The challenge

Air pollution in Sofia goes way back and despite recent positive developments, the city is still struggling and exceeding the minimum thresholds. This is a complex problem. While some factors – like the geographical location in a plateau surrounded by high mountains causing winter thermal inversions – are beyond human control, other causes are linked to human activity. The city is growing fast in terms of population and new residential and office districts. The number of vehicles registered in Sofia raises daily. There are 550-600 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. Bulgarians drive some of the oldest cars in the EU: in 2017, one fourth of all vehicles were older than 20 years and additional 60% – between 10 and 20 years. Traffic in Sofia has the highest impact in terms of pollution of ambient air. 

About the project

INNOAIR is the first Bulgarian project funded by the EU initiative Urban Innovative Actions, which enables large European cities to test innovative, creative, but also risky solutions to urban challenges. INNOAIR will experimentally implement measures in the thematic area of ​​"air quality", in particular "innovative green mobility solutions". The project will test in a real environment new for Bulgaria and Europe transport services and pilot solutions in the neighborhoods of “Manastirski Livadi” and “Baxton”, which will provide citizens travel alternatives, reduce car traffic and improve air quality. In addition, the project targets key segments of the population to promote cultural and behavioral change towards greener and more environmentally friendly modes of transport.

  • "On-demand green public transportation", formed by a platform with machine learning and advanced analytic capabilities and mini electric busses; 
  • Congestion charge model; 
  • Low Emission geospatial urban zones, preventing vehicles from entering the city center and certain areas on polluted days; 
  • Green corridors for active transport. 

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.