Volume X |

Land Use Change of the ‘Small Hobby Gardens’ in the Peri-Urban Area of Szeged, Hungary

Abstract: One of the main characteristics of the rural-urban fringe is the rapidly transforming hybrid landscape. This mixed land use is changing fast and is conspicuous since the early 1990s’ in Hungary. Before the transition, the development process was regulated and determined by the national government. In the post socialist transition, the market economy transferred the peri-urban areas to other context. The aim of this paper is to present how the rural-urban fringe of a post-socialist country has developed during different regimes among different conditions. Furthermore not only the different regimes among different conditions determine the transformation of the peri-urban area in post socialist countries, but also the special administrative and historical urban space is productive of other location and development ways than as usual. Thus, the second aim of this paper is to discuss how the regional (The Great Hungarian Plane) characteristics of the cities can determine the changes of the rural-urban fringe. The ‘small hobby garden’ is an important urban space of the peri-urban areas. They were created in the 1960s’. The gardens had agricultural and recreational functions. Before 1989 they were a significant part of the Hungarian economy and social life. People had their own land property and the owners could sell their grown vegetables during the socialism. After the transition the hobby gardens lost their roles, thus they are important ‘only’ in local. In the last one and a half decade the gardens have undergone various changes. The functions and the land use of the small hobby gardens have become wider. The rural-urban fringe zone of Szeged has more, various garden zones than it is usual in the Great Hungarian Plane. Thus, Szeged is suitable to present the development of rural-urban fringe, especially to present the transformation of the small hobby garden zones in Hungary.