Today in Sofia was held the Final Conference of the InnoAir project. The event aimed to summarize the project's achievements and chart the way forward for urban mobility and green transition in the capital.
The conference was opened by Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Head of InnoAir, and Silvia Georgieva, Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, project partner.
Mr. Barbalov told the audience that this type of innovations require a combination of expertise, policies and the support of citizens.
Silvia Georgieva confirmed the importance of projects like this.
"The future belongs to the brave, to those who make non-standard decisions. They will be the first," she said, adding that these projects are important because they can test innovative but risky ideas, also difficult and unpopular decisions need to be made, but the process of working with citizens is very important to understand the benefits of improving the environment in which we live.”
The moderator of the first panel was Gereon Meyer, an expert on the Innoair project to the program "Urban Innovative Actions". In it, Ivan Nikolov, Director of the Transport Directorate at Sofia Municipality, shared more about the success achieved in the launch of public transport on-demand in the southern neighborhoods of Sofia, as well as details about the introduction of the “congestion charge” fee.
"At the heart of these neighborhoods that we identified, there was no possibility of normal transport, and thanks to these small electric buses, we were able to launch public transport that can be used with and without a mobile app, which makes it difficult for some of the citizens," he said.
The Director of the Traffic Management and Analysis Directorate at Sofia Municipality Dimitar Petrov talked about the structuring of the low-emission zones in the city. The Director of the Strategies, Innovations and International Projects Directorate at the Urban Mobility Center Metodi Avramov presented the green corridors and the logic behind them.
The second panel was moderated by Sevdalina Voynova, Program Director of Sofia Development Association.
"This is a service that fits people like a gauntlet - thanks to outreach work with citizens and their formal and informal organizations," Mr. Voynova said about the already active service.
Radoslav Rizov from the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" took part in the panel. Kliment Ohridski", prof. Dr. Stanimir Kabaivanov, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at Plovdiv University "Paisii Hilendarski", prof. Dr. Dimitar Atanasov from the National Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology and Svetlana Lomeva, Executive Director of Sofia Development Association.
"At our last meeting in Manastirski Livadi we received "Thank you" from citizens of the neighborhood. This "Bmidfielder" for us is very important because it means that we have managed to do something together, and now I hope we will be able to build on it," said Mrs. Lomeva.
During the conference breaks, the participants had the pleasure to see an exhibition entitled "Get out of the car". The works from the installation are the work of students from 37. Secondary School "Rayna Knyaginya", Sofia Sofia with teacher Mikeryam Ibysheva and director Tsvetomira Georgieva. During the breaks an exhibition of projects related to air purity and mobility was held. At the exhibition Sofia Municipality presented its project CLIMABOROUGH "Construction of green and climate-neutral urban centers", Green Sofia presented "Shred Green Deal", "100KTREEs", Compair, "School Bus Lines", Sofia Development Association presented "AeroSolfd", a The Urban Mobility Center presented its activities through various communication materials.
After the end of the two discussion panels, the guests of the event were divided into three groups and had the opportunity to get acquainted with transport on request, the Traffic Management Center, the analytical system for urban transport and low-emission zones in a real environment.
INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.