Team Sofia is an association of experts, citizens, and organizations committed to the future of Sofia. They spoke about projects, plans, and challenges in their presentation at the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre in Budapest.
“We believe that our city needs to start to be governed in a new way, and we need to start on a new path to make it a place where it is good to live,” believes Team Sofia, which has more than 70 members from a wide range of professions. The team members offer solutions based on their experience in urban policy, created with the participation of a wide audience of professionals and citizens. Their proposals are based on research, data, expertise, practical knowledge, and commitment to the city.
One of the most significant projects in which they were involved was Vision Sofia 2050, an initiative of the capital to create a long-term strategy for the development of Sofia up to 2050. With the cooperation of citizens, academics, businesses, and NGOs, it assessed the state of Sofia and proposed specific actions. Vision Sofia 2050, which started in 2016 and ended in 2019, attracted more than 10,000 participants, following a predefined methodology, conducting dozens of surveys, collecting and analyzing data, and seeking answers to the city’s key problems. Following the analysis and discussion with the stakeholders, the Vision for Sofia team defined 24 long-term goals, nearly 250 actions, and 385 specific measures to improve the city’s liveability. The vision is for Sofia to be a compact, diverse, adaptive city by 2050, involving citizens in decision-making and using resources efficiently.
In addition to these, the problems were also discussed: the strong individualism that hinders joint work and compromises; the passivity of citizens; the difficulty of cooperating with political bodies; the overly central role of Sofia in the country. “Change is NOT inevitable”, was written on one of the last slides of the presentation. Team Sofia is trying to make it inevitable in the Bulgarian capital.