|GP: A car-free day was organized in the historical city of Sofia-Bulgaria|
A car-free day was organized in the historical city centre of Sofia for the first time in 20 years. The main square was transformed and as a result, many citizens did not recognize it. There was an impacting absence of the usual hundreds of parked cars and intense traffic.
Background & Objectives
The Bulgarian capital is experiencing severe traffic and urban transport management conflicts that negatively affect the quality of the environment and the well-being of citizens. Sofia has a population of nearly 1.6 million and is home to more than 800 000 cars.
The city centre was closed to motorized traffic from 08:00 until 18:00 and all parked cars were removed. On the main square “Al. Batemberg” an open-air concert took place and there were booths where representatives of several NGOs distributed advertising materials promoting the use of public transport to pedestrians. The motto was “Less cars in the city centre”.
Following the publication of information about the event in the newspapers, more than 10,000 citizens came to the main square and enjoyed the free space in the heart of the capital.
The main outcomes of the event, were that about 10,000 Sofia families were informed about the BENEFIT project, its goals and objectives, and the CSDCS received the support of citizens for mobility management measures in Sofia city centre. The national radio, the national TV channel 1 and the private TV channels TV7, NOVA TV and BTV broadcast information about the event in the evening. Local newspapers published the results of measurements of air quality: 60% less harmful emissions were detected during the day.