The document was signed by Mrs Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Prof. Anastas Gerdjikov, Rector of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”, whose structure is the GATE Institute.

 “The scientific community is our key partner in our work for the development of Sofia. I am convinced that with joint efforts and work on the basis of science we can improve the urban environment. Being part of this project, Sofia Municipality will have the opportunity to obtain an analysis of various data, which will help us make informed decisions, “said Mrs Fandakova.

“I am particularly pleased that this agreement is based on cooperation in high-tech areas – big data and artificial intelligence, which are the research priority of the GATE Institute at Sofia University. I am confident that the cooperation between Sofia Municipality and GATE will contribute to the transformation of our city into a better place for living.“, pointed out Prof. Anastas Gerdjikov, Rector of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”.

“City digital twin” is one of the pilot projects of the GATE Institute. It connects the real and virtual world by constantly collecting data from our environment and using it to model urban processes and phenomena. The project is implemented as a platform that, in addition to data management, includes simulation, analysis and visualization of various scenarios to support timely and informed decisions. The pilot scenarios the team is working on are related to urban planning, air quality and the analysis of the solar potential of the buildings. The main goal of the platform is to provide a tool for interaction, design, experimentation and optimization of the city. The GATE project is implemented on the territory of Lozenets district in Sofia.

The “digital twin” of the city aims to help municipalities make informed decisions by forecasting their results. It provides modelling of complex socio-economic processes and testing of strategies before their implementation in a real environment, which will increase the success of planned activities and projects and will achieve sustainability of results.

Such initiatives have already been implemented in large cities such as Singapore, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Berlin, which provides a solid foundation of good practices to follow. Our ambition is to help position Sofia among these cities, starting with the creation of a 3D model of Lozenets district, presenting the geometry of the objects in it such as buildings, road infrastructure, green areas, relief and more. In the field of urban planning, for example, the 3D model will be used to study the effect of constructing a new building on its surrounding environment. In combination with the computational dynamics of the fluids, it will be applied to simulate the wind and movement of air, which will provide a better understanding of how air pollutants spread in the city,” said Assoc. Prof. Desislava Petrova-Antonova, Lead of the “Future cities” application area at the GATE Institute.

GATE relies on business to share the data it has on our environment and infrastructure so that the city’s “digital twin” can continue to grow and enrich, and thus offer more accurate models to contribute to improving the lives of citizens.

It is very important for us as an institute to be able to rely on business and public organizations for cooperation – both in terms of data and in terms of experience and technology– based on which we can continue to create innovative solutions for citizens, “said Prof. Silvia Ilieva, Director of the GATE Institute.

Apart from representatives of GATE and Sofia Municipality, Bernd Ketzler from Chalmers Industriteknik, Gothenburg, Sweden also took part in the project presentation. He is the coordinator of a project to build a Digital Twin Cities Center, in which the GATE Institute is a partner. He demonstrated how the completed city digital twin looks like and what its benefits are, and talked about the partnership with GATE and the exchange of experience and information between the two organizations.

The other participants in the forum were Lyubomir Georgiev, Director of Sofiaplan, who spoke about smart urban planning, and Kaloyan Vassilev, Partner Manager at Bosch.IO, who presented the views of the business on innovative technological solutions in support of cities and shared interesting facts about the usage of data from our environment to make it more enjoyable for living.

More than 100 people registered for the online event.

The full record could be seen at the following links: