18th district of Budapest
Pestszentlőrinc which had been granted city status in its own right in 1936 had a more urban nature and an industrial tradition as well. The industrial activities have now disappeared and the quality of the buildings along the main street of the former town (which also served commercial purposes) has significantly deteriorated. Pestszentimre, which used to be a village, became a mix of areas for low-rise family houses and one modern housing estate.
The area of the current 18th district, formerly functioned as a holiday resort for the inhabitants of the capital, and still is one of the greenest among the Budapest districts. 17,5% of the district’s territory is either in the category of green area or forest. Now, the district is a residential suburb with a population of 98.384 (2011).
The district is linked to the city centre by three main roads, although their capacity is low and the quality is poor.
The district has a commuter town image as there is a limited number of employment opportunities, with more people working outside of the district than within the borders.
The capital city has a two tier governance system. The Municipality of Budapest is in charge of those issues which are relevant for the whole capital city or for a bigger area than a district, such as the preparation of the city’s urban development plan, housing, maintenance of main roads or the system of public transport, public lighting.
The Municipality of the 18th district has employed a desk officer specifically for dealing with the civil society sector. The Civil Fund established by the City Council provides
yearly support through separate application systems for the running costs of the civil and religious organisations and for the different activities and programmes organised by them. Although more than 240 civil associations are registered in the district, only about 20% are actually active, according to the expert’s estimate. Moreover, only 10% of them receive grants from the Municipality in support of their wide-ranging activities such as covering cleaning-up campaigns, tree planting, looking after small plots of neglected land, or organising events. The Municipality uses residential forums, newsletters, TV and leaflets, and also at different events to meat communities and civil associations.