Sofia City Development Strategy - Phase I



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


The aim of this activity is to enhance the development of democratic and self-reliant municipal management system in Sofia in a manner that generates sustainable, long-term benefits for its residents. Change will be facilitated through research, policy advice, public consultation and capacity building in partnership with the Municipality of Sofia, representatives of local NGOs, trade unions and professionals from Bulgarian institutions. These partnerships and strategic alliances are instrumental for the preparation of Sofia’s CDS. The work will built upon findings identified through a multi-sectoral analysis of Sofia’s economic prospects and spatial structure. Work along these lines has been initiated and the draft report will be discussed with major stakeholders at a workshop in Sofia in December 2000. These results will serve as the basis to define a shared vision for the city, goals, priorities and action plans. Both the product and the process will provide a much-needed input into the ongoing effort to define and implement Regional Plans in Bulgaria. The CDS will integrate somewhat fragmented donor assistance in the urban sector and will generate positive synergies.
Objectives: The objective is to support the formulation of a city development strategy for Sofia through wide consultation with key stakeholders; and to develop institutional capacity that will ensure its implementation as well as disseminate these learning experiences throughout the country. Specific objectives are to:  (a) support city-based consensus-building process to establish priorities, strategies, and actions for sustainable and socially inclusive urban development of Sofia;  (b) strengthen Sofia’s regulatory framework and will improve the efficiency of the local government;  (c) assist the municipality in outlining investment strategies, taking into account city-based resources and will foster alliances with private sector investors and communities; and  (d) build local capacity to sustain CDS achievements, disseminate information, as well as to share the lessons and knowledge throughout Bulgaria.
Activities:  1) Surveys to solicit stakeholder input; research on economic and social policy issues;  2) Stakeholder workshops to create a shared vision for Sofia’s development;  3)Workshops to define action plans in priority areas;  The design of curriculum and course materials on strategic planning and public participation in municipal decision-making;  4) Establishing of mechanisms to share Sofia’s learning experiences through newsletters, electronic professional networks, TV and radio information.  
Expected Impacts and Results
Expected outcomes are: 1)  The strategic planning approach applied to create a shared vision for the future development of Sofia;  2) Action plans for priority areas developed and supported through investment programs;  3) The municipal government of Sofia improves its institutional capacity to monitor changes in priority areas and to develop policy responses through stakeholder consultation.