The results were presented at a press conference with the participation of Mayor László Papp, Deputy Mayor Ákos Balázs and Municipal  Representative  Erzsébet Katona on the 7th June 2024.

As László Papp said, “the first phase of the Civaqua programme was a great gift in creating a new wetland in the northern part of Debrecen in the form of the Vezér Street pond. The city administration would like the citizens of Debrecen to embrace and use this beautiful environment as widely as possible. To this end, a joint consultation process with local residents was launched a few months ago to find a common vision for the lake area. The result is a solid package of ideas that could cost up to HUF 70-80 million to implement.

In the first phase, the city could realise between a third and a quarter of this amount. The municipality has earmarked HUF 22 million from its budget to start equipping the pond area, taking into account local criteria. Community planning also includes plans for a small playground with a castle and swings, which could be further developed. In addition, benches and sunbathing areas will be provided on the lakeshore, with traditional tables for picnicking. Although there are some nice big trees in the lake area, there can never be enough trees. An additional 10,000 trees will be planted as part of the Green Codex initiative. Longer-term plans include a running track around the lake.

It was announced a few days ago that a running track will be built along the Tócó in Józsa, partly with the help of a grant and partly with municipal support, and construction is scheduled to start this year. The next such facility would be the lakeside running track on Vezér Street, which would provide opportunities for active recreation. The care and maintenance of the lake is of course also very important. People in the area have already reported that, as a natural process, the grassland has begun to take over some of the wetland habitat. In the coming weeks, the city will take care of the cleaning and maintenance of the pond, based on an agreement with the pond operator, the mayor pointed out. He expressed the hope that the pond and its surroundings would be welcomed by the local community and that the area would be used by an even wider range of people.

Municipal councillor Erzsébet Katona called the reservoir created under the Civaqua programme a great treasure of the community, which is now known as the lake. They would like to give this lake a name in the future, also in the framework of a collaborative, online, joint discussion, as it is very important that everything around the lake is based on the opinions and suggestions of the local residents.

She pointed out that everyone from children to the elderly were consulted during the community planning process. Dog walkers have taken over the area from very early on, so dog waste bins and selective waste bins will be put out. She said the lake area could be a great place for activities as well as recreation, and that it could be a great place for people to relax. She wished residents and visitors a pleasant stay at the lake, where the mosquito population is being kept under control by monitoring and installing burrows for swallows and bats.

According to Deputy Mayor Ákos Balázs, this is a very important place, as the Green Codex contains 50 measures that the municipality will implement step by step in the city. The Green Codex was adopted by the city assembly at the beginning of the year and was prepared with a scientific background, with the involvement of experts from the University of Debrecen and the Green Working Group. In a place like the Vezér Street Lake, several measures of the Green Codex will be implemented, such as the creation of a wetland, a “green island” where Debrecen residents can relax and coexist with the nature around us. Debrecen is also a bird-friendly municipality and, as he mentioned, bird and bat boxes have been installed. Several other objectives of the Green Codex can be implemented at the Vezér Street pond, such as the planting of fruit trees. Community planning will make this pond the kind of environment that people in the area want. The collaborative thinking process began by asking neighbourhood residents what features they would like to see around the lake, and then creating graphic representations to inspire further ideas. Ákos Balázs stressed that the municipality would do its utmost to work with the citizens of Debrecen and would continue to seek their views on the further implementation of the Green Codex.

At the press conference it was also mentioned that there are still plans to create a recreational park in Tócóvölgy as part of the TOP Plus programme, which would create a 7-8000 square metre water area similar to the area of Lake Békás. This would be surrounded by features that would allow local residents to relax and enjoy activities and sports.


Author: Debrecen4U