Metropolitan Research Institute

METROPOLITAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE (MRI) was established in Budapest in 1989 and has since become a recognized institution working in the areas of housing policy and urban development in Hungary and throughout Europe. MRI undertakes research and consultancy assignments, organises both national and international conferences and designs and provides training in these areas.

In recent years MRI has strengthened four main areas of research:

  • Regeneration of marginalised urban quarters including energy efficient renovation of multi-family buildings
  • Strategic planning of urban transportation systems (with the focus on public transportation structures)
  • International comparative research and consultancy on urban development,
    national and local housing policies with the focus on the public rental sector

Metropolitan Research Institute operates with 15-20 employees and associated researchers holding postgraduate degrees in economics or sociology.

MRI, as a partner, participated in FP5, FP6 and FP7 research projects in the fields of urban regeneration, urban development and housing policy (E.g. UGIS, RESTATE, OSIS, DEMHOW, PLUREL).  

Main roles in PROFICIENT

  • As a leader of Work Package 2 (SME business models) MRI is responsible for coordinating a team in charge of developing innovative network business models for both construction and retrofitting of energy efficient CSO housing.
  • Based on international experience on the operation and retrofitting of multi-family housing, MRI plays an important role in defining the potential market segment for the retrofitting and construction of CSO housing and developing models for optimal retrofitting processes.
  • MRI – in cooperation with Energosys Co – coordinates the demonstration project in Hungary, providing direct feedback to the development of process and business models.
  • MRI is also a research partner in evaluating financial and legal regulations both on national and local level.

Key persons involved

Dr. József Hegedüs (managing director and founder of Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest) has been working on housing issues from 1980s in Hungary and countries in transition. Within Hungary he has been a member of the National Housing Policy Committee (advisory group for the government) since 1996 and co-author of several housing policy papers commissioned by the Hungarian government.  He was the author and team leader of projects aimed at developing local housing strategies for various cities in Hungary and districts of Budapest. He has worked in several technical assistance projects in transitional countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Bulgaria, Russia, Macedonia, Serbia) financed by USAID, Council of Europe, Council of European Development Bank, the World Bank, World Bank Institute, Bertelsman Foundation, UNDP and the Open Society Institute. He was member of the Advisory Board of the Global Research Network on Human Settlements (HS-NET) between 2004-2009. Since 1989 he has been one of the working group coordinators of ENHR (European Network of Housing Researchers) on Eastern European Housing Policy

Éva Gerőházi has 15 years of experience in research and consultancy in the field of regional development, housing policy and urban renewal. In the 90s she was the leader of the programme of USAID in Hungary in the field of renovation of multi-family residential buildings. She has worked in several international projects in the European Commission 5th and 6th Framework research programmes. She has been conducting research on issues about social housing reconstruction and rehabilitation, suburbanisation and urban and regional development. She carried out special surveys on evaluating the social and living conditions of run down urban areas. She prepared feasibility studies of socially sensitive urban regeneration programmes in Hungarian cities. She also prepared policy recommendations for Habitat for Humanity Hungary in order to strengthen its role in financing the renovation of multi-family residential buildings in segregated urban areas. She has conducted research on broader aspects of urban development (E.g. the evaluation of the Hungarian regional operational programmes of 2007-2013, preparation of a study on the demographic future of the European cities).

Hanna Szemző(PhD in History, MA in Sociology and History) has been with the Metropolitan Research Institute for more than 10 years. She has experience in research and consultancy in the fields of urban development, social inclusion, housing policy, demography, welfare and the problem of aging and the pension system. She has participated in various 5th and 6th framework programs of the European Union, working on issues of urban renewal, the revitalisation of large housing estates, and the question of how housing wealth can be used as a source of income in retirement. She has prepared strategic development concepts for local governments and participated in the preparation of a study on the demographic future of European cities. Lately, besides doing research for Proficient, she has been involved in the development of a joint research project between architects and sociologists with the aim of providing innovative housing solutions and through this, revitalising selected problematic areas of Budapest.