Growing cities worldwide, also in Bulgaria, are facing various challenges regarding spatial planning and development. Driven to find working solutions, urban planners, architects, developers, mayors, and financial and legal experts have gathered in Sofia to search for new legislative, fiscal and market-based solutions to implement the urban spatial plans successfully.
Guest speaker at the event was Erwin van der Krabben, Professor of Planning and Property Development at Radboud University, who shared useful concepts and practical solutions with his Bulgarian colleagues, focusing on the idea of Land Value Capture (LVC).
LVC is a policy approach enabling the communities to recover and reinvest the increase in land value and use it for future public investments in the urban environment and infrastructure. In some places, including the Netherlands, the value of the land can increase up to 200 times, creating valuable resources for the development of the municipalities.
LVC instruments, such as developer obligations, strategic land management and land readjustment, can be diverse.
The Chief Architect of Sofia Zdravko Zdravkov and Arch. Georgeta Rafailova (Municipal Enterprise Sofia Plan) also joined the discussions, together with other recognized experts in different fields, like Daniela Ushatova (National Association of the Municipalities in Bulgaria), Luchezar Bogdanov (Institute for Market Economics), Associate Professor Natalia Kiselova (Sofia University), Prof. Alexander Slaev, and others.
The forum, organized by the Union of Bulgarian Spatial Planners (UBSP) and Sofia Plan with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bulgaria, was opened by the Minister of Regional Development Arch. Ivan Shishkov and Ambassador Simon van der Burg.
In his address, Ambassador Van der Burg underlined the importance of a predictable, transparent and efficient process in which all necessary stakeholders are involved in creating greener cities.
The forum was the second part of the initiative of UBSP and the embassy. The first seminar took place on 29 September 2022 in Sofia, focusing on place-making and co-creating share urban spaces, where a guest speaker was Michiel van Driessche (Felixx Landscape Architects and Planners, the Netherlands).