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”.

This is the reason of the objectives of Sofia, that in close cooperation with the Sofia Urban Mobility Centre, wants to find solutions making possible to collect data and to allow Sofia Municipality to 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.

To this end, CLIMABOROUGH supports the City on its innovative public procurement process that will start on July 3.

To have more information about the Sofia challenge, you can read the dedicated section.