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Date and time of the PMC
3rd July 2023 – 08.30-11.30 CEST

Register on eventbrite clicking on this link

1 ulitsa “Paris”, Sofia, Sofia City Province, 1000

Link to videoconferencing room
Participants attending the event online will receive the link to the virtual room after completing the registration process on eventbrite (see above).


Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria with 1.3 million inhabitants. Some of the main problems facing Sofia are the high levels of harmful emissions and the high levels of noise pollution in the city. One of the reasons for this is car traffic, the large number of old cars, including a large number of diesel cars.

The centre of Sofia is an area full of diverse activities, which naturally attracts a large amount of car traffic. At the same time, getting around and parking in the central part of the city is very difficult. That is why our main goal is to reduce the use of personal cars, which will have a positive impact on air quality and climate change. Reducing the use of personal cars will contribute for achieving of the main goals set in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, which is 80% of all trips in Sofia to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport and only 20% by car by 2035. Currently the car mode share is 40%.

Solving key parking problems in the city centre will have a positive impact on air quality and levels of CO2 emissions.

Currently there are two controlled paid parking zones in the city centre with approximately 33 000 on-street parking places (June 2023). The occupancy rate in some of the subzones in the city centre (“Blue” zone) exceeds 95%, and in some streets is 100%.

The high occupancy rates in short-term paid parking zones generate a “parasite” search traffic for available parking spot which contributes to traffic congestion.

Reducing occupancy rates in paid parking zones has been identified as a potential solution to reducing the problem of “searching for available parking spot”.

Solution envisaged

Solution – Identifying the volume of search traffic for available parking spot in a dedicated area and providing information regarding the parking occupancy rates.

The solution should be able to provide analytical services and data should be able to be filtered by date/time/time periods/weekdays/weekends, etc.

Based on this information Sofia Municipality will be able to take tailor made decisions, such as: changes of parking pricing – overall or for specific time slots; implementation of a flexible tariff policy, aimed at discouraging long-term parking; limit the duration for parking – overall or in specific time slots; extend the working time of the zone; etc.

The area which will be covered for monitoring of the occupancy rate and volume of search traffic should be within 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th subzone of the “Blue” parking zone and it should include at least 8 city blocks. The smallest group of buildings that is surrounded by streets is considered as a city block. This is necessary because in these subzones the majority of streets are one-way streets and will be difficult to identify the search traffic for available parking spot if smaller zone is monitored.

The solution for identifying search traffic for available parking spots should provide GPS-based data. This data can be collected through license plate recognition or other vehicle tracking systems. By tracking vehicles entering and leaving the area, and analysing data collected to determine the number of vehicles entering and leaving and the time they spend in the area, the solution should be able to provide information how much demand there is for parking in the designated area. The data for the parking demand should be collected over a period of time to understand the parking demand and patterns.

Additional feature of the proposed solution – identifying the share of cars having a residents’ permit within the designated area. Requires integration with Sofia Urban Mobility Centre database for residents. Currently there is a limit of 2 cars per household.

Official Documents

Download the outputs of the PMCs:

  • Recording of the session
  • Slides
  • List of participants
  • Solution forms received

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