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ARCHIVE URBACT

ANTI-CRISIS MEASURES OF THE GOVERNMENT

 

The government of the Republic of Bulgaria has adopted 60 anti-crisis measures, aimed at counteracting the economic crisis in the country. These measures can generally be united into three groups: concerning the social field, supporting the business and maintaining low budget deficit.

The two largest syndicates in Bulgaria were an active part in the negotiations with the government. That is why there is a large number of measures, concerning the social field. In the first place stands the decision for granting 142 million BGN for social aid to mothers with children and disabled people.

Another category of people, affected by the economic crisis in the country, are the unemployed people. The first measure concerning them is increasing the unemployment refund by determining the level of compensation to 60% of the social security income before the loss of the job. The second measure is increasing the one-time compensation for the staff paid in case of bankruptcy of the enterprises from 720 to 1,000 BGN. The third measure is reduction of the deadline for payment of cash benefits for temporary disability in the cases of dismissal from 75 to 30 days.

A package of measures was adopted, aimed at preserving the employment in the enterprises, through the introduction of flexible and reduced working time, through subsidized employment of 10 million BGN in the regions with high unemployment, through taking into consideration the length of service, when the worker is out on unpaid leave for economic reasons. In support of the financial discipline of the enterprises and the protection of workers, annexes to the contracts between the government and the public procurement contractors are to be signed, with which the contractors will agree to pay the delayed salaries and insurances immediately after receiving funds by the contracting authority.

 

GREEN SOFIA

Three projects in Bulgaria’s capital have been launched simultaneously under this motto. They are connected with the restoration of the green areas in the city, the planting of flowers around the houses and the creation of gardens along the boulevards. A practice has been established for several years some green areas in the centre of Sofia to be maintained by companies and banks in the form of donation in favor of the municipality. This solution is applied only for small parks and gardens. The large park areas, such as the Western park of Sofia, will be given on concession. This is part of the program of Sofia’s Chief Architect Mr. Peter Dikov. It is his idea the companies to maintain and cultivate the green areas, as they will be allowed to create amusement centers, tennis courts, picnic areas and commercial centers. The term of the concession will be between 15 and 25 years.

Another part of the Green Sofia program is the opening for visitors of the park of the Military academy. It is located within an area of around 70 decares. It is opening its doors for visitors in May. Just next to the park is situated the National Museum of Military History, part of whose exhibits are in the yard surrounding the museum building which will make them an additional attraction for the visitors.

There are 417 parks and gardens in Sofia, as the Chief architect of the municipality plans to increase the green system with another 2,000 hectares, so that there would be 27 sq. m. per capita.

 

FLOWER GARDENS

A project of the National Educational Alliance and Sofia Municipality for the cultivation of the spaces in the residential areas has been launched. The funds provided are $120,000 and will be granted to the councils of the residents of each building. Only three of Sofia’s 24 districts have been included in the project this year. They will consist of quarters, located next to the central areas, having a large number of not well maintained green areas. The project provides a large amount of flowers to be planted around the blocks of flats.

In the course of the specialized exhibition “Flowery Sofia”, which was held for the first time this year, a donation in favor of the municipality amounting to 5,000 BGN was made for 3,500 flowers to be planted. The area selected for the purpose is the so called “Bridge of lovers”, a place for walks, located in the center of the city.

96 thousand flowers in total will be planted along another 10 boulevards, an initiative, undertaken for the first time in Sofia. Another 200,000 flowers are planted in Sofia’s parks and gardens each year as part of the donation campaign of the Municipality, in which more than 20 companies take part.

 

EQUAL ACCESS

The government has presented the fulfillment of the Action plan for providing equal rights to people with disabilities. The final conclusion is: there still are restrictions for the mobility of the disabled people within the cities and towns. Access to sports facilities and culture sites has been provided in 51% of the municipalities. During the last year full access for invalids was provided in 9 buildings of cultural institutes of national importance, while in 30 the access is only partial. 3 million BGN have been distributed among 935 community centers for their reconstruction to become accessible for disabled people. This also applies to 238 schools, kindergartens and other educational structures. The governmental report has noted that 17 new centers for children with disabilities have been created, as the integrated education covers 8,551 children, or 1,200 more compared to the previous school year

 

SOFIA CAN BE LIKE ROME AND ATHENS

The ambition of Sofia’s mayor Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova is the city’s ancient history to become visible to everybody through revealing the archeological and historical sites of the city center. In the course of the construction of the underground, Roman thermae and an amphitheatre by the size of the Coliseum in Rome dated back to the II-III century were discovered. There is a joint project between the municipality and the Ministry of Culture, providing for the ruins of ancient Serdika to be formed as an underground city with streets and building foundations, located within an area of 16.5 decares. In the place, where the main Roman road “Via Principalis” was passing, there will be shops, cafes and restaurants. The center of the restored ancient city will be a square with a stage, where concerts and theatrical performances will be organized. The part of the archeological space, situated between the buildings of the Presidency and the Council of Ministers, will be covered with a glass dome, measuring 22 to 65 meters. The area around it will be arranged with flowers, alleys and decorative lightning.

