As part of the sustainable transport developments in Szeged, a new project is showing citizens what kind of future awaits them if they continue their everyday lives without change and allow global warming to have an increasingly devastating effect on the city. Szeged Vision first projects a grim future with the help of graphic artists in five locations around the city- the Tisza river, for example, dries out almost completely. Then they also show the great opportunities in the future if everyone does what they can in the fight against climate change.
Based on the project’s graphic designs, the beautiful city of Szeged, bisected by the river Tisza, will look like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film by 2050. Although it is difficult to project how the city will look, there is a danger of desertification, as from the Homokhátság, the wind already brings dust to the city, which will happen more often in 30 years’ time. The precipitation deficit could be so great by then, that the Tisza will be reduced to a small stream in the middle of the city, according to the projections of Szeged Vision. As a result, jobs could be lost and agriculture in the region could be hit hard by the drought. Illustrations also show killer heat waves, fire, and food crisis.
Although the project is only the worst expectation of the experts, and people can still do a lot to change the grim future shown by the Szeged Vision portal, it is still a possibility. Tamás Gál, associate professor of the Department of Climatology and Landscape Geography at the University of Szeged, said that it is estimated that a global temperature increase of one and a half degrees is expected by 2100, with the goal that it will not rise further thereafter. However, according to some calculations, we can reach this number as soon as by the end of the 2020s, so what we can see on the website may be a realistic picture.
This aligns with a Swiss study, which a year ago showed that nearly 80% of cities in the world will undergo dramatic and potentially disastrous changes and major cities across the globe, including Budapest, will change dramatically by 2050. According to a map prepared by researchers, in thirty years the Hungarian capital will have a similar climate to that of the North-Macedonia capital, Skopje. This means Hungarians will have to deal with major heat waves and 40 degrees Celsius temperatures in the summer months.
However, the Szeged Vision project also shows a better view of the future, and the project shifts its perspective to focus on what opportunities we have to prevent the apocalyptic vision. The pictures show and imagine what the future holds for us if everyone does what they can in the fight against climate change. In these pictures, the Aradi vértanúk square, for example, becomes an important transport hub, the gateway to downtown Szeged by 2050, in which technology can also be a huge help.