Senior Assistant Professor / Architect UACEG, Sofia Municipality
[Download PDF] Ceramic Green Wall
It is a 3D printed ceramic green wall composed by 3D printed ceramic pots that contains soil, plants and a bio photovoltaic system. This system harvests the energy produced by bacteria living near the plants’ roots, which is used to activate the irrigation system, making it energy self sufficient. It includes sensors detecting the moisture in the soil, minimizing therefore irrigation. If vegetables are planted in it, it can also be used as a vertical vegetable garden. The green wall can be specifically designed and adapted to different spaces, local needs, and climatic conditions.
It provides several urban ecosystems services, such as: energy production, flood reduction (increasing porous in cities), air quality enhancement, and heat island effect mitigation.
[PDF Download] Cycling and Pedestrian Path
Luminescent paths NBS is a mesh of designed ways for cycling and pedestrian walking.
For its character, given by the luminophore coated stones, it can be implemented as an enlightened promenade, made of walls, pavements and other luminescent elements.
Built as a resin/cement fixed aggregated stone pavement or a concrete support wall, these luminescent elements include also luminophore coated quartz pebbles, which absorbs the sunlight during the day, and emanate light during the evening.
[Download PDF] Food and leisure
The Food Production and Leisure Pavilion is a facility for public and private open spaces that includes both cultivation and leisure areas. The pavilion is designed according to local conditions in order to optimize shading areas and to maximize the solar exposition of the plants both in summer and winter periods. In cold climates the pavilion can be complemented by a protective skin to maintain optimum temperature needed for the growth of the plants and for users’ comfort. Vegetables cultivation can be organized in soil or with hydroponic systems, allowing water savings in dry environments. Compared to traditional green houses, the plantation area is higher since it also includes the surface area of the structure.
[PDF Download] Mobile Vegetable Garden
Mobile vegetable garden is a modular and moveable solution for growing food and plants. It can be assembled and moved by users in order to customize open public and private spaces according to their desires. The solution can be complemented with an augmented reality app that citizens can use to get information about the plants species and that can support awareness rising and educational activities.
[PDF Download] Green walls
Vertical green systems represent vertical surface with living plants. There are two main types of vegetated wall: traditional direct covering of a vertical surface and indirect vertical surface using additional support system to ensure air gap between the vegetation and the wall. An option to plant vegetation in planter boxes is implemented when the ground planting is not possible. Green walls have the potential to improve urban microclimate and visual site characteristics. They affect urban heat island by direct sunshade and by increasing air quality and humidity, improve acoustic environment and biodiversity. Green walls are relevant for compact city structure and areas with properties flanked by high solid fences. They can be used as noise and air pollutant screens, living elements in spatial organization of places, and for improving the aesthetics of a site.
[PDF Download] Swimming Pool with Thermal Water
The pool relies on local geothermal resource to provide healthy environment for children’s physical education, training, and recreational activities. A millennia-long regional cultural tradition of living in contact with mineral water is revived. The ancient city of Serdica once emerged by a mineral spring, which is still in the historic core of Sofia. Public baths with pools have been used in the region for centuries. Swimming has been a compulsory element of school physical education and training in Bulgaria since mid-1970s, yet only few large school complexes had functioning swimming pools by late 1980s. The life-cycle concept developed for the school swimming pool puts an explicit focus on the interaction between authorities, experts, teachers and pupils, and community actors in building the functional and spatial design concept of the pool complex and its integrated management.
[PDF Download] Vertical Gardens - Living Walls
Green facades and living walls are vertical greenery systems for growing plants with less or without soil on a vertical surface. Living walls are relevant for interior and exterior vertical surfaces to be vegetated with wide range of plant species, herbs, and vegetables. All public buildings and public spaces can take advantage of the positive effects of a vertical garden implementation as they improve urban microclimate and visual site characteristics. They affect urban heat island by direct sunshade and increasing air quality and humidity, improve acoustic environment and biodiversity. They could have a positive effect on mental health through biophilia - a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. Living walls are relevant for compact city structure locations and areas with properties flanked by high solid fences.
[PDF Download] Tasty Garden of Learning
The Tasty Garden of Learning is a “growing classroom” in the yard of a kindergarten or school where children, teachers and parents unite their efforts to grow together herbs, vegetables, and fruits; there they all get valuable lessons and inspiration directly from their experience with Nature. It is a multi-dimensional educational tool with a potential to address real-life challenges in an integrated manner and to organize educational activities in an easy, inclusive, and inspiring way. A Tasty GardenofLearningbringstogetherallparticipantsin the educational process in a life-enriching relationship and leads them to a creative process of learning by experiencing that supports the development of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social intelligence of the pupils; it also unites local communities and supports their sustainable development.
