“Since my inauguration I have been working on the strategy with which I won the Sofia Chief Architect Contest, namely the capital’s release from cars, starting from the center. In the past months, the team of Prof. Jan Gehl, who engaged with the urban environment analysis, visited us. I expect the first steps in the document to begin the change of Sofia to be made in the end of the autumn,” said during the presentation of the report for the first year of his appointment as chief architect Zdravko Zdravkov and stressed that the representatives of all political forces in Sofia Municipal Council are convinced that the city should get rid of the cars. “There is a change of mind – at the top are pedestrians and cyclists and at the bottom – cars,” he said and explained that a series of meetings had been held with the team of Prof. Gehl. Training of Bulgarian architects and urban planners was carried out. The on-site field trials were carried out by 35 volunteers. The data are currently being processed by the Bulgarian team who will be sent at the end of June to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the final report together with Prof. Gehl.
Arch. Zdravkov reminded that Sofia Municipal Council has commissioned him to develop a long-term vision for Sofia by 2050. In his words, it will give a political direction how to develop the city in a distant horizon. “The change in the way of communication with citizens when creating this planning document was something extremely revolutionary. More than 10 meetings took place at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG). I believe that this is the right model for the job, not to develop a strategy just to present to the people and only then to hear their opinion,” the chief architect emphasized.