Sofia Municipality and GATE Partner to Create the First Digital Twin City of Sofia on the Territory of the Lozenets District

10 November, 2020


GATE – the only Center for Excellence in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in the Balkans and Eastern Europe – is working on creating a digital twin of the city in partnership with Sofia Municipality. Sofia’s first City Digital Twin will be developed on the territory of the Lozenets district. The news was officially announced at the GATE online event with the participation of the Mayor of Sofia, Ms. Yordanka Fandakova, the Director of the GATE Institute – Ms. Sylvia Ilieva, the Deputy Mayor for Digitalization Mr. Gencho Kerezov, the project partners – Chalmers Industriteknik, Sweden and Bosch.IO, as well as journalists, academics and the general public.

The project is part of the Cooperation Agreement for the implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy of Sofia, which the Sofia Municipality and the GATE Institute signed during the online event.


The City Digital Twin is a one-of-a-kind project that connects the real and digital worlds by collecting data from the urban environment and using it to simulate the application of new solutions to improve the city life. The city’s digital counterpart aims to help municipalities make evidence-based decisions by forecasting the potential results. Such a project is being launched for the first time in Bulgaria. It will provide models of complex socio-economic processes and testing strategies before their actual implementation in a real environment, thus increasing their success rate and facilitating the achievement of sustainable results.

Sofia’s digital twin will be validated in three pilot scenarios, related to urban planning, air quality, and public transport.

“We are working purposefully to promote the use of innovation and innovative technologies. They are the basis of a sustainable urban environment. Sofia is the first municipality to adopt a municipal Smart Specialisation Strategy and already has an Action Plan to implement its Digital Transformation Strategy, approved unanimously by the Sofia Municipal Council,” said Mayor Yordanka Fandakova. “When decisions are based on scientifically based data and analyzes, they are accurate and give us more confidence that we are in the right direction,” the Mayor stated.

“Such initiatives have already been implemented in major cities such as Singapore, Helsinki, Amsterdam, and Berlin, providing a solid foundation of good practices to follow. Our ambition is to help position Sofia among these smart cities, starting with the creation of a digital twin of the Lozenets district. There we will study air quality and what can be done to reduce fine dust particles”, said Assoc. Dr. Desislava Petrova-Antonova, Head of Research Group, GATE Institute.

You can watch the full recording of the event with more details about the City Digital Twin project and find more information about what comes next here.