The Project “SMARTER TOGETHER” is funded under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”. The duration of the project is 5 years, with the main activities, envisaged for Sofia Municipality, are to be implemented within 3 years (until 31 January 2019). The participation of Sofia Municipality in the project proposal was approved with Decision No. 512 of Protocol No. 86 from 23.07.2015, by Sofia Municipal Council.
The consortium brings together a total of 32 partners from 8 countries, including the Lighthouse cities of Lyon, Munich and Vienna, the Follower cities of Santiago de Compostela, Sofia and Venice, and the Observer cities - Kiev and Yokohama. The key role in identifying the 'smart' solutions to improve the urban environment, belongs to the Lighthouse cities Lyon, Munich and Vienna.
The objective of the Lyon-Confluence project is to redevelop a former industrial area in the central part of the city with an area of 1,5 sq.km, by reducing the energy consumption of the buildings in the target area, installing renewable energy systems on the new blocks and at the same time helping private owners in the renovation of residential buildings.
The Demonstration area chosen by Munich is located approx. 12 km from the city centre, with an area of 7 sq.km and a building stock mainly from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Munich's goal is to make the region a low-carbon development model through large-scale investments in energy renovation of buildings and development of the electromobility. After completion of the activities in the target area, it is expected to attract about 20,000 new inhabitants.
Vienna implements smart solutions in a neighbourhood, characterized by large residential complexes, built mainly between 1945 and 1985, including municipal property estate – all of them with an urgent need for repairs. The area covers about 1.5 sq.km, with a population of 21,000 inhabitants. The main activities include refurbishment of social housing and a school with a total area of 74,100 sq.m, as well as provision of new services for electromobility (innovative bicycles, e-vans, e-taxis).
As a partner and as a Follower city of the SMARTER TOGETHER project, Sofia Municipality has the opportunity to get acquainted with leading technological solutions in the field of energy renovation of multifamily residential and public buildings; sustainable urban mobility; modern and innovative information and communication technologies for improvement and management of the urban environment. Its participation also creates opportunities for the transfer of good practices from the cities of Vienna, Munich and Lyon, which in the medium and long term, will enable the proposed solutions for energy efficiency and mobility to be multiplied both in the project area, targeting the districts of Oborishte, Sredets and Triaditsa, as well as in other districts of Sofia Municipality.
As a result of numerous SMARTER TOGETHER workshops and seminars on identifying and implementing possible intelligent measures and solutions, mainly in the areas of energy efficiency and mobility, and after consultations and discussions with project partners and local stakeholders, the project team has prepared this document, which aims to offer the introduction of smart solutions already implemented in the Lighthouse Cities.
The Integrated Strategy for the implementation of selected successful "smart" solutions in three districts of Sofia Municipality – Oborishte, Sredets and Triaditsa, was developed in implementation of Action 7.4 "Integrated strategies in Follower Cities ". The development of the document is coordinated with the Lighthouse cities – Lyon, Munich and Vienna, as well as with the European Association of Local Authorities in the energy transition "Energy Cities". The structure of the document is identical and unified for all Follower cities: Sofia, Santiago de Compostela and Venice.
The focus of the strategy is on two potentially applicable "smart" solutions in Sofia:
1) Installation of energy monitoring and management systems in public buildings;
2) Building an infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.
The project team analyses the possibilities of implementing smart energy-efficient measures in the project's target area in order to select appropriate buildings that have the potential to reduce their energy consumption and at the same time, the possibility to use renewable energy with proven technical and economic feasibility. In accordance with the requirements of the Horizon 2020 Program, in the budgets of the Follower cities there cannot be any funds for investment activities, so the efforts of the team were directed towards the selection of municipal sites.
The following criteria was set for the analysis: the object to be located in the target area of the SMARTER TOGETHER project, to meet the main energy efficiency measures in accordance with the national legislation and to have a real need to implement measures on the systems for thermal comfort and power supply.
More than 47 municipal buildings (schools, kindergartens, administrative buildings, hospitals, theaters, libraries, etc.) are located in the territory of the Sofia target area, in the districts of Sredets, Oborishte and Triaditsa.
Following the policy of Sofia Municipality to give priority to the creation of a comfortable environment in which the children to grow and study, the project team examined the type of heat supply of the buildings from the educational infrastructure and found that 23 schools and 17 kindergartens are centrally supplied by the central district heating system.
The only kindergarten in which the heat supply is carried out by a boiler station with liquid gas oil is Kindergarten n°191. After an analysis of the possibilities for implementation of smart energy-efficient measures at the sites of the educational infrastructure and in accordance with the established criteria, it was concluded that the most suitable for the aforementioned purpose is the building of Kindergarten n° 191, located in the District of Oborishte, at 7, "Madarski Konnik" Street. There is no heat transmission network in the area around kindergarten by "Toplofikatsiya Sofia" EAD, so at present, it is not economically feasible to switch from heating with liquid fuel boilers to heating from a district heating system.
Kindergarten n°2 is located in the District of Triaditsa, on 57, Zlatishki Prohod Str. In 2014, under the Project "Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings in Sofia”, co-financed by the International Fund for Decommissioning of Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, the energy audits for the kindergarten, prepared in 2011, have been implemented to improve energy efficiency (replacement of windows, thermal insulation of external walls and roofs and replacement of lighting fixtures) and simultaneous with this, in 2014 there was an extension to the existing building for 2 groups.
Following the implementation of the proposed solutions for the installation of energy monitoring and energy management systems in the two buildings of the kindergartens as a pilot project, and completion of a follow-up monitoring to prove its applicability, the same could also be multiplied for other municipal buildings located on the territory of Sofia Municipality.
One of the biggest challenges faced by Sofia Municipality in terms of transport and mobility in the city is the high share of the use of private cars. Road transport is one of the main pollutants in the urban environment and a key contributor to the climate change.