SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.


INNOAIR – the project that favours both environment and citizens

The main ideas and novelties behind INNOAIR project were presented at the 7th edition of the European Congress of Local Authorities in Mikolajki, Poland, 11-12 April 2022. The Congress represents a platform for exchange of views and for meetings of leaders of local and regional authorities from Poland with representatives of the state administration, NGOs, business and their partners from abroad.

Two of the partners under INNOAIR project were also among the invited participants to the event - Yana Docheva, Head of International Cooperation Department at NAMRB and Gergana Ugrinska, Head of International Activities Department at Urban Mobility Centre – Sofia.

In the framework of the session, focused on the topic of turning green investments into a benefit to all, Yana Docheva shared with the participants that Bulgaria and Poland face common challenges, priorities and goals in achieving environmental change, but have different starting points. Green transformations begins at the local level, local authorities know best the needs of the citizens, that is why municipalities should be the role model for carrying out the activities in implementing the upcoming changes. "We need to focus on what lies ahead for local authorities, because our energy and environmental transformation did not begin yesterday, but many years ago. Some municipalities are more advanced in implementing green ideas, others are just beginning. This highlights the differences in the problems we have to deal with" said Yana Docheva, emphasizing that if we want to achieve the expectations for climate neutrality and safe environment, we need mutual cooperation between citizens, business and the state.

Regarding the role of local authorities and businesses in finding environmental solutions, she presented the project "INNOAIR", implemented by Sofia Municipality in partnership with 2 universities, 2 NGOs, 2 companies and one national institute. With this innovative idea for green public transport on demand, the municipality aims to propose a qualitative change in the way mobility is organized in the capital city. Based on users’ requests submitted via an online application, an optimal route of transportation by electric buses is created, covering the maximum number of passengers. The innovation aims to improve accessibility and the cooperation with the business sector to develop and integrate the project, with the academia for data collection and analysis, as well as with the NGO sector to raise awareness and change consumer behaviour is the win-win combination for successful project implementation, shared with the participants Ms. Docheva.

This year the forum brought together more than 1,500 participants from local, regional and executive authorities from Poland, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy, Sweden, Finland, France, the Republic of Northern Macedonia and Albania. MPs, partner associations, associations and business representatives also took part.

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.



The Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences includes the youngest in the cause of cleaner air

On the occasion of the children's holiday – the First of June, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Plovdiv "Paisii Hilendarski" organized a sports holiday for children with bicycles in one of the parks in Trakiya region, together with Trakiya District at the Municipality of Plovdiv, Center “Education for Democracy”, Regional Information Center "Europe Direct ” and the Plovdiv Cycling Association “Tsar Simeon”. The event took place on May 29, started at 10:00 a.m. and grew up in a lot of positive emotions, smiles and useful knowledge.

The idea of the event was to attract families with children, and thus to tell children how important it is to walk and ride a bike, even when they grow up, what are the health benefits not only for those who are engaged in sports, but also for the environment. In this way, children would develop an attitude towards nature, health care and empathy for others. All children received hats and flags with the INNOAIR logo to remind them of the day and what they had learned.

Their parents also got acquainted with the activities of the INNOAIR project. Young and old learned about the innovative transport on demand, the green corridors, the congestion charge and the SofiaCoin application . The participants shared that they appreciate the efforts and measures that Sofia is making to improve air quality and would be happy to implement some of them in Plovdiv.

The sports holiday was also a part of the eco-initiatives of the University of Plovdiv "Paisii Hilendarski", aimed at improving the environment and developing the sports culture of young people in 2022 - officially declared by the EC as the Year of Youth in Europe.

The INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Innovative Urban Development Initiative.



In May, more than 80 foreign citizen used the services of the Bureau on spot at 113 Hristo Botev Blvd., and more than 15 people received the information and assistance they requested by email. The most frequent users are from Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, and the most used services are related to accompanying to various institutions and assisting in more efficient access to the labor market.

We present the program with the activities of the Bureau for Information and Services in June and invite you to share it with potential users and partners who would like to become a part of the organizations that provide services in the Bureu.

The program and the services provided by the Bureau are in several languages:

You can find the program for June in Bulgarian HERE.

You can find the program for June in Ukrainian HERE.

You can find the program for June in English HERE.

You can find the program for June in French HERE.

You can find the program for June in Russian HERE.