[NBS Card] Adaptive Reuse of Urban Network
Urban network space can be defined as the urban public domain, generally facilitated as transport infrastructure and/or pedestrian space and its ambiguous residual spaces (e.g. streets, pavements, bridges, tunnels, underground car parks). The NBS ‘adaptive reuse of urban network space’ implies alternative - nature inspired - uses and/or spatial adaptations of urban network space (e.g. unsealing surfaces, creating linear parks, redesigning for active mobility, [re]programming under bridge vaults or underground parking lots) or a time management of various temporary uses in these spaces (e.g. Ciclovia Bogota, temporary marketplaces, street festivals). The main goals of this NBS contain revitalisation of neighbourhoods, eliminating existing physical/social/cultural barriers, reducing emissions, increasing active mobility and solidarity economy.
[PDF Download] Rainwater Management
Traditionally, the management of stormwater has relied on pipes and sewers. Due to limited storage capacity, these systems are susceptible to overflowing during storm events, presenting risks of harmful contamination to the environment, and causing damages on buildings. Nature based rainwater management is designed to collect runoff water and relieve the pressure on sewer systems. This is done by handling the water on the terrain surface and including the hydrological performance of nature. They are based on retention and infiltration principles, which mitigates flood problems, improve quality of water and recharge underground watercourses as well as promoting and improving both biodiversity and the wellbeing of people. These NBS are very flexible and includes various possibilities for site specific adaptation, in terms of scale, technical solution and combination with other programs.
[PDF Download] Renaturalization of Brownfields
Renaturalization of neglected and abandoned urban areas through green space development and conscious planting design, to restore important ecologic and social functions. In some remarkable sites they can be an important cultural manifesto: an opportunity to promote historical continuity between its past and the new layer of occupation. Promoting its character is an important step for a truthful relation with the site’s cultural identity, creating an opportunity to reflect on the damage inflicted by its previous occupation or, on the other hand, to celebrate the relevance of its past social and technological achievements. By recovering former abandoned spaces, this NBS creates opportunities for human use and wellbeing, while achieving ecological benefits such as treatment of polluted areas, habitat restoration and increase of local biodiversity.
[PDF Download] Watercourse Restoration
Watercourse restoration concerns rivers/streams that have been degraded by the urbanization process or by heavily engineered water management solutions: contained underground watercourses, channelled rivers, concrete banks, embankments, dams, among others. Despite being necessary solutions, excessive containment of waterflow means that a man-imposed limit on volume and flow might not be sufficient, offering lower flexibility to behaviour changes over time. Mixed solutions that combine man-driven watercourse control while respecting the riverbank ecosystem offers greater success at short and long term, while promoting biodiversity, ecological connectivity and a major increase in water purification.
[PDF Download] Green Roofs
Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, increasing benevolence and decreasing stress of the people around the roof by providing a more aesthetically pleasing landscape, and helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the urban heat island effect.
The roof of a building, a parking lot or some other build structure can be covered by vegetation that grows over an impermeabilization membrane and a soil substrate. Intensive green roofs are suitable for human use and flow of people. Extensive green roofs are not suitable for human use but require low maintenance and can have major ecological and economic benefits.
[PDF Download] Community Workshops
Open meetings facilitated and organized in small groups in which participants are invited to debate a specific thematic. This method allows to explore and develop bottom-up and grassroots community development skills for people within their own communities. Participants can identify their most pressing social determinants, with positive and negative aspects of their environment, bringing social justice and environmental sustainability. The method also assists people to gain a clearer understanding of the principles of community development and community capacity building, increasing awareness and understanding of the main themes, terms and definitions.
[PDF Download] Walkthrough
Walkthrough is a method of analysis that combines observation in situ with an interview simultaneously. It creates an accepting environment that puts a small number of participants at ease allowing then to thoughtfully answer questions in their own words and add meaning to their answers. It also identifies the negative and positive aspects of the analyzed environments.
It allows identifying the perception of the residents in the place where they live. In this technique, they are invited to appropriate the neighbourhood and evaluate the territory, its inadequacies, surplus or missing furniture, barriers and potentialities, among other important elements.
Walkthrough is a participatory method and solution (NBS) that creates awareness while participants walk and discuss what they feel, see and know.
[PDF Download] Community-Based Monitoring
Tool for participatory decision-making improvement. It promotes an organized way of collecting ongoing or recurring information by residents, to be used by local governments and civil society, for planning, budgeting, and implementing local development programs, as well as for monitoring and evaluating their performance. Its activities cover community mapping, mobilization, capacity building, and information dissemination. Its benefits include:
- identification of problems and solutions in areas with fragmentation of needs and different vulnerable groups, which make it difficult to provide standardized solutions
- collective elaboration of simple and intuitive indicators
- contrast to lack of transparency and clientelism
- creation of relations of mutual trust between citizens and public officials
- awareness about policy-making helping citizens to understand the constraints of public action.
