Обратно към _МЯСТО България

The project

The project „Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities“, called „Active Neighborhoods“ and launched in September 2021, is coordinated by the association BG Be Active and is funded by the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria. The project, which is part of the long-term program _Place Bulgaria, is based on placemaking methodology, with a more specific focus on building processes and connections between the main stakeholders: citizens, municipalities, communities, and civil society organizations.

Based on placemaking as a methodology for working with communities, the association follows a certain model for working with communities and creating spaces. In its desire to engage people to be more active and responsible as a whole as a society, BG Be Active uses something that is close to them, visible and understandable, and when successful good-looking inter-bloc space, it has a rapid effect and can be used daily and quickly as a good example. As a result of placemaking, places become more beautiful, cleaner and more inclusive for different groups of people.

Project objectives:
Improvement of the democratic culture and citizens’ awareness

  • The project aims to enhance the civic space in Bulgaria’s urban communities through democratic participation of the public in the development of public space, the concept of placemaking and the promotion of local community policies in public administrations.
  • By organizing interventions with citizens’ participation, capacity building of NGOs and municipal employees, the project will lay the foundations for a democratic dialogue on a local and national level, boost neighborhood democracy in local communities, inspire citizens to participate in the political processes at a local level and encourage trust between members of the community.

The project partners are the Norwegian organization Nabolagshager, which deals with urban development, the circular economy and community democracy.


"Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities" Study

The study „Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities“ is the result of joint work between partners to collect and analyze success stories for placemaking from Bulgaria and Norway. You will find there:

  • experience from other civil society organizations in community building
  • observations on how communities are interconnected with their public spaces and their sense of shared ownership
  • main trends and challenges of placemaking in both countries
  • practical guidelines for the application of placemaking

We hope you will enjoy wandering through this document and we hope these placemaking stories inspire you, like they have inspired us, to connect to people and public places in a new way.

Kim Weger – Nabolagshager AS / Norway
Laura Martinez Izquierdo – Nabolagshager AS / Norway

Maria Stefanova – BG Be Active / Bulgaria
Vladislav Fedorov – BG Be Active / Bulgaria
Gergana Angelova – BG Be Active / Bulgaria

Placemaking for Democracy / Community Toolkit

This toolkit was created on the basis of research carried out in Bulgaria and Norway on practices that apply placemaking for democracy. Based on this study, we found both challenges and opportunities for implementing placemaking as a tool to activate democratic participation of citizens in both countries, and what could be the approach to these challenges.

We have created the handbook with these challenges in mind and with the desire to support active people, community groups and leaders to have an opportunity to participate in decision-making about what happens in their communities and the public space.

Municipal Action Pack / Placemaking for Democracy

Municipal Action Pack includes: (1) a self-assessment tool to determine to what extent a solution should be open for deliberation, (2) recommendations for next steps based on the self-assessment, (3) potential and opportunities.

The tool allows:

  • To create a clear mechanism for civic involvement;
  • To share responsibility for the decision with citizens and activists through a democratic process;
  • To encourage civic initiatives in your community for the future activities;
  • To include a wider circle of experts who will help you not to do everything yourself.


We strive to build better relationships between citizens in the communities in Bulgaria through their active involvement and to develop processes of interaction between different stakeholders at the local level.

The „Active Neighborhoods“ network brings together active citizens and organizations that are motivated to create active communities by applying placemaking principles.

Using the placemaking tool, we put the community at the center of the process and create sustainable and structural change in public spaces. Citizens are the center of public spaces and know their needs best. They are the ones who can take the best care of them.

“Active Neighborhoods” is a one-year journey in which we invite communities to apply placemaking principles, work with other communities in Bulgaria and build relationships with stakeholders – municipalities, businesses and civil society organizations. „Active neighborhoods“ is an opportunity for:

  • Capacity building in placemaking
  • Creating a network of new partners
  • Practical application of placemaking in the community
  • Dissemination of success

The project partners are the Norwegian organization Nabolagshager, which deals with urban development, the circular economy and community democracy.

The project ‘Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities’ is implemented with financial support of € 160,000 provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the „Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities“ project is to contribute to democracy in the community and to strengthen the democratic culture and civic consciousness at the community level.

© copyright BG Be Active, 2022