 

RESTORATION OF APARTMENTS

The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works has proposed some amendments in the Condominium Property Act, aimed at creating a fund for the restoration of buildings. It is provided that the funds will be collected as part of the real estate taxes. The rest will be received from the sales of confiscated property acquired from criminal activity, as well as from the state budget. These amendments will enable the creation of municipal funds. The role of the state is to establish rules and determine the conditions, under which these funds will be created and will be operating. The experience of Germany and the Netherlands has showed that a good solution of this question is this activity to be transferred from the state to other organizations.

By this moment Bulgaria has no achievements in the field of housing policy. The only project fulfilled was realized jointly with UNDP for the development of Roma houses. For this and next year 40 million EUR are going to be granted under the Operational program “Regional Development” for the restoration of old houses. The Ministry’s statistics show that in the country there are 707,000 panel apartment buildings, inhabited by 1.8 million Bulgarian citizens.

 

NEW LOOK FOR THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT

Sofia Municipality has carried out a competition for a full range of urban elements. The proposed projects include bus stops, kiosks for tickets and newspapers, information boards and posters. The competition involved 48 teams of architects and designers. The Commission of experts has selected the 15 most successful proposals. The materials preferred are glued sheets of glass and metal. The winners received cash prizes from 10 thousand to 15 thousand BGN. According to the Chief architect of Sofia Mr. Peter Dikov this will stop the aesthetic chaos. Items with different designs will not be displayed in one place. A Public Council will decide where each type of facility to be installed. It is to be decided how the new equipment will be manufactured. One option is the municipality itself to finance the construction of the facilities and then lease them. Another is to seek public-private partnership.

 

NEW BUSINESS CENTERS IN DOWNTOWN SOFIA

Two new skyscrapers are being constructed in accordance with Bulgarian construction standards at Macedonia Square, in the centre of Sofia. Jus next to them is located the 88-meter building of the trade unions, built 32 years ago. The skyscrapers will be 106.9 and 74.5 meters tall. Sofia’s urban plan, developed as early as the 1960s, provides for a group of tall buildings to be located in this place.

City Tower Business Center is going to have 20 over-ground floors and 55,000 sq. m. built-up area. The project for the second building has been submitted by the investor, the Italian company Teres Holding, in Sofia Municipality with a request for a building permit.

According to Sofia’s Chief architect Mr. Peter Dikov, the municipality intends to differentiate two separate business complexes with multi-storey buildings, located in different parts of the city. Macedonia Square is in the center of the city, while the second complex is situated in the next central zone – Tsarigradsko shosse Blvd. It includes the European Trade Center, Mega Park and the Printing Business Center, in which 300,000 sq. m. of offices will be built by the end of the year.

PARTNER CITIES - BULGARIA

 

MUNICIPALITY OF DOBRICH

Participates as a partner of the Active A.G.E. project for social adaptation of individuals over 45 years-old. Term: November 2008 – June 2011.

Contacts: Mrs. Genoveva Drumeva, Phone number: 600050 
http://www.dobrich.bg

Participates as a partner of the NODUS project for coordination of the politics for rehabilitation in the field of regional and city planning. Term : November 2008 – June 2011.

Contacts : Mrs. Elena Atanasova, Phone number 601209 
http://www.dobrich.bg

 

MUNICIPALITY OF VARNA

Participates as a partner of the CTUR project .

Contacts : Mr. Peter Radushev This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

MUNICIPALITY OF BURGAS

Participates as a partner of the JOINING FORCES project, which includes 8 European cities (Lille - France; Brussels - Belgium, Cracow - Poland, Firenze - Italy, Eindhoven -HollandBrno – Czechs Republic Seville Spain). The project’s purpose is to study the ways of management and the strategies, which are exercised in city regions and can help for contributing with the challenges before the cities, that concern:competitiveness, cohesion and sustainable development.

Contacts : Ivelina Vasileva This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.burgas.bg

 

MUNICIPALITY OF SOFIA

Participates as a partner of the CONET project.
Participates as a partner of the OPENCITIES
 project.

Contacts : Mariana Georgieva This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

MUNICIPALITY OF YAMBOL 

Participates as a partner of the CASH project.

 

MUNICIPALITY OF DVE MOGILI

Participates as a partner of the URBANENERGY project.

 

MUNICIPALITY OF BELOVO

Participates as a partner of the RegGov project.

Contacts : Ivelina Valeva This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

URBACT is a European program for trading and education, which purpose is encouraging city development. It gives opportunity for the cities to work together in developing solutions for big city challenges, confirming the important role they have, while facing more complicated public changes. URBACT helps the cities develop new and steady pragmatic solutions, which compound economical, social and ecological dimensions. It gives cities the opportunity to trade ideas and politics, which are assimilated between professionals, all participating in the city politics all over Europe. URBACT includes 255 cities in 29 countries and 5000 active participants. URBACT is partly financed through the European Union.

The Bulletin of the URBACT II, published in Bulgarian language. 

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