The last natural riverbank in Budapest must be saved

The revealed design of the mobile dam in the Római part of Budapest (Roman Riverbank) violates the regulation of the third district and the capital, which defends the riverbank. However, the relevant plan, which will be considered within weeks by the City Council, is not public.

In a report by Greenpeace Hungary, the problems from the mobile dam are summarized, and a resolution is proposed. It will preserve one of the last near-natural parts of the Danube’s shore in Budapest and guarantee the safety of the nearby inhabitants.

The green organization’s petition asks the city leaders not to make a decision as long as they have not involved the inhabitants and not worked out an alternative design with aspects of conservation, urban planning, health protection, and engineering. The Clean Air Action Group has also reviewed and supports their position and petition.

In the revealed design to protect the Roman Shore from flooding, the mobile dam violates the Óbuda - Békásmegyer urban development plan and building regulation (ÓBVSZ) and the Budapest site usage plan (TSZT). There is no documentation that can certify that the mobile dam could stand up against floods, which will become more and more intense from climate change.

The report from Greenpeace Hungary draws attention to the importance of protecting the recreation area, loved by tens of thousands, as well as the special riverside ecosystem. The planned mobile dam would destroy three-quarters of the Gallery Forest together with the coastal fauna. With the coastal mobile dam, the flood plain would be considered a reserved river-flat, and the real estate prices and construction would increase, ending the current recreational function of the Roman Shore. Technically the line of defense, which runs along the Nánási út–Királyok útja, would also be opposite. This is demonstrated in the document prepared by experts commissioned by the Budapest Municipality . The zone with foliage on the wide flood plain can provide extra protection against flooding in addition to a higher dam farther up the river, leaving more time for protection. Therefore, Greenpeace Hungary asks the City Council in the petition not to support the mobile dam and not to vote on the flood protection of the Roman Shore as the inhabitants are not involved and other established alternative plans have not been designed. They would include the health benefits, the recreational, and the ecological function of the area’s Gallery Forest and shoreline.

„A kind of flood defensive solution is needed that preserves one of the last near-natural parts of the Danube’s shore in Budapest and meanwhile provides protection for the 55,000 nearby inhabitans. We ask the members of the City Council to find this way and come to decision on the future of the Roman Shore by involving the residents” – declared Gadó György Pál, the head of the green area campaign of Greenpeace Hungary.

Translated by Sarolta Drobni
Edited by Jacqueline Dufalla