Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited European city. In its downtown area, much of the cultural heritage had become derelict, forgotten or abandoned, and the urban spaces and buildings were in need of revitalisation and intervention. Public space was dominated by car parking.
In 2019, Plovdiv was European Capital of Culture. One goal was rediscovering and revitalising the historic downtown neighbourhood Kapana to spark wider city centre revitalisation. The neighbourhood became a ‘playground’ for creatives, using open calls from the city to support the growth of creative businesses and an attractive city centre. In parallel, the municipality renovated and pedestrianised public areas. Cultural spaces, bars and cafes were developed for people to interact and to allow people to participate in the vibe of the creative district.