Analysis of the maximum capacity of residential areas

The macroanalysis examines and visualizes the effect of the full implementation of the Master Plan on the number of residents in the Sofia Municipality. The Sofia plan, through the parameters of the development zones, indirectly sets the maximum permissible volume of housing in the municipality. The purpose of the study is to predict the effect of the full realization of the parameters laid down in the current Master Plan.

The survey was conducted by Sofiaplan in 2019, using data from the Cadastral Map of the Sofia Municipality (current as of October 2018), from the NSI (2011), the GRO (2017) and the Master Plan.

The analysis consists of two parts. The former calculates the absorption capacity of the existing housing stock according to data from the Cadastral Map, NSI and GRAO. The second part calculates the potential living space that can be realized by applying the maximum permissible parameters in the Master plan. Three living standards were used in the two parts of the study - 30, 35 or 40 square meters per inhabitant.

The analysis leads to several important conclusions. The first is that the current amount of living space is sufficient for the current number of residents of Sofia Municipality. Housing investment needs to be redirected from building new neighborhoods to renovating an existing building stock. The reverse process would lead to an increase in the number of uninhabited dwellings, which in turn would reduce their prime cost, create problems in servicing and living the urban environment.

The second conclusion from the analysis shows that the current Master Plan allows the construction of a huge amount of new homes, many of which are in the extremely busy southern and eastern quarters of Sofia. With a higher population density, this means an additional one million new residents of the Sofia Municipality. The analysis shows that the implementation of the parameters stipulated in the Master Plan can lead to significant problems related to the provision of engineering, transport, environmental and social infrastructure for new housing.

Although the realization of this maximum volume depends mainly on the demographic and economic development of the Sofia Municipality, the analysis raises the question of the need to rethink the parameters of the development zones laid down in the Master Plan.