New technology-based innovative solutions for efficient use of energy resources, lower dependence on fossil fuels and reduction of carbon emissions in Sofia are among the priorities of Sofia Municipality, Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova said at the opening of the “Digital Sofia – Smart City” Conference.
The event, organized by Sofia Municipality and the Communications Regulation Commission, brought together representatives of Ministries, Municipal Administration, and business representatives. Yordanka Fandakova announced that almost 70% of the single-trip travel tickets sold by the Urban Mobility Center in Sofia are electronic tickets, which makes urban transport in the city more convenient for travelers. The Sofia Municipality is also the first in the country to introduce an online application for building permits and other urban planning-related services. Sofia is soon to launch a project for energy-independent kindergartens and schools. Some 400 buildings will produce green energy for their consumption needs through hydrogen cells and sensors that will monitor electricity, water, and gas costs, Yordanka Fandakova said.
Starting from May 91 Sofia citizens will be able to change their address registration entirely online in all city districts, Deputy Mayor for Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development Gencho Kerezov said. The service was launched as a pilot project in the Studentski district and for the first 3 months since its start, it was used 10 times more than all electronic services in the district for the last 6 years.
“Sofia Municipality offers more than 100 online services. Priority was given to those that citizens use the most “, the Chairman of the Sofia Municipal Council Georgi Georgiev said. He participated in the panel discussion “Speaks: The Municipality” together with Dr. Maria Hristova, Chief Executive Officer of Invest Sofia. Hristova said that the global smart cities market is expected to reach $2.5 trillion by 2026. “The latest data show that becoming a smarter city has the potential to increase GDP per capita by as much as 21% and population growth by 13% over the next five years for cities beginning their smart city journeys,” she said and presented the Invest Sofia’s support for start-ups, including the newly created Green Card for Administrative Services.
Sofia’s chief architect Zdravko Zdravkov, Municipal Councilor Hristian Petrov, executive director of the Center for Urban Mobility Dimitar Dilchev, and the Project Coordinator of “Green Sofia” Elitsa Panayotova also took part in the panel discussion.