During holding of third meeting of the local stakeholders’ group where took part representatives of the municipalities of Pleven District, the participants completed a questionnaire to identify the requirements for the implementation of best practices for digitization of natural heritage on the territory of Pleven District and especially in the municipality which they represent.
Following a performed analysis of the results was established that from four proposed practices of the highest priority are two:
- Establishment of a local policy for digitization of natural heritage.
- Development of a platform for a virtual walk in natural parks.
It was noted the utmost importance of implementing one of these practices – establishment of local policy for digitization of natural and cultural heritage in order the proper implementation of the activities on the management of territory.
The strategic importance is evaluated of 4, 45 from 5 possible score, and the restrictions of 3, 11.
Technical and legal restrictions are insignificant. Particular attention is paid to financial restrictions. The lack of funds is a serious obstacle in the development of tools to facilitate and support the activities of the local administration in the management of territory and community.
In 2013 within the project “Common strategy for sustainable territorial development of the cross-border region Romania-Bulgaria”, funded under Program Romania-Bulgaria 2007-2013 was developed a regional scheme for spatial development of Pleven District. The scheme is adopted on 29.10.2014 at a meeting of the District council. For the purposes of the scheme has been developed a special GIS application, available at gispro.bg/oblast_pleven/
Regional scheme was developed by Partnership under the Obligations and Contracts Act “Geoconcept”, and GIS – by GIS Pro LTD.
The spatial scheme is an indicative document defining the basic parameters on which the municipalities should begin working together and to reflect them in their strategic planning documents, which some of them are yet to develop, others have already started working on them.
The main objective of the scheme is to provide a foundation on which the municipalities to plan in details the territory through their strategic planning documents.
The strategic document has an important practical relevance given the contracting of projects in the programming period 2014-2020.
Considering the hierarchy of strategic documents, which are interconnected, namely the National Concept for spatial development, Regional scheme for spatial development of the North-West Region and Regional scheme for spatial development of Pleven District, the municipalities should develop Concepts for spatial development.
In 2014 were developed and adopted by the Municipal councils the Concepts for spatial development of the municipalities of Pleven, Levski and Cherven Bryag. All of the three concepts were developed under projects funded by Program “Administrative Capacity”. Their horizon is 2025.
The concept of spatial development includes text, tables, charts, maps, graphs and schemes.
As a first step toward the improvement of the governance at the local level is advisably the rest of eight municipalities of Pleven District to develop their Concept for spatial development. This action inspired by project CD-ETA will be an implementation of one of the objectives that are stipulated to influence the improvement of the policy instrument in Bulgaria, namely – improving governance by developing strategic documents.
One tool that can be of great help in this process is mapping and the provision of spatial information using GIS generally available for the municipal administration and the citizens.
GIS represents a system of software, hardware, data, procedures and trained personnel for creating, manipulating, storing, analyzing and visualization of spatial data. GIS is used to support taking informed decisions through spatial modeling.
One of the usages of GIS is mapping.
Based on the texts of Article 16 and Article 49 of the Ordinance on the terms, conditions and deadlines for the preparation, coordination, administration, updating and implementation of the national concept for spatial development, the regional schemes for spatial development of the regions of level 2 and regional schemes for spatial development of the regions of level 3 (districts), it is recommended that maps of the municipalities to contain at least the following data:
- Borders of the municipality;
- Settlement Network – city-center, agglomeration formations and zones of influence;
- Elements of transport infrastructure, including transport routes and corridors, roads, railway network, airports, ports, border check points;
- Engineering and technical infrastructure, including hydro facilities, energy network and networks for transmission of natural gas, oil and oil products, links to networks in neighboring countries;
- Relief and hydrographic network;
- Agricultural and forest areas, water areas;
- Elements of the ecological network;
- Objects of cultural and historical heritage;
- Areas threatened by natural hazards.
The concept for spatial development of a municipality is advisable to include the following thematic maps:
- Territorial-urban structure;
- Settlement network, centers and axes of urban development – primary and secondary;
- Social infrastructure;
- Economic Zones; areas for tourism; transport infrastructure;
- Engineering and technical infrastructure;
- Protected territories and protected areas;
- Cultural heritage.
In four of the municipalities of Pleven District has been developed a geographic information system – Pleven, Dolna Mitropolia, Levski and Knezha. But it is only provides information and reference. And the information over time gets old. It is necessary the municipal employees to have access to the system and in working mode to be able to update the introduced data.
Just as an example – in GIS Gabrovo in layer “Green System” data is under constant update by the employees of municipal unit “Planting”.
To date GIS of the above cited municipalities contain 11 layers. It is necessary their enrichment with more additional layers according to the specific needs of the municipalities. For example Municipality of Pleven needs layer “Water Supply and Sewerage Infrastructure” and a map of the noise.
All geospatial data are maintained in a single easily accessible format, enabling the possibility for crossed, multifactorial analysis, study of spatial regularities for evaluation and justification of management decisions when planning and managing the territory.
By supporting new projects for mapping the municipalities in Pleven District, funded by OP “Regions for Growth” 2014-2020, Priority Axis 6 will be improved the utilization of European funds made available by this policy instrument.
After performed detailed analysis of the situation per municipalities and complying with the regulations at regional, national and European level, the group of local stakeholders at its third meeting decided:
- To initiate the development of municipal strategic document – Concept for Spatial Development (in the municipalities where it has not yet developed)
- To be developed GIS projects of municipalities in implementation of the stated above strategy document.
These two proposals will be stipulated out in the Action plan of the Association “Euroregion Pleven-Olt” aimed at improving the political instrument OP “Regions for Growth” 2014-2020.