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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article17 September 20211 min read

CIVITAS short stories: Supporting Varna in its way to substantiality

CIVITAS is sharing stories from CIVITAS projects(link is external) that have implemented sustainable neighbourhood planning and SUMP solutions. Stories are being shared as news items, and will later be published as podcast episodes, compilation publications and infographics.

The latest publication story examines the case of the city of Varna in Bulgaria, a touristic city and a good example for sustainable mobility. The city administration and policy makers are keen to create an attractive, fast and accessible public transport system, to deploy technological solutions for traffic management and to further expand cycling infrastructure. Their main goals are to improve the quality of life for locals and strengthen tourism.

Varna received support from CIVITAS PROSPERITY to develop its first SUMP. Thanks to the support provided during three coaching sessions with CIVITAS experts, Varna’s local SUMP process has now been presented, discussed, analysed and taken up as part of the city’s organisation and ongoing programme.

PROSPERITY supported the city of Varna to build-up a motivated working group to prepare upcoming SUMP phases. During the preparatory activities and before each coaching session, a number of interviews were carried out, which ensured a tailored approach to coaching, informed by the specific needs raised by the city and the public companies working on mobility and traffic management.

PROSPERITY provided the city with locally-specific guidance to help them govern the SUMP process. Varna is now ready to take this work forward, and to spread their achievement to other Bulgarian cities.

The city already had a well-extended and newly built cycling network in addition to numerous walking and cycling paths. It also has a well-connected and well-used public transport network, including newly purchased trolleybuses, and plans for a new bus rapid transport system. The decision was thus made for Varna’s SUMP to focus on so-called ‘soft measures’ that lead to behaviour change such that people make more use of sustainable mobility infrastructure and increase its modal share. Some of the measures being considered are making walking routes more evident, with clear signage and wide-reaching communication materials.

Other stories will also be published soon. Read all short stories at:

Original article published by CIVITAS on 26 August 2021.



Publication date
17 September 2021
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Bulgaria