[PDF Download] Empowerment Evaluation
Empowerment evaluation is the use of evaluation concepts, techniques, and findings to foster improvement and self- determination.
Program participants conduct their own evaluations, with the support of an outside evaluator and an additional facilitator, in workshops to complete the following steps: a) developing a mission; b) taking stock where the program stands; c) planning for the future.
Participants determine the type of evidence required to document and monitor progress. Subsequent evaluations, such as interviews and surveys, test whether strategies are working to allow mid-course corrections. Another formal assessment of activities allows comparison with the previous ratings of key activities. All results are recorded in accessible documents to be used as references, baseline and data point for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the co-creation process.
[PDF Download] Learn-For-Life
LearnforLife (LfL) represents a behavioural change methodology with a number of building blocks including incentive schemes, tailored rewards and real-time communication targeting specific behaviours and key audiences.
LfL focuses on empowering individuals to induce self- reinforced processes in regard to healthy behaviour, green behaviour and safe behaviour. Using specially designed e-packages the scheme builds awareness and motivation to engage in behavioural change both on a personal basis as well as on community level.
[PDF Download] Design Thinking
Design Thinking is founded on the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in generating ideas, insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and match solutions to the context. Design Thinking processes are at the same time analytical and empathic, rational and emotional, methodical and intuitive, often tackle ill-defined problems where the use of creative thinking abilities is fundamental to first a correct problem finding.
Design Thinking is human centered and is based on understanding the needs and motivations of people. And it is optimistic; it believes that there is always a solution to be found. From problem finding to problem solving.
By using Gamification, Serious Games, Senses and Dreams, the Design thinking tools allows people to give first- hand deeper information that it is crucial to complement and simultaneously cross-validate other sources of co- diagnostic gathered through other methods and tools.
[Download PDF] 3D Model Thinking
Model thinking is a collaborative design tool to develop urban and architectural projects with experts and citizens, in the frame of participatory processes.
Architects, landscape architects and urban planners don’t lose their role as experts but engage citizens in the design process in order to explore common visions/ideas/ proposals.
The models are co-designed and co-build in workshops by participants with materials and objects that were collected by all of them. These materials can be the traditional ones, has wood or paper, or the improbable ones, has metal or plastic objects taken from everyday life.
The construction of the model can be the first step for creating consensus, by the common effort of representing the existing urban context in a small scale. Around the 3D physical models, participants can easily make strategic proposals and integrate other inputs.
[PDF Download] Photovoice
Photovoice NBS uses photos to make people aware of a reality or topic, as nature-based solutions or inclusive urban regeneration. It’s is a human-centered solution to engage citizens in the transformation of their territory. It’s also a tool to collect data related with people’s memories and perceptions. Photos allows a co- construction of the reality through the interaction of 3 elements: the researcher, the photos and the interviewee. It is a technique (called photo voice) that works well to engage children and young people in research, but also adults with advanced age that want to share their life stories. The photo voice aims to give voice, through photography, to those who are usually silenced or not involved in urban planning process.
It is also known as “participatory photography” and it has a correlation with “photo elicitation”.
[NBS Card] Cultural Mapping
Methodological tool in participatory planning and community development, it makes visible the ways that local cultural assets, stories, practices, relationships, memories, and rituals constitute places as meaningful locations.
Process of collecting, recording, analyzing and synthesizing information to describe the cultural resources, networks, links and patterns of usage of a given community or group, also strategically used to bring stakeholders into conversation.
Flexible according to the objectives, purpose and what one wants to map. E.g. facilities, organizations, stories of places, historical sites, for the past (memories and landmarks) or for the future (aspirational mapping), for the community or for outsiders.
It can be combined with approaches such as footprint of women (gender), forbidden cities (safety), asset-based community development (community assets), arts.
[Download PDF] Behavioural Mapping
Behavioural mapping is structured observation combining different techniques for documentation, mapping and counting of activities performed by people passing and occupying a defined space in chosen moments of time. It helps to explore the quantity and the quality of various activities performed at the place observed, the non- motorized moving, staying, recreating or playing. The process of gathering of data through observations and data analysis and visualization can reveal the ways of presence of different targeted groups in the study area and their behaviour. This information can present overall pictures of health, wellbeing, socialization, time budget and physical activity. The results can provide in-depth knowledge of the users’ dynamics at specified locations as input for urban regeneration decisions, planning and design of healthy corridors and implementation of place oriented NBSs.