Bivol’s editorial office received the official position of the organization “Civil Initiative for Public and Railways Transport” on the occasion of the resignation of the Chief Architect of Sofia Petar Dikov. We are publishing it without edits. According to Bivol, it has very serious grounds and voices a principled civil position.

In connection with the resignation of the Chief Architect of Sofia, submitted yesterday, the “Civil Initiative for Public and Railways Transport” sent a position recalling that his resignation has been repeatedly requested by the organization which holds Petar Dikov responsible for a huge number of problems in the city and for inadequate projects. Special attention should be paid to the almost doubling of the number of cars in Sofia in Dikov’s ten years in office. In the same period, a number of European cities such as Paris and Vienna, for example, have reduced in half the number of automobiles.

However, we recently realized that Petar Dikov is in fact only the tip of the iceberg,” said the coordinator of the Initiative Vesselin Kirev, “as many of our conversations with officials at the middle management level in the City Hall’s Architecture and Urban Planning Department were conducted in the same manner as with the Chief Architect. The exact same baseless arguments have been voiced against our proposals – that more bridges were needed for the vehicles in the city so that they travel faster, thus this will help eliminate their harmful emissions. This shows very clearly that not only everyone in the department should resign, but also the need of a comprehensive reform of the urban planning of the city” .

The Organization further notes that Dikov’s decisions, at least formally, have not been singlehanded. They all have been taken by the Expert Council on Urban Planning known as the “Gray Cardinals Council of in the City Hall“. “Their meetings were not public; citizens could hardly ever attend them. And we demand that the reform mandatorily includes measures for maximum transparency,” said another member of the Organization, Georgi Statkov.

People from the Civil Initiative believe that the second, and even more important, direction of the reform should be the mandatory introduction of competency models to assess the knowledge, skills, qualifications, and responsibility of employees in the Architecture and Urban Planning Department. To them, this is the path for development of human resources and of the labor market in Europe, and an opportunity to apply for European funding. “This is the only way to have some certainty that the Department will change. Otherwise, we risk having everything remaining the same as before and even getting worse,” added the citizens.

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Below is the diagram (in Bulgarian) of the proposed by the Organization structure of the Department of Urban Planning and Architecture in Sofia:

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