Sofia

Sofia as an age-friendly city

The Sofia development Association will investigate the barriers and opportunities in the city's strategy to become an age-friendly city. Especially the cooperation with non-profit organizations, charitable institutions and volunteer groups is investigated.

The following recommendations were proposed by the participants in the Sofia Design Workshop, June 4-5, 2012. Participants visited a retirement home in Musagenitsa district, with over 360 seniors living in it, a Day Center for Seniors with Disabilities in Ilinden district, a rehabilitation facility for seniors and children in Slatina, and took a tour in the Borissova Garden and the surrounding places. On their way to and from these facilities, participants had a chance to evaluate also the outdoor spaces and buildings and the public transport in the city of Sofia, using the checklists above. The recommendations were communicated to representatives of the Directorate “Social Activities” of Sofia Municipality.

TRANSPORTATION AND OUTDOOR SPACES AND BUILDINGS

  • Toilets in the subway and public parks are recommendable.
  • Increase the number of benches/outdoor seating in parks, streets and other open spaces.
  • Improve pavements, because they impede the movement of elderly and disabled people.
  • Although there is a handicap ramp at the entrance of City Hall, the stairs are very steep and the lift is quite small.
  • Diversify funding sources for public transport improvement.

RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES AND HEALTH SERVICES

  • There is a substantial potential for improvement regarding universal design.
  • Improve access to facilities for disabled people (WC, passageways, etc.)

COMMUNITY SUPPORT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION

  • There should be more focus on culture and arts as instrumental for community support and social inclusion.
  • Utilize better the potential of existing facilities, install more equipment, need for more decorations.
  • Renovate the buildings.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS SERVICES

  • Staff must be more easily identifiable.
  • Combine young and elderly patients.

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On 24 and 25 April 2014 the final conference of the Design-led Innovations for Active Ageing project took place at the Disseny…

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