Ordinance for urban environment
After the changes from 2018 in the Law for structure and construction of Sofia Municipality (ZUZSO) the process of preparation of the Ordinance for the urban environment has started. The initiative for the creation of such an ordinance belongs to the Chief Architect of the municipality. The aim is to determine the appearance of the environment by proposing standards for its various components - components and elements, defined in the regulation itself. The standards themselves will be varied in the different areas of the city, which are also described in the document.
The municipal enterprise Sofiaplan is actively involved in the process of creating the future ordinance. Initially, the team assists and consults the lawyers who are engaged in the preparation of the normative document. With the help of the experts from Sofiaplan, the structure of the ordinance has been developed, and the individual components and elements of the urban environment to be included in it have been determined.
The working draft of the Ordinance on the urban environment was presented to the public for the first time in May 2019. The aim is to acquaint the citizens with the work done on compiling the document and receiving feedback from the administration and the expert community before the preparation of the final text. Sofiaplan organized the holding of 5 expert focus groups to give their opinion on the prepared materials. They are attended by representatives of municipal and state administrations, NPOs, industry organizations, academic and market analysts, as well as experts from various fields of freelance. The focus groups discuss various topics related to the ordinance: zoning, legal aspects, project parts, control and sanctions and standards. The Sofiaplan team summarizes the opinions, suggestions and comments from the meetings and provides them to the lawyers to serve for the finalization of the document.
At the beginning of 2020, the municipal enterprise is committed to the task of compiling a map of the various areas in the municipality, for each of which to apply specific regimes for regulating urban spaces and their elements. This is necessary in connection with the elimination of the initial idea to use the areas of the adopted in 2018 Ordinance on advertising and relocated sites. A detailed review of these areas shows that they are unsuitable for the purposes of the Ordinance on the urban environment, which determines the appearance of a much larger number of elements and considers the environment in its entirety and complexity. The Sofiaplan team proposes an entirely new zoning to be used to set the standards in the new regulation. In the central areas the regulations are more conservative, preserving the historical appearance and spirit of the place, while in the peripheral neighborhoods they give more freedom in improving the environment.
The map is published as an appendix to the draft Ordinance HERE
In determining the zones, several studies were conducted on the manner and nature of construction, the provisions of the Master Plan and the functioning of the city by urban planning units. The density and intensity of construction of each urban development unit are calculated, considering the existing construction. The average, but also the predominant number of storeys is calculated. An analysis of the cohesion of the buildings was made, which morphologically shows whether the construction is of free-standing buildings or has a street-neighborhood structure.
Based on these analyzes, the following areas are proposed:
ZONE 1 - The first zone of the Ordinance on Advertising and Movable Objects is used as a basis, which expands to the west, covering the border with the architectural-historical reserve Serdika-Sredets-Knyaz Boris I Str., extends to the north to Dondukov Blvd. and to the south to the intersection of Rakovski Blvd. and Gurko St., including the entire area around the National Theater. The area has four branches, joining it four key and recognizable for the city square spaces and the corresponding streets leading to them.
ZONE 2 - Covers the rest of the center of the capital. The zoning is in accordance with the boundaries of the Central part of the city, described in ZUZSO with the following exceptions. The residential district, locked between Zdrave Street and Vitosha Blvd., has been added to Zone 2, and Zone B5 and the continuation of Todor Alexandrov Blvd. after the Vladayska River have been excluded.
ZONE 3 - Covers the wide center and the old peripheral districts of the city. The territories have developed in a recent historical period and have a similar density and intensity of construction.
ZONE 4 - Covers the territories with mostly low-rise buildings.
ZONE 5 - Covers the territories with mainly complex construction, the so-called panel neighborhoods.
ZONE 6 - Covers the territories in the southern parts of the city, which have been developing over the last 3 decades and are in the process of intensive transformation and compaction. These areas are gradually losing their character as a buffer between low-lying mountains and denser urban areas and need to be considered in this context.
ZONE 7 - Covers industrial territories.