Assessing the sustainability of urbanization at the sub-national level : the Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity accounts of the Budapest Metropolitan Region, Hungary

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Kovács, Zoltán
Farkas, Jenő Zsolt
Szigeti, Cecília
Harangozó, Gábor
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The growing concentration of people and wealth often results in imbalances of resource consumption and carrying capacity, therefore, the sustainability assessment of urbanization can offer an important basis for global sustainable transition. This paper aims to provide an analysis of the environmental sustainability of urbanization in Hungary focusing on the long-term changes of ecological footprint and biocapacity at the sub-national level, with a special attention to the Budapest Metropolitan Region (BMR). During the research a hybrid method considering an input-output model and household consumption data was used for the calculation of regional ecological footprint, whereas biocapacity was measured on the basis of land use data. Findings suggest, that even though the ecological deficit of the country has been gradually decreasing since the early 2000s, due to a shrinking population and increasing biocapacity, the ecological overshoot is still significant in the case of Budapest and its agglomeration (30 fold and 2.4 fold respectively). The unsustainability of the BMR is caused partly by demographic factors (7.6% population growth as opposed to the the 7.7% decrease in the countryside) and partly by rising per capita ecological footprint values (especially in the agglomeration from 2.73 to 2.92 gha/capita), which are not balanced by biocapacity on the supply side. This research concluded that policy makers in ageing societies with a highly centralized urban system like Hungary should launch programmes targeted specifically to primary metropolitan areas to improve environmental efficiency and encourage people to change their consumption behaviour.
fenntartható városfejlesztés , városkörnyék , városok , városrégió , ökológia , fenntarthatóság , Budapest , agglomeráció - Budapest , Budapest , területhasználat , biokapacitás , urbanizáció , urbanizáció - Magyarország
Sustainable Cities and Society 84:(Paper: 104022) 12 p. (2022)