Beginnings of urbanization processes as exemplified by the Budapest Metropolitan Area
Investigating Hungarian urbanization processes – especially when using the example of the Budapest Metropolitan Area – has been a central research topic of the Hungarian regional science discourse during the past decades. Research work increasingly contributed to better understanding of those urbanization processes, on the basis of a model of urbanization elaborated by
Leo van den Berg and – as for the Hungarian literature – György Enyedi.
This article conceptualises the two most important approaches to urbanization, the ’evolutionary school of thought’ and the ’historical school of thought’. The evolutionary school can be
interpreted as a group of theories that identifies urbanization as a universal process of successive ’stages of urban development’. The historical school of thought is relatively unknown. This
is because it does not concentrate on popular – and, sometimes, slightly simplistic – generalisations, but rather on characteristics of individual trajectories of urbanization Joining forces with
the historical school. The present article tries to formulate a clearer notion of the urbanization
development within the context of the recent Budapest Metropolitan Area during the period of
1900-1945. Using contemporary statistical publications, we built a database that helps to quantify the intensity of urbanization processes. We were able to distinguish communities falling under the ’immediate urbanization zone’, communities falling under the ’broader urbanization
zone’ and communities that did not participate in any urbanization processes at all.