Geographical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS-GRI), Budapest, Hungary

As one of the research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Geographical Research Institute (HAS-GRI) was established in 1951. The present number of research fellows is 25; the total number of staff is 45. The majority of the research fellows were graduated in geography and/or in related disciplines (e.g. economics, sociology) and hold a PhD. As a leading institution in the discipline the institute plays an outstanding role in spatial research in Hungary. The scientific spectrum of the institute is very wide, several research projects in the field of urban and regional development have been carried out in recent years. One of the main research topics of the institute has constantly been the issue of sustainable urban development of Budapest. In addition to that projects focusing upon the transformation of the social and built environment, the impact of economic and social transition as well as the migration of population have been elaborated in the last few years.
Since the accession of Hungary to the European Research Area the institute participated in several research projects (co)-financed by the EU, the most important of these in the field of urban development were URGE (Development of Urban Green Spaces to Improve the Quality of Life in Cities and Urban Regions EVK4-CT-2000-00022) and NEHOM (Evaluating Housing and Neighbourhood Initiatives to Improve the Quality of Life in Deprived Urban Neighbourhoods and Assessing the Transferability Across Europe EVK4-CT-2000-00027). An earlier research project supported by the EU focused upon ‘The social and economic consequences of privatisation in Central and Eastern Europe’ (1994-1997, EU, CIPA-CT93-0082). A number of national projects on urban transformation, housing market and new business environment were supported by the National Research Foundation (OTKA). In these projects researchers of HAS-GRI worked in close collaboration with local and regional experts, established wide range of contacts with practitioners, and gained practical expertise.