special tasks in areas related to urban research and planning, such as research, strategy design, dissemination, communication work, or partnership building.
In order to be able to carry out our projects, we constantly search for national and international tender opportunities, and have submitted and realised several successful projects together with our Hungarian and international partners. Thanks to our experience acquired over many years, and to our stable financial situation, we can also accept requests for the development of such external projects that match our company profile, and related to this we undertake to search for funding sources, prepare the necessary documentation, and provide a project management service.
This document, popularly called a cycle programme, which is related to the development planning cycle and supported by close collaboration with relevant professionals, is well suited to be the key document for a dynamic, multiple-stakeholder, urban development plan. In order for this to be successful, it is necessary to develop as many urban centres as possible, but in such a way that they generate a wide range of private sector investment, which will then benefit the municipality.
An important basis of our company activity is building partnership. Good practices in communication, cooperation, and partnership create an efficient networking system, and we can assist our clients in this interaction with their stakeholders and collaborators. One of the most important aspects, already showing encouraging results, of the multi-actor development of regions and municipalities lies in establishing cooperation and partnership, and using strong communication skills to target these objectives. The European Union attributes a key role to communication activities that support cooperation, thus the successful implementation of projects subsidised by the EU requires communication strategies that specialise in development and partnership, and the network of contact that will emerge from this process. Our staff are highly skilled in communication and partnership, and this allows us to offer an independent service in communication strategies and partnership-building activities in the field of urban planning.
Local economic development, and the revenue-increasing administration of the municipality require adequate strategic thinking and planning, which must comply with the relevant laws. This means that, in addition to operational and maintenance expenditure, at least a part of the municipality’s planned expenditure on development must be spent on interventions which, by attracting private capital investments and activities that create jobs, will result, both directly and indirectly, in increased municipality revenues, and sustainable budgetary savings.
Tourism destination management is commonly aimed at the simple use of the assets of a given destination, and cannot include those development and major investment efforts that, beyond event marketing, could result in the substantial increase in indices such as visitor numbers or visiting time. This shortcoming can be remedied by the development planning of tourism destination areas, which means considering the area as part of its wider region, and identifying and financing the necessary investments and organisational changes required to generate a higher average spend.
The majority of district centres, and of main streets in capital cities that were originally commercial streets, found themselves in a downward spiral following the growth in popularity of shopping malls. This process can only be stopped by a coordinated series of conscious interventions, realised through well-organised cooperation between local authorities, retailers, and property investors. This negative process can be reversed by launching a Business Street Development Programme that can make town centres and business streets competitive again, with the help of an economic development action achieved through the cooperation of the Municipality and the retailers, property owners, and their representatives. The objective of the Business Street Development Programme is to make the structure and operation of retail trade in downtowns and city centres competitive with that of the shopping malls, and thus the quality, property market value, and profitability of downtown shops can again reach or even surpass, those of the shopping malls.
Heritage management moves beyond methods of restoration of monuments, and proposes public projects and job-creating private investments, using the attractiveness of valuable heritage elements, to create sources that can be used for the sustainable maintenance of a given tourist attraction, as well as increasing local tax revenues and employment.
Urban regeneration planning means the planning of action areas that are eligible for renewal through the investment of private capital. Such plans define not only the templates for efficient techniques, but also outline the organisational and financial framework necessary for the implementation of these investments.
Integrated and efficient communication is an essential part of urban planning projects, the prerequisite for which is a strategically grounded communication planning. We contribute to the success of our clients by both designing communication strategies and offering consultancy in this area.
Just like a product, even a perfectly working town or city needs image communication. The brand image works best when it accurately reflects the image of the city or settlement, has its own identity, and represents the city’s unique and original features. In this way, the elements of the brand image make the target audience remember immediately the town in question. A unified concept for the image, contemporary graphic solutions based on the traditions of the town, a user-friendly website and search engine optimisation, all help to increase the popularity of the town through the emphatic communication of its identity.
Several times throughout the year, within different frameworks, we organise scientific and professional conferences, workshops, professional meetings, and forums for international exchange of experience. In addition to this organisation of annual and other conferences, the Hungarian Society for Urban Planning considers one of its most important tasks to be an innovation centre, which promotes a wide range of international networking, and disseminates the good practice examples gained from these knowledge sharing events to professional representatives in Hungary. We meet this commitment by organising information sessions, professional case study trips, and professional programmes for international visitor groups. Thanks to our activities, both Hungarian and international practising members of the profession of urban planning can share their knowledge and exchange experiences.
Green city development
In Hungary, comprehensive medium-term environmental plans, such as the Municipal Environmental Programme, are normally prestigious, strategic documents that are not always appropriate for the operational stimulation of local social activities, which would also serve to bring about environmental improvements. Instead, MUTK proposes an alternative planning methodology that helps to improve the environment according to the real needs of the local society, by using existing economic opportunities and local tools. The method of the local agenda planning identifies, in a programme-focussed and task-orientated manner, solutions to specific environmental problems, using locally available tools.
By following a Sustainable Energy and Action Plan, a given municipality will make progress not only by complying with the emissions targets of the EU’s 2020 Energy Strategy, but it also means that it can become a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors, and thus be able to access a wide variety (e.g. JESSICA and ELENA) of financial resources. SECAP advisory services and the preparation of the specific professional documentation are two of the main activities of MUTK.
The methodology of sustainable urban mobility planning, almost unknown in Hungary so far, allows methods of environmentally conscious mobility to be achieved through subsidies that aim to support the improvement of energy efficiency. Until now, such plans have been implemented in Hungary mostly through the framework of sustainable energy planning, e.g. in Budapest’s Újpest and Óbuda boroughs.