Research project

This ongoing research project led by Luca Csepely-Knorr aims to analyse the development of Hungarian Public Park theory from 1867-1945 in an international context. The project is based on the rigorous analysis of a rich collection of visual and written sources (plans, maps and archival photographs, council papers), that are part of a previously un-researched set of primary and archival materials in the collection of the Budapest City Archives, that has never been published before. The originality of the research is based on the one hand on the fact that it is the first of its kind that made these seminal plans and maps available for the public. On the other hand it made an innovative contribution to the existing understanding and knowledge of public park theory in the discussed period. It not just examined the Hungarian examples in an international context, but also proved the theoretical advancement of landscape architects. Throughout the research process, I presented the work at various peer-reviewed scientific conferences, and the first results were disseminated in my book, Barren places to public spaces : a history of public park design in Budapest 1867-1914, that was published both in English and in Hungarian.

The significance of this project lies in its various impacts. These previously un-researched sources were in a state of disrepair, and as an outcome of the project, the project partner, the City Archives restored a large amount of the artefacts and digitalised them, that makes it now more accessible for research purposes. The various reviews on different media sources and the success of the book led to my Special Jury Award by the Hungarian Association of Architects at the Landscape Architect of the Year Award. Through this publicity the book successfully directed the attention of both scholars, professionals and the general public to the invaluable holdings of the Budapest City Archives, and it also changed the public perception of the values of existing public spaces in the built environment.

Project Details


Luca Csepely-Knorr

Project Start Date


Project End Date



Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, The Hungarian National Cultural Fund, The Imre Ormos Foundation, The Manchester School of Architecture


Budapest City Archives

Research Outputs


Csepely-Knorr, L., 2016. 'Barren Places to Public Spaces: A History of Public Parks in Budapest, 1867 - 1914', Budapest City Archives, Budapest.

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2016. 'Budapest közparképítészetének története a kiegyezéstol az elso világháborúig', Budapest Fováros Levéltára.

Book Chapters

Csepely-Knorr, L., Fatsar, K., 2018. 'The city of the future, or a retropolis? The utopian experiment of socialist modernist architecture in Salgótarján'. In Adventures in the Land of Modernism, The Modernist Society.

Journal Articles

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2011. 'The Birth of the Theory of Urban Green Systems in Britain and Hungary. Correspondence between Thomas H. Mawson and Béla Rerrich concerning Urban Design Principles', Acta Universitatis Sapientiae Agriculture and Environment, 3, pp. 37-49.

Non-Peer Reviewed Articles

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2015. 'Sunflower Houses: a Hungarian experimental housing estate', The Modernist Magazine, Issue #16 EXPERIMENT..

Conference Papers

Csepely-Knorr, L., Klagyivik, M., 2018. 'From Social Spaces to Training Fields: Evolution of Design Theory of the Children's Public Sphere in Hungary in the First Half of the Twentieth Century', European Architectural History Network Fifth International Meeting, Tallin, 13/6/2018 - 17/6/2018, in Childhood in the Past, 13 (2), pp. 93-108.

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2018. 'Mawson's 'Volksparks'?', SAHGB 2018 Annual Symposium Architecture, the Built Environment, and the Aftermath of the First World War, Institute of Historical Research, London, 8/6/2018 - 9/6/2018.

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2017. 'Tervezéselméleti irányvonalak a két világháború közötti magyar közparképítészetben', Város - liget - köztér - szórakozás: VI. Magyar Várostörténeti Konferencia 2017., Budapest, Hungary, 13/11/2017 - 16/11/2017.

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2016. 'The Architectural vs. the Natural: The Birth of Modernist Landscape Design Theory in Hungary', European Architectural History Network: Fourth International Meeting, Dublin, 2/6/2016 - 4/6/2016, in Kathleen James-Chakraborty (ed) Proceedings of the fourth international conference of the European Architectural History Network.

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2015. ''Following the example of the British' - Influence of Sir Joseph Paxton's public parks in Budapest', PAXTON 150: Histories and Futures of Public Parks, University of Sheffield, 11/9/2015 - 12/9/2015.

Csepely-Knorr, L., 2012. 'Public parks: Reflections of social and cultural transitions in the urban environment', in 49th World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, IFLA 2012, pp. 113-127.

Project Staff

Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr
Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr Reader in Architecture View profile