Greens solutions for sustainable urban development
Third meeting of the Steering Committee on green public procurement in Bulgaria
The meeting of the Steering Committee was held on 26th of April 2017 in the city of Rousse during the 6th National meeting of chief architects and spatial planning experts in municipalities. Therefore, the target audience for this meeting included these local urbanists. For the purpose the application of green public procurement criteria in the field of local spatial planning was presented and discussed in much detail. Also, with a view to the audience, a special focus was put on the synergy between Greens and the Urbact III program of the EU, for which NAMRB acts as the Bulgarian info point.
The objective of the Steering Committee meeting was to review the application of green criteria and green procurements in urban planning and development and to discuss possible improvements and extension of advanced practices. The up-to-date topic prompted high interest among forum participants with over 60 municipal architects, mayors and urban planning experts joining the meeting and led to active discussions.
Mr. Blagoi Stanchev presented to the audience the European and national policies and legal framework in the area of green public procurements. The main focus was put on the measures under the GreenS project in support to municipalities to apply methodically the green criteria both in their public procurement procedure, and in their main policies including in urban development and special planning.
The groups of green criteria were presented in substantial details, and the participants were informed of many examples from Bulgarian municipalities, applying these criteria in concrete activities, related to design, construction and management of public facilities and buildings, design and maintenance of roads, introduction of green solutions in urban planning (traffic management, street lighting, energy management of buildings, etc.).
The municipal experts were very much interested by the focus on the practical benefits of the application of green solutions – something that Bulgarian municipalities work on, but its benefits are not yet clearly addressed, identified and promoted with a view to the implementation of national and European priorities.
The presentations made and the real examples, amplified by the Steering Committee meeting participants, caused active debates. The municipal architects and spatial planning experts recognized the benefits of green solutions, but pointed a number of cases where their applications is hampered by the existing legislative framework (rather by the manner it is implemented) in the area of urban development.
The participants formulated a number of proposals for amendments in these regulations, including in the Spatial Planning Act, so that the application of advanced green solutions (including for instance green roofs and facades in commercial and private housing).
Considering this discrepancy between local practices, legislative framework and advanced architectural and green solutions the activities under the GreenS project will have a major “added value”. They will contribute to the successful implementation of projects for international cooperation in the area of green procurement and for the efforts of Bulgarian local authorities to cooperate within European urban development networks.
In this regard, the participants in the meeting were informed at length by Mr. Simeon Petkov, NAMRB expert within GreenS, about the financing opportunities for European urban networks under the Urbact program especially as regards the exchange and transfer of good practices and green solutions. A special attention was paid to the options to apply under the forthcoming call of good practice transfer networks in the last quarter of 2017.
The subsequent discussions the participants shared many examples of green, smart and sustainable solutions in the field of urban development and spatial planning whereby they cooperate with other European municipalities. Their mutual position was that the efforts to identify and popularize these decisions must be continued.
Grant Agreement: 649860 – GreenS Programme – Call: H2020-EE-2014-3-MarketUptake