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.



In the first edition of the INNOAIR project newsletter, you will find not only information about the key developments in mobility in recent months, but also:

- Results and analysis of a survey on citizens' attitudes towards the transition to active transport.
- Information on the introduction of low-emission zones in the capital.
- Opportunities for involvement in the creation of solutions for innovative urban mobility.

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Building a more accessible urban area and integrating smart mobility solutions are among the main goals of any large city striving for sustainable development. Changes in the field of mobility require coordinated efforts and exchange of experience and on this occasion in Sofia was held Urban Infrastructure & Mobility Forum 2021. Among the partners of the event are some of the partners of INNOAIR project - Sofia Development Association and National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Furthermore, the project coordinator on behalf of the INNOAIR leading partner and director of the Transport Directorate at Sofia Municipality - Ivan Nikolov was among the speakers of the event. He introduced the audience to the INNOAIR project as a good example of introducing innovative solutions to urban challenges in terms of mobility. The audience learned about the main activities of the project, namely the introduction of green transport on demand, testing of low-emission zones and green corridors, as well as improving the public transport scheme in certain districts of the capital. An interesting approach in the implementation of project activities is the active involvement of citizens in the process of designing possible solutions.
Along with the services for shared mobility and micro-mobility, the implementation of the ecological transport on demand, which will be tested in the framework of INNOAIR, was presented by Elitsa Panayotova - coordinator of the Sofia Green project of Sofia Development Association. This innovation is one of the steps for a mass transition to fully integrated transport.

Detailed information about the event can be found HERE.

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


Urban Infrastructure & Mobility Forum 2021

The urban transport infrastructure and mobility are dynamically developing in accordance with many factors, including public attitudes, technology penetration, adaptation of urban plans and strategies. The transition to sustainable mobility requires coordinated efforts and sharing of knowledge, but each city takes a different approach to achieving the same end goal - greener, more sustainable and more efficient transport. Sofia will review various trends, good practices and priorities in the development of urban infrastructure and the improvement of mobility within the Urban Infrastructure & Mobility Forum 2021, which will be held on March 18 in partnership with Sofia Development Association.

The SDA team contributes to the development of sustainable mobility not only through the partnership with the Urban Infrastructure & Mobility Forum 2021, but also through the work on the first Bulgarian project funded by the EU's Urban Innovative Actions Initiative - INNOAIR. The initiative enables large European cities to test innovative, creative, but also risky solutions to urban challenges, and the thematic area in which Sofia works on is "innovative solutions for achieving sustainable urban mobility". The project consortium includes 2 universities, 2 non-profit organizations, 2 companies and 1 national public body, and the leading partner is Sofia Municipality.

Among the speakers at the forum in the session "Priority projects and capital programs - urban infrastructure, mobility, public transport and parking" is the Deputy Mayor for "Transport and Urban Mobility" in Sofia Municipality and project manager of INNOAIR - Kristian Krastev. He will present the development of Sofia in the field of mobility, as well as innovative practices for improving urban infrastructure such as the upcoming testing of on demand green public transport within the INNOAIR project. The same panel will include Dimitar Dilchev - Executive Director of another partner organization in the project - the Urban Mobility Centre.

Detailed information about the event and a registration link can be found HERE.

You can learn more about INNOAIR on the project's website, as well as through the following social network profile.

Sofia Development Association discussed with international partners a draft action plan for the establishment of a center for providing information and services to third-country nationals in Sofia

SDA is part of the #CONNECTION project team, led by EUROCITIES, and works along with partners in Tampere, Madrid and Antwerp on community of practice “Pathways to migrant employment and one-stop shops for integration needs”. On March 5, Sevdalina Voynova presented to experts from the municipalities of Athens and Tampere, the coordinators of the EUROCITIES project, as well as the organization facilitating the exchange between the partner-cities MigrationWork, the draft action plan of SDA for the establishment of an information and support center for migrants, which would help them integrate in the labor market. In this regard, the SDA team will work together with Sofia Municipality, businesses and the non-governmental sector.

In addition to sharing its ideas for analyzing the needs of refugees and TCN and identifying the necessary services to be provided by the one-stop shop, the SDA team also received information about the municipality's experience in Athens so far. Representatives of Athens shared valuable advice on different approaches to attract more stakeholders, to coordinate the construction process and to achieve sustainability in the development of the one-stop shop.

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


The digital TeenLab opened its doors at Sofia Library

Nowadays, digital skills are a necessary condition for a full participation in daily life. Sofia Development Association supports the development of the youth in this direction through the organization of events, trainings and competitions that develop digital and media literacy. These events are held in the framework of project activities, through the innovative space SofiaLab, as well as through activities related to the implementation of the Sofia Youth Strategy (2017 - 2027).
SDA, together with Sofia Municipality, are also assisting in the creation of a digital hub for children and youth with 4 locations in Sofia Library - American Center, Children's Center, Digital Center and Teen Lab. The project for the establishment of the digital lab for teenagers is implemented at the instigation of Sofia Library and with the financial support of the US Embassy in Bulgaria. It aims to modernize the library’s appearance and provide opportunities for intellectual training and digital creative activities to share innovative ideas in the digital society, and to create successful interactive products in the creative industry.

The digital lab for teenagers was officially opened on 24.02.21 by the director of the Sofia Library Mrs. Tsinzova and HE Hero Mustafa, US Ambassador to Bulgaria. Among the guests of the ceremony were the Deputy Mayor for Culture and Education Assoc. Prof. Dr. Todor Chobanov, as well as Vanya Kastreva - Head of the Regional Department of Education - Sofia. All those present observed with great interest at the modern equipment and the comfortable space, where the first workshop on 2D animation was taking place with the famous Bulgarian animator Nadezhda Slavova and the participation of students from NPGPTO "M.V. Lomonosov” Sofia.

The Teen Lab will work with the global current synergistic educational model - "EDUTAINMENT", which combines non-formal education and interactive games, the acquisition of new knowledge through creative activities and entertainment. The innovative programs of the Teen Lab will enable young people to learn a variety of digital skills in the field of interactive arts such as digitization and creative presentation of literary heritage, graphic design, 2D and 3D modeling and animation, creating VR/AR reality, Game design, etc. In addition to experienced trainers, TeenLab provides its users with modern high-tech equipment - powerful gaming computers and laptops, 3D printer, Vivitek projector with Avers screen, graphics tablets, book scanner, Leap Motion, 3D Oculus Rift glasses.




The transition to the use of public and sustainable transport is a task that requires motivation not only from institutions, but also from citizens and the business sector. In this regard, Sofia Development Association, in partnership with Sofia Municipality, organized a co-creation design workshop in the framework of INNOAIR project, which was held online on February 23, 2021. More than 30 participants, among which young and active citizens, businesses and local institutions, took part in a lively discussion to identify incentives to stimulate citizens to give up everyday car use and switch to sustainable transport in the city.

The design workshop used a variety of tools and approaches to gather ideas. The meeting was held in the form of an open discussion on an online platform, combined with a real-time collaboration tool (an online whiteboard), where participants anonymously added their ideas. During the conversation, various proposals for incentives were discussed, ranging from the creation of an application that integrates all types of transport services in one access system, to the creation of an information campaign with general publicity, from parking discounts to integrated pricing policy with municipal cultural services. institutes. All discussed proposals for future incentives, a list of existing practices for promoting the use of public and sustainable transport in Sofia, as well as recommendations and conclusions from the discussion can be found HERE.

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



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