(DF) 2,600 Weddings Booked Online in Sofia by September 26 – Deputy Mayor

September 27 (BTA)- As many as 2,600 wedding officiations have been booked online in Sofia by September 26, the capital city’s Deputy Mayor Gencho Kerezov said in a BTA interview. The system saves a lot of time to marriage organizers and is particularly appropriate in pandemic conditions. Sofia is digitizing rapidly and, as part of key international partnerships, acquires know-how and shares the best global practices in public innovations. Examples include a system of online enrolment for pre-school children and first graders, the online weddings bookings, and a recently test-launched electronic change of residence registration. The last-mentioned project was the first to be implemented under the Bloomberg Philanthropies Digital Innovation Initiative in which Sofia, along with 20 other European cities, endeavours to optimize municipal administrative services so as to provide better information, access and services to citizens. Within the framework of the 135-city Intelligent Cities Challenge, the Bulgarian capital has actively joined the Green Deal debate. Once Sofia is ready with its taxonomic analysis (the first for a European city) by early October, the European Investment Bank will be approached for grant-financing of some eight key projects with up to 250,000 euro each. Among the projects are a city data analysis centre accessible to individuals and businesses, smart creches, kindergartens, schools and public buildings, halving energy costs through the integration of hydrogen technologies in office buildings, and setting up an infrastructure for energy-neutral urban mobility. In the Policy Cloud (a three-year, 16-partner, nine-country project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020), Sofia Municipality is a lead partner in the development of a methodology for the use of cloud technologies by public administrations. The local government’s digitization and innovation efforts are acknowledged by the city advancing steadily in global rankings. The capital was recently named the city with the best bid under the International Urban & Regional Cooperation programme, and as part of that international network will gain access for dialogue with new global partners in East Asia and potential investors in all innovation policies. The municipality’s direct focus on digitization and green technologies takes credit for Sofia reaching the finals of the 2023 European Green Capital award. VE/LG