Are political instability and administrative procedures obstacles for sustainable urban development projects? (Aug. 28, 2013)

April 1, 2014

In July 2013, Lily Granitska of Mediapool, one of the few journalists who know well the problems of urban development, answered with “Yes” :

How things look from our bell-tower.
Both regional development funds under the EU initiative for sustainable urban development JESSICA in Bulgaria were established – we at the end of 2011 and the Fund for Sustainable Urban Development of Sofia in mid-2012, In the first year of our existence our main task was to introduce ourselves and persuade municipalities and businesses – what is JESSICA, for which projects , by whom and for how long you can use this financial instrument under which interest is financed. The work of the teams was associated with meetings, presentations and trips.
A year and a half legwork already produced the first results – both funds have signed two agreements.

Our projects – of the Regional Fund for Urban Development, are:
* The reconstruction of the central market in Stara Zagora expected to be completed in October. The contract was signed in February. The cost of reconstruction is expected to be 2.7 million lev, the loan will be repaid by the municipality in12 years (video)
* “The Underground City” in Bourgas – an amusement center in the bomb shelter under the Black Sea Garden – is expected to be completed within a year. The project fills the shelter of 3,180 square meters with cafes and places for entertainment and interactive learning. The contract was signed two months ago and the cost of reconstruction is expected to be 2.2 million lev, the loan should be repaid by the municipality in 13 years.

As you can see elsewhere on this website we are working on nearly 20 projects with a total value exceeding 100 million lev.
The Fund for Sustainable Urban Development in Sofia has also signed two agreements and is working on multiple projects.

So, we would answer the question of Lily Granitska with “rather.
If there is a delay, it is rather due to the limited number and complexity of projects for urban renewal and the short experience with this type of financing.
We hope that our work will be a catalyst for renewal and refining of cities and do not see any political or administrative obstacles to this.

Date: Aug. 28, 2013