Location: Madzharovo Municipality
Year: 2017 – 2019
Client: Madzharovo Municipality
Team: Nurhan Redzheb, Despina Kaneva, Silvia Chakarova, Irina Mutafchiyska, Elena Ivanova, Marina Mateva, Hristo Hristov
Partners: Fortis Visio, Ganimed
Madzharovo Municipality is rich of beautiful scenery being located in the central parts of the Eastern Rhodope mountains. The valley of the Arda river, together with the “Ivaylovgrad” dam, is home to variety of bird and animal species and creates a picturesque environment. This biodiversity is the reason for the significant percent of the protected areas and sites which are part of the Natura 2000 network. Madzharovo’s surroundings are one of the few remaining places where the endangered Egyptian Vulture and about 30% of the White-headed Vulture are nesting. The unique environmental characteristics play an important role in sustaining the region’s vitality by attracting tourists and nature admirers to this peripheral and depopulating municipality. They enjoy different recreational activities, birdwatching, camping, water sports and thus become part of the local rural life.
Since the late 1970s the municipality experiences significant population decline. In 2017 there are only 1716 inhabitants in the whole municipality living in 19 settlements. Two of those settlements are depopulated (Brusevtsi and Gaberovo) and two settlements are with less than 10 inhabitants (Malko Popovo and Golyama dolina). The administrative municipal center Madzharovo is the second smallest city in the country after Melnik. The main factor for this process of population decline is the closure of the lead-zinc mine which used to be located nearby Madzharovo. It was opened in 1958 and was operating until the beginning of the 90s. This led to negative demographic and economic trends and the migration of many young people and families with children. Nowadays, there is only one school in the municipality which is under governmental protection. These processes also result in poor quality of the technical infrastructure and the transportation access especially to settlements with few residents.
The comprehensive master plan of Madzharovo Municipality proposes spatial development based on the analyses and the defined challenges and opportunities for future development. The concept for spatial development focuses on the following topics: Settlement network, Job opportunities, Mobility and accessibility, Landscape and greenery, Cultural heritage, Technical infrastructure, as well as their both spatial and functional interconnections. The project also includes measures related to the cultural heritage conservation and the development of cultural and tourist routes network. It defines territories for nature-friendly future developments such as beekeeping, organic farming, birdwatching, sports and recreation that aim to contribute to the vitality of the municipality.