You can find the program for June in Arabic HERE.

You can find the program for June in Farsi HERE.

The bureau is designed to be a vital entry point for foreigners and migrants looking to access accurate information on specialized services and referrals to service providers in heath, legal and protection matter

The bureau is the result of the combined efforts, resources and expertise of the Sofia Municipality, the Sofia Development Association, the Bulgarian Red Cross and Vazrazhdane Markets, UNHCR and over 13 NGOs. It gives foreigners and migrants access to information on specialized services, as well as guidance for providers of protection, health and legal issues.

The Bureau is established in the framework of #CONNECTION project and funded by a European grant.


CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.



For the second year, SDA offers students an opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the field of integration of refugees and migrants through summer internships, in cooperation with leading NGOs in Sofia. SDA joins the team of the project "Students support the social inclusion of refugees in Sofia", which is implemented by Multikulti in partnership with the Bulgarian Red Cross, Voice Legal Aid Center in Bulgaria, UNHCR, Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants and The Academic Council for Refugees. The project is funded by Sofia Municipality under the Social Innovation Program.

From mid-June to mid-August 2022, the interns will work in the Bureau for Information and Services for Third-Country Nationals, established in September 2021 by Sofia Municipality in partnership with SDA, UNHCR, and the Red Cross. The interns will help maintain the information database of the Bureau, assist migrants with information and referral services, create communication and information materials, etc.

If you passionate about helping others and want to become part of our community, apply for an internship until June 5, 2022 via this online form -

For more information and questions, you can contact Multiculti at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,, or Facebook.


The Bureau is established in the framework of #CONNECTION project and funded by a European grant.


CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.



LANDSCAPING FOR CLEANER AIR - Kableshkov Blvd. with newly planted green area!

Even the best project would remain in the shadows if it is not implemented. That is why the Sofia Municipality and the Sofia Development Association provided appropriate conditions for the implementation of the project, which won first place in the student competition "Landscaping for cleaner air", held under the INNOAIR project together with the University of Forestry.

The students from University of Forestry had the difficult task to create a concept for the green area of ​​the newly built part of Todor Kableshkov Blvd., which includes diverse, easy to maintain vegetation that effectively purifies the air, helps protect local biodiversity and arouses year-round interest.

Simona Novoselska and Merlin Nezhdet presented a project for a beautiful flower space, which is further developing an already planted flower bed by the residents of the Triaditsa region. The plants selected by the students are gas- and drought-resistant, with dust-retaining ability and year-round decorative effect. For this reason, their project was ranked first among the worthy competition in the student competition.

On May 20, 2022, the project became a reality! The students took part in the planting and now the residents of the region have an expanded green area around Todor Kableshkov Blvd. The event was also attended by representatives of the Sofia Development Association and Sofia Municipality.

We wish more and more awarded and realized projects to the students from University of Forestry and more and more green areas to the residents of Sofia!

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.




Sofia Municipality is about to introduce a completely new transport service – on demand green public transport in the southwestern districts of Sofia. The new electric minibuses will be requested by a mobile application - they will transport citizens from the closest corner to the nearest metro or tram line.

How to make it visible that those minibusses are part of the public transport system, but at the same time they operate without a fixed route and they are used through an application? This is a task that design students from the New Bulgarian University, the Sofia Development Association and the Sofia Municipality are working on together. Students, led by mentors, will compete to create design projects, and the winner project will be implemented. The competition gives students the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned and to show their talent by proposing real solutions in favor of the city.

The competition is held within the INNOAIR project, the first and so far the only project from Bulgaria, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. The project introduces for the first time in Europe on demand public transport, as well as for the first time in Sofia and Bulgaria low emission zone, green corridors, and the mobile application SofiaCoin with awards for active transport.

The introduction of a new type of ecological transport and its integration with a new type of urban functionality are a serious stimulus for the creativity of young artists. In this sense, a competition among students for graphic design of vehicles is a chance to express both in terms of visual identity of the project of Sofia Municipality, and to promote new solutions for a clean and healthy environment, "said Ch. Assistant Professor Dr. Sofroni Varbev from NBU.

“Why give the students hypothetical tasks when Sofia is facing so many challenges? Studying together with the city is best for both students and Sofia, "said Yordanka Fandakova, mayor of Sofia Municipality.

The presentation of the student projects will take place at the end of June. For more information follow

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

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