Jennifer Walker


Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is #8 on The 2014 GOOD City Index

Budapest is in the midst of a heated dialogue about its future. Earlier this year, alongside the re-election of conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, there was a rise in votes for the ultra-conservative Jobbik party, whose values include anti-Semitic and anti-Roma sentiments. And, while gay pride parades are a cause for celebration in most other cities around the world, the one in Budapest this summer was marred by bullying and death threats to LGBT campaigners. But 2014 also saw a growing and inspiring counterculture asserting itself. In August, “Pimpikes Dream,” an LGBT-friendly community center opened in District V and in November, the prime minister was forced to shelve a plan for an internet tax, after record numbers of protesters in Budapest loudly rejected the idea. Events like the globally crowdsourced design contest for Liget Budapest and the internationally recognized ArtMarket Budapest show how creativity and ingenuity are pushing back against the tide of repressive policies.

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