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National Centre for Regional Development, Sofia

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Up until recently the National Centre for Regional Development (NCRD) was a leading institution of its kind in the country. Despite the global economic and financial crises and its impact on construction, planning, R&D, the Centre managed to preserve its most experienced researchers and is discussing the transformation into a Think-Tank in the area of Spatial and Urban planning, Housing policy, Transportation planning, Tourism Development and Environmental protection, thus supporting the Ministry in the attemtps to implement the European Strategy 2020.

As a research and consultancy centre, subbordinated to the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works the NCRD is working on large scale policies, plans and programmes, commisioned by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, the National Association of the municipalities, district authorities and more than 50 municipalities in the country.

Among the recent projects of the NCRD are the Methodology for spatial planning schemes and frameworks at national and regional levels, Evaluation and updating of the District’s development strategies, Municipalities’ Development programmes, Comprehensive development plans for the municipalities and cities master plans.

One of the major tasks at the recent years was the Housing policy of Bulgaria, developed and updated at the NCRD with additional programme for prefabricated housing estates rehabilitation, energy-efficiency improvement, socially deprivated groups accomodation and roma population adaptation and inclusion. The Centre also provided re-training of the staff, working on the subject in the municipalities and NGOs. Since March 2011 part of the research staff is taking part in the ministerial expert group for financial managemnet scheme for the housing areas regeneration programme. 

The NCRD has its own representatives at the initial stage of the application procedures for Integrated plans for Urban Regeneration and Development under JESICA programme, supporting municipalities in prioritisation process, preparation of documentation and consultations.

Among the municipalities with which the NCRD has long term cooperation are Sofia, Plovdiv, Rousse, Varna, Stara Zagora, Smolyan, Shumen, Lovetch, Kurdjali, Pazardjik, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Samokov and many others.

The NCRD took part in the ETCP initiatives and ESPON network and had well presented activities in the HABITAT UN programmes and CEMAT some 10 years ago. Most of the staff has well developed knowledge, skills and traditions to work in multydisciplinary and international environment. 

An improtant advantage of the NCRD, in addition to the professional institutional capacity, expertise, technical equipment and information database is the institutional memory and traditions in running large scale important programmes and projects.

Being for more than 40 years a leading research and consultancy institution at the area of planning in Bulgaria, the NCRD has well established traditions in research and academic programs, providing retraining and professional support for the local authorities, public and private organizations. The Centre is subordinated to the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.

Located in the core of the capital city, the NCRD works in cooperation with the universities from all over the country and has well established links with the academia for lecturing, students practice and joint projects. Most of the research and expert staff provide lectures and PhD tutorials at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia, Free University, Varna, Sofia University “St. Kl. Ochridski” and the University of National and World Economics.

Under the AUSMIP+ collaboration, NCRD will allow incoming researchers and academic to conduct part of their research at the centre, and send its own research staff to any of the partner institutions. The proposed programme for cooperation could be used as a solid base for communication and exchange of knowledge.The NATIONAL CENTRE FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT is a consultancy and design company at Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. The Centre continues under market conditions the tradition of the Complex Research and Design Institute in Regional and Urban Planning and Architectural Design (founded in 1960). Undertaken analyses, expertise, strategies, programs and thematic projects are predominantly in:

  •     Regional development and planning;
  •     Housing policy;
  •     Administrative structure and local self-governance;
  •     Interregional and trans-border cooperation and European integration;
  •     Demographic processes;
  •     Social, market and technical infrastructure;
  •     Tourism planning;
  •     Environmental and landscape issues;
  •     GIS implementation.

The centre is also active in the development of legislation draft documents, expert consultancy and qualification courses for local and regional authorities, utilization of European funding within specialized EU programs.

The Centre works in collaboration with state and local authorities, higher education institutions, NGOs, etc. Its experts represent Bulgaria in international organizations and the Council of Europe on issues of local and regional governance, regional development, trans-border cooperation and sustainable settlement development.

NCRD, National Centre for Regional Development, local contact Prof. Vesselina TROEVA,

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