Before representatives of the local government – mayors, deputy mayors, municipal councilors, and experts Prof. Petrova-Antonova presented the “City Digital Twin” technology and its application for making informed decisions by stakeholders related to sustainable urban planning, energy efficiency, air quality, climate change, and mobility. She highlighted the need for the digital transformation of cities and clarified the added value of shared data in a unified, standardized, secure, and trusted way. This is facilitated by data spaces that can be used to create an ecosystem of partner organizations that share and use data to create new business models and services that help meet the challenges of today’s dynamic and rapidly changing urban environment.

Prof. Desislava Petrova-Antonova together with the Deputy Mayor of “Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development” of Sofia Municipality, Ivan Goichev, also presented the partnership between the Institute and the municipality in a large European project to create a common European data space in the field of transport and mobility. The project consortium includes over 40 partners with the participation of nine cities, including the city of Sofia, represented by GATE, Sofia Municipality, and the Center for Urban Mobility. The aim of the pilot scenario for Sofia is the integration of public urban transport with shared modes of movement, which aims to reduce traffic caused by private cars and contribute to measures to ensure a cleaner urban environment. Providers of mobile services (shared bicycles, scooters, and electric cars) operating on the territory of the Sofia Municipality have expressed interest in the project, including BDZ as a provider of transport services for visitors to the city. This is just one example of how local authorities, businesses, and research organizations, in particular GATE, can collaborate.