SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.



The INNOAIR team is pleased to announce that the Guidebook on air pollution interdependencies for various stakeholders is now published. You can download the guidebook here.

The guidebook, prepared by the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) and Sofia Development Association, is a free tool for policy, research, education, industry and environmental bodies to understand the processes leading to undesired high levels of pollution in urban areas. The document tries, in an understandable way, to summarize what factors influence the levels of various pollutants in the atmosphere and how their adverse influence can be eliminated or limited in order to improve air quality in cities in a short- and long-term time horizon.

The guidebook starts by giving a general overview of what the meteorological conditions in urban areas can be, what the major air pollutants in the air are, the air quality standards by the European Union and World Health Organization (WHO) and how air pollution can impact the human health, ecosystems and biodiversity, climate change and cultural heritage. This general information provides the reader with the background information on the subject needed to better understand the case of Sofia. This sets up perfectly for the next section, which explains the monitoring of air pollution in Sofia.

An important part of the guidebook is the air quality management strategies and good practices, which outlines the best strategies and practices that can be seen around the globe. The guidebook finishes off with an overview of the specific interdependencies.

For more information on INNOAIR’s outputs, including the recent publication of the Multi-stakeholder dialogue on air pollution interdependencies, please check the project website

INNOAIR is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.


The InnoBridge project partners had their final project meeting on December 18, 2020. After 3 years of mutual learning and nearly 2 years of Action plan implementation to improve their policies and practices to support SME competitiveness and innovation, the partners from 8 European regions, among whom Sofia through SDA, met virtually to prepare for the project closure, to assess its scope and deliverables, to analyze project success and identify stories to be told and disseminated.

SDA took part in the project with the Sofia Public-private Fund for Innovations as a local instrument for innovation support. In the framework of the project a number of good practices from other regions influenced the programming, the management and the focus of the Fund. Collectively, over one million euro have been influenced so far, varying from financial support to entrepreneurs to mentoring, from training to showcasing, from challenges to SofiaLab refurbishment. The InnoBridge Sofia team is proud that our Fund has been recognized as a good European practice and shared with all other regions for replication and scaling up.

Project partners discussed areas of common interest for future exchange and learning in the new multi-annual framework period. These areas include the development of regional RIS3 strategies for the next period, the European Green deal, digital transition, social economy, innovation in general.

InnoBridge is funded by the INTERREG EUROPE programme, cofunded by EU’s ERDF.



Sofia Development Association is happy to announce that the video from the AGORA city walk is already published.

As part of its work on Thematic cluster 3 of AGORA project: “Evaluation and analysis of unused public spaces, open and closed, as centers for social, educational and / or cultural services”, SDA presents the "Toplocentralat" as a pilot project for urban development.

All stakeholders who took part in the walk got acquainted with the plan for reconstruction of the building of the former heating plant of the National Palace of Culture and its transformation into a center for art and culture “Toplocentralata”. The aim of the “Toplocentralata” project, which is being implemented thanks to the Sofia Municipality, is to create a place for independent artists to perform in Bulgaria and to prove that abandoned industrial spaces in the urban environment have the potential for new life.

If you would like to learn more about the “Toplocentralata” and AGORA projects, you can watch the video HERE.

The AGORA project is implemented under the INTERREG Danube program and is co-financed by the European Union funds (ERDF, IPA II).


Let’s Transform Today for a Better Tomorrow!

Let’s Transform Today for a Better Tomorrow!

This was the key message in the presentations and discussions during the final international conference of the TRANSFORM project, organized online on 16 December 2020 by Sofia Development Association and the project partners. Guests and participants in the event discussed opportunities how to use new technologies for energy retrofits and the renovation of homes and buildings. In the focus were also the results of the pilot phase in Sofia, which included a digital transformation of 10 homes in the city. The model proposed by the TRANSFORM project relies on the Internet of Things, digital simulations and smart energy services, and promises significant cost reductions and savings for households and homeowners.

For more information about the project and how to join in, please follow the website of SDA and the project website,

Watch here the TRANSFORM video.

The TRANSFORM project is funded by EIT Climate-KIC.




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Multi-stakeholder dialogue on air pollution interdependencies Workshop report

Air pollution in Sofia has long been a problem and despite recent positive developments, the city is still struggling to overcome this complex challenge. Air quality measures are interrelated and finding out how they affect each other will help optimize them faster.

In this regard, on November 12, 2020, the INNOAIR team launched its multi-stakeholder dialogue on air pollution interdependencies. Nearly 100 stakeholders from universities and research institutes, community organizations, city administration, NGOs, national agencies, businesses and investors, took part in an online dialogue event and engaged in a conversation about the future. Diverse perspectives were voiced pointing to various interdependencies: the more precise and timely feedback the city provides on the effect of its policies, the stronger the citizen commitment; the less measures for support of the energy poor, the more air pollution from old cars and household burning; the less air pollution, the bigger biodiversity; the newer the urban district, the more pollution from construction and underdeveloped infrastructure, to name a few.

You may find more information about the air pollution interdependencies in Sofia, as well as conclusions and recommendations, in the full report from the online dialogue HERE.

INNOAIR is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

Final Project Conference New Technologies in Support of Innovations in Energy Efficiency and Energy Retrofits of Buildings and Homes: the TRANSFORM Model

Sofia Development Association and the TRANSFORM consortium organize an online conference New Technologies in Support of Innovations in Energy Efficiency and Energy Retrofits of Buildings and Homes: The TRANSFORM Model on 16 December 2020, 2:00 – 5.00 pm (EET).

Join us for an afternoon of insightful presentations and discussion of the new model for digital and real home transformation, developed by the TRANSFORM project. The conference will gather representatives of local authorities from Sofia and around the country, housing policy experts, investors, civil society organizations. Conference participants will discuss the results of the pilot project phase in Sofia, the future of energy efficiency retrofits, and new opportunities to replicate the TRANSFORM model in Bulgaria.


The TRANSFORM project is funded by EIT Climate-KIC.

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