Elena Dimitrova
Title: Dr., Associate Professor
Country of residence: Bulgaria
Institution: University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG)
Role: gender balance rep.
Address: UACEG, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning 1, Hr. Smirnenski Blvd, 1046 Sofia Bulgaria
Telephone: +359 29630243
Date of birth: 21/04/1952
Early Stage Researcher: No
Sex: Female
MC Member: Yes
WG membership:
1, 2, 4

TUD – Interdisciplinary research, Planning education for sustainable development, Sustainable mobility - urban and regional levels, sociocultural aspects; Energy efficiency – municipal energy planning and management, municipal training programmes; Construction and demolition waste management.


  • Dimitrova, E., K. Nakova (2012). Urban aspects of energy efficiency: social dimensions and planning implications under current Bulgarian context. Conference Proceedings. Technoport RERC conference, Trondheim, April 2012 (in print). Despite the considerable local capacity built in Bulgaria since mid-1990s in the field of energy efficiency at the local level, an existing gap between energy efficiency issues and spatial planning considerations is still underestimated. Currently starting procurement procedures for the development of integrated urban plans funded through the National Regional Development Operational Programme provide chances for the dynamically transforming urban structures and the changing planning system to practically integrate energy efficiency considerations into the planning process. Yet, urgent action is needed to raise awareness of national and local authorities and professional bodies to the social and spatial aspects of energy efficiency and their capability for holistic thinking and interdisciplinary dialogue in the planning field.

  • Dimitrova E, A. Burov, 2010. Current Challenges and Innovative Approaches in the Development of Peripheral Regions in Bulgaria (the Case of Ivaylovgrad Municipality). In SPATIUM International Review, no. 23, October, Belgrade, Serbia, pp. 1-8. Based on a Bulgarian case-study analysis, the paper discusses the effectiveness and current challenges of the real-life implementation of EU and national policies aimed at the sustainable development of peripheral regions – including aspects of mobility, waste management and cultural identity preservation. Conclusions are drawn about the importance of creating development strategies sensitive to existing and emerging socio-cultural patterns.

  • Dimitrova E, Burov A, Nikolov H, 2010. GIS in Urban Planning Education: Support for Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Urban Development. Proceedings, Third International conference on Cartography and GIS, Nessebar, Bulgaria, 15-20 June 2010, International Cartographic Association and UACG, Sofia. The experience gained in a couple of diploma works focused on regional accessibility and mobility patterns has confirmed GIS is an appropriate instrument for linking data, visualizations, assessment of alternative scenarios to base decision-making upon. Despite the identified important barriers to overcome related to information lack or inconsistency the authors argue that GIS should be promoted in the field of planning educationas as an effective instrument to meet clearly formulated objectives of sustainable urban development.

  • Dimitrova, E., 2009. Bulgarian Cities of Today: Spatial Transformations and Mobility Challenges. In Proceedings, International Conference on Parking Policy and Sustainable Urban Mobility Management. New Developments and Practices in Flanders and Bulgaria, Oct. 2009, Sofia; pp. 25-40 (In Bulgarian). Mobility peculiarities and complex mobility challenges in Bulgarian post-socialist cities, emerging as a result of historically settled sociocultural and spatial identity but also profound and dynamic urban restructuring, are outlined and discussed. Current changes in the traditional urban structures in Bulgaria, emerging new mobility needs and models, and the effectiveness of urban mobility policies applied are analysed and needed better focus of urban planning on integrated interdisciplinary approaches is claimed.

  • Dimitrova, E. (2009). Energy Efficiency in the Process towards Sustainable Development. Lecture, Training Course on Chief Architects’ Role and Responsibilities in the Design of Low Energy Buildings. GEF/ UNDP Project on Knowledge and Skills for Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Sofia, October 2009, Eneffect. (In Bulgarian). The lecture discusses the integration of the SD concept in European urban policies and outlines respective priority areas, evaluation methods and tools, and the role of the local level in the process. The energy efficiency of urban processes is regarded as a major factor in the process towards sustainable development and the need for a paradigm shift in urban planning and management is claimed.

  • Dimitrova, E. (2007) Testing PETUS: Expectations and outcomes of the Theory-Practice Dialogue on Urban Sustainability. In Indoor and Built Environment, International Society of the Built Environment, SAGE Publications, Vol. 16, Iss. 3, June, pp. 216-225. The paper presents the methodological approach applied within the FP5-funded ‘Practical Evaluation Tools for Urban Sustainability’ (PETUS) project to test the applicability of the developed ‘decision support system’ (DSS) with established municipal practices in the urban technical infrastructure management (energy, waste, water supply and sewage, green system, etc.) under varying sociocultural context in different European countries. The author claims the need for further mutual learning of theory and practice about urban change, political processes, integrated planning approaches and partnership on the path to sustainable development.

  • Hadjieva-Zaharieva, R., E. Dimitrova, F. Buyle-Bodin (2003). Building Waste Management in Bulgaria: Challenges and Opportunities. Waste Management, Elsevier, vol. 23, issue: 8. The paper discusses generated and potential construction and demolition waste streams in Bulgaria in the context of the social and economic restructuring and recent urban development undergone by the country. The main conditions for developing the recycling activity such as: streams of building waste, experience in recycling, technical and environmental standardization, appropriate technologies, etc. are examined. Current practice and research activities are analyzed with regard to the implementation of advanced EU building-waste recycling methods. Conclusions are drawn about existing opportunities and priorities of the needed building waste management strategy in the country.