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Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and the biggest political, administrative, cultural and educational centre in the country, with a current population of 1,8 million inhabitants. The municipality of Sofia is constantly working to improve the urban environment and meet the challenges that the city is facing. Evidence-based policy making is crucial for addressing urban challenges in a cost-efficient way.

Through its involvement in Policy Cloud, the Sofia Municipality will address urban policy as a critical success factor in improving the overall urban environment of the city. Policy design will be adapted based on analysis of big data sourced from the following sectors:

  • Transport, parking and road infrastructure
  • Waste collection and waste disposal 
  • Cleanliness of public spaces 
  • Ecology, green systems 
  • Violation of public order
  • Others, of importance to citizens

In designing policy, we will combine the data from both existing sources and from new open data sets that become available.  

The existing data source is the citizens’ Contact Centre, which has been operational since 2014 and facilitates direct communication from citizens, industry and institutions wanting to signal non-urgent deviations from normal practice within the urban environment.

Analysing the territorial distribution of these signals by category will enable municipal and district administrations to identify problems, issues, and behaviour trends in the urban environment. The analysis will also facilitate monitoring and control of the services under review, enabling preventative action to be taken where potential risk is identified, and guiding decision making around policy adjustment and/or adoption and also around the effective use of budget and public resources. 

Crucially, where policy is introduced or changed as a result of the insights obtained, data analytics will enable the authorities to understand the effects of the change and find explanations for the behaviours observed. 

Policy Cloud big data streaming and real-time big data platform will enable Sofia municipality to improve operational efficiency, transparency, and decision making. 

Watch the interview with Nadia Soultanova (Sofia Municipality) and Petya Nikolova (OKYS).