According to GERB/EPP MEP Eva Paunova, Burgas is one of the most forward-thinking and rapidly developing cities in Bulgaria, and deserves to be known as the country’s ‘smart city’. Ms Paunova spoke at an event called ‘Smart Solutions for Resilient Cities’, which took place on the 17th of September 2015 and was kindly supported by the Mayor of Burgas Dimitar Nikolov. Also in attendance were Krasimir Stoyanov, CEO of OPAC Group and Ivaylo Stoyanov from Hewlett Packard-Bulgaria.
During the debate Ms Paunova pointed out that, over the next three years, more than 200,000 people are expected to move to Bulgaria’s bigger cities, intensifying the need for new, sustainable solutions for managing the urban environment. ‘What we are looking at here is a whole new economic model based on technology. Bulgaria , as a country, has the unique potential to lead in the digital revolution already underway’ added the Bulgarian MEP.
Ms Paunova spoke at length about two of the main characteristics of a ‘smart city’ – the development of a digital infrastructure and the intelligent mining and implementation of ‘big data’.
Ivelina Strateva, speaking on behalf of the Burgas municipality, introduced some of the innovative solutions for modernising the urban environment that are already being implemented in the city, including smart video surveillance, electronic public transport notice boards and ‘smart’ education apps.
The meeting concluded with the agreement that new technologies should be used to their full potential to create a single optimised urban management system. Ms Paunova expressed her support for Burgas’ demonstrable embrace of the ‘smart city’ philosophy and efforts to integrate it into its infrastructure: ‘This will allow ordinary citizens access to a number of new services, while making local government more effective and helping it better utilise its resources’.
Ms Paunova and Mr Nikolov then attended the opening of the BusinessEgg solar bench – a project by the city’s Business incubator that uses green energy to charge electronic devices.