Mayors’ Challenge: Varna and Burgas with over 30 ideas – the final selection in January (30 Dec. 2013)

April 1, 2014

Sofia went for Destructive Creation out of over 250 ideas after an impressive campaign Sofia Challenge

A travelling repair workshop taking care of neglected urban locations is the idea which gathered the biggest amount of points in the voting of jury and audience in Sofia Challenge competition as a part of Bloomberg foundation Mayors’ Challenge. Under the name Destructive Creation the team gained popularity with different actions in Sofia like for instance repairing and painting benches in Studentski grad neighbourhood.

Under the motto Sofia Challenge the local administration held an impressive campaign and real casting of more than 250 submissions which was an opportunity for activation of the direct citizens’ participation and selection of ideas for which the administration deserves our congratulations. 

The concept was chosen after an evaluation of the jury and voting of the audience which ended 19 Dec. at 4 pm with a total of 224 points in the competiton of 15 other shortlisted participants. 

Second came Finance This (184 points) – how to finance small urban projects by the citizens themselves, and – online platform to solve urban problems (161 points). 

The winners took a prize of BGN 10,000. Transformatori association, Grupa Grad foundation and Under Gara association will help the team to further develop and prepare their idea in order to apply in the international contest by 31 Jan. 2014, commented Angel Zahariev, architect from Grupa Grad. 

The winner in the internet voting with 1,195 likings in the video presentation in Sofia Challenge Facebook page is “The Free Classroom” – an online platform for free education. 

Video from the contest

Burgas with over 30 ideas

In the year end mayor Dimiter Nikolov thanked all local citizens which responded to his appeal and sent in their ideas in the competition of Bloomberg Foundation. Among them there are extremely original proposals which would impress the jury, he said. Ideas were to be submitted by 15 Dec. at All ideas will be subject of a public debate to be organized in 2014 beginning. Dimiter Nikolov promised financial reward for the most creative projects which even if not approved by the foundation will be eligible for implementation in the city with local funding. 

Varna choosing out of 30 as well

The deadline to submit ideas in Varna was the end of Nov. Through the administration desks and electronically in the mayor’s office for international cooperation have beem submitted 30 proposals in the fields of public health care, sustainable development, ecology, urban development, education and culture, informed the city press centre. The participants vary from school students to old citizens. 

The proposal “Revolution to an active style of life in Varna” goes for healthy living promotion under the slogan “Health for the healthy” – “One step ahead of prevention and two steps ahead of the treatment of all illnesses resulting from the sedentary lifestyle, wrong diet and obesity”. The authors are from Yunache children’s sports club. 

A university for the elderly as a part of fight against illnesses like depression and Alzheimer proposed another participant. 

How to overcome the alienation and passivity will show another project. 

One out of all ideas will be selected in the beginning of January by a jury nominated by mayor Ivan Portnih. After that the selected proposal will be developed and by the end of the same month will be submitted in the international contest. 

What about Stara Zagora, Ruse and Plovdiv 

Stara Zagora municipality registered for the contest in November 2013. Mayor Zhivko Todorov held several working meetings with representatives of different NGOs, employers’ or youth organizations, informed the administration. Forum for ideas was opened at or at the Facebook page “Stara Zagora – Forum for Ideas” (which by the way cannot be found). The proposals were accepted by the end of Nov., a special public discussion is to take place for the selection of the one idea to represent the city. 

We have a lot of interesting ideas and we have been even considering one of them which is to be developed and further commented in Jan., said Ruse dep. mayor Strahil Karapchanski. 

Plovdiv is a registered participant as well and gathers ideas, a discussion focused on them is to be held in the year start, informed the local administration with no any other official announcements by now. 

The schedule of the international contest for cities of over 100,000 inhabitants

31 Jan. 2014 – submission of applications from the participating cities 

April 2014 – out of all candidates the international jury will shortlist 20 finalists

4 May 2014 – a two-day Bloomberg Ideas Camp where experts will help the teams to improve their ideas

31 July 2014 – the finalists will send their improved proposals

5 Oct. 2014 – announcement of the five winners

The prize

One city will win the big prize of EUR 5m, other 4 cities win EUR 1m each 

More on the subject:

62 ideas in Burgas municipality contest

Burgas has made its choice – innovative system for safe movement in urban environment

Varna picked up four ideas