The 2023 summer heats are gradually embracing Bulgaria, and more attention needs to be dedicated to summer energy poverty by all stakeholders in the chain: citizens, public administrations, SMEs, NGOs, educational authorities, researchers, etc.
Bulgarian partners in Cooltorise, Municipality of Peshtera, and Association CSEG have initiated some interesting outdoor interventions: planting deciduous trees in the areas around multi-residential buildings, in order to demonstrate to citizens and other stakeholders that simple steps can create significant impact in terms of climate change mitigation, and behavioural change.
In both locations, towns of Peshtera and Pazardzhik, we spotted some parts of residential buildings which are exposed to extensive sun shining at their southern parts. By initiating these interventions, we are raising attention to citizens in those areas about summer energy poverty and about the problem of decreasing the green areas which leads to increased threat by the so called “Urban heat islands”. In these blocks of apartments (built long time ago and having some energy performance issues due to inadequate maintenance over the years and low insulation capabilities) there are lots of vulnerable citizens who are also target of Cooltorise: elderly people, low-income households, representatives of minority groups, etc.
The interventions have been co-designed by experts of the two partners together with citizens of the two residential buildings. Locations are: in Peshtera, Oborishte street No. 14, and in Pazardzhik – Svoboda street No. 7.
The local community showed significant interest in these outdoor interventions and some of the representatives of neighbouring buildings asked for potential future interventions in front of their residential buildings which is quite a positive sign that our community is ready to undertake more significant measures to mitigate the negative impact of climate changes.