See Garden (Varna) grab, Bulgaria


The sea garden of Varna is the biggest and most visited park in the city. During the socialist era (1945 - 1988), the territory of the park was expanded. With the political changes in 1989 new weak laws allowed parts of the park to be sold or returned to previous owners of the land. This lead to changing of the statute of the park by transforming it into urban area. The newly proposed master plan of the city makes this urbanisation legal. Additionally some companies get permissions from the government to build tourist complexes in the sea costal area called 'Alley 1' . The citizens of Varna are strongly against this decision and a coalition including 8 organisations was established to struggle with this case of land grab. Court cases, demonstrations and public awareness campaign didnt lead to success.

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Basic Data
NameSee Garden (Varna) grab, Bulgaria
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Urban development conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)11
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesVarna from Bulgaria
Relevant government actorsState and Municipal governments
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSOPA, PECSD, BSPB (BirthLife - Bulgaria), Green Varna, etc. and Green Party
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Forms of MobilizationOfficial complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite the mobilisation and the legal actions the land grab of the park is ongoing and the construction of the hotel resort continues.
Sources and Materials
Meta Information
ContributorIlian Iliev
Last update08/04/2014