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By upgrading the physical environment and enhancing the integrative role of the city centre of Pazardzhik, this €2.45 million project aimed to promote inclusive growth in the region. The renovation of the city centre opens up equal access to different social groups (vulnerable ones in particular) both to urban space and to the resulting economic, social and environmental benefits. Some 96 small businesses with 5 000 employees, 2 263 inhabitants of Roma and 4 860 of Turkish origin, and about 6 000 disabled citizens are benefitting from the project, together with the 25 000 inhabitants of the centre and the overall city population of 78 000.

Executive summary

The general aim of ERDF funding in Bulgaria is to improve the social and economic environment in the six regions at NUTS 2 level in order to overcome their underdevelopment in comparison with other EU regions, and to limit intra-regional disparities – thus contributing to inclusive growth. The objective of this project is to promote a sustainable, cohesive, accessible urban centre, which is attractive to residents, visitors, investors and mobile workers, and acts as a motor of greater competitiveness. The project illustrates how restoring the normal functioning of a traditional Bulgarian city centre through an integrated physical intervention can improve employment opportunities and economic benefits for a broad range of members of the local community. These include vulnerable groups with low qualifications and limited chances to enhance them in the short term, small business owners and employees, self-employed retailers, members of the Roma ethnic minority and disabled people. The large-scale and complex physical intervention undertaken within less than two years covered an area of 14 200 sq. m. of pavement and 76 800 sq. m. of public green space. It was funded to the tune of 4 789 352 BGN (about €2.45 million) and resulted in a lively, safe, accessible and attractive urban environment for all the local inhabitants. It also created 155 new jobs and saved about 6 Megawatt-hours of energy through the installation of energy efficient street lighting. The project also led to better employment opportunities and social integration of the most vulnerable groups in the city, thus contributing to inclusive growth. It can be considered an important step in gaining the practical experience needed at all levels in the country for the further development and implementation of integrated planning approaches and methodologies.

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Technical information

Title

A city centre intervention that rebuilds confidence

Member State and Region

Bulgaria - South-Central Region (Южен Централен Район)

Duration of project

24 months (10.2009 – 10.2011)

Funding

Total budget: 9 600 000 BGN (approx. 4 900 000 €) - ERDF contribution: 4 070 949 BGN (approx. 2 080 000 €)

Cohesion Policy Objective

Convergence

Managing Authority

Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW)

CCI nr of OP

BG161РО001

Contact

Mr. Krastio Tankov, Chief Architect, Municipality of Pazardzhik

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web

www.pazardjik.bg

Keywords

Urban renewal, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, Social inclusion, Equal opportunities

     
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