Spasi Sofia: When Online Communities Take On Cities

Spasi Sofia: When Online Communities Take On Cities

Online forums are a great medium to share news, facts ideas and enthusiasm, even though the impact is mostly limited to the bits and bytes in which they are stored. But sometimes they can also be a source of creation. Some of the members of the SkyscraperCity forums have great hobbies, and some even take it further.

Today we’re staging one of these. In February of this year, five members of the Bulgarian section of the forum (yes, them) started an initiative called Spasi Sofia (meaning: Save Sofia) which aims at improving the urban quality in the city. In the first months, already a good numbers of ideas were realized, including changing an old regulation of the Ministry of Urban Development regarding the construction of bus lanes, thus dramatically facilitating their implementation in the cities.

One recent success is the new metro map. Spasi Sofia contacted the director of Metropoliten (the company that manages the metro system) and proposed to make new map design for the stations as well as for the trains. He agreed to do a three-month experiment to see what is the public reaction. At the moment, the Sofia metro schemes are on display in two trains and on one of the busiest metro station. If response is good, the schemes will be implemented everywhere.

What Spasi Sofia proposed is a geographic map for the trains which includes a map of Sofia with both lines as well as information about some of the main points of interest along the three main metro stations. Above and below is some of the art work:



And here you can see it in action:




It’s very pleasing to see not only a group of enthusiastic urbanites taking the initiative to improve the city, but also that the authorities pick up on it, and help realizing someone else’s ideas, but Sofia does it. Well done!

More about Spasi Sofia can be found at their Web site or Facebook page. Those are in Bulgarian but a supportive note on their wall can be in any language.

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