Gabrovo Municipality is situated in central Bulgaria at the foothills of the Balkan Mountains, in the Yantra River Valley, to the north of the Shipka Pass, and covers an area of approximately 556 km² with a population of 62,763 inhabitants.
Over 50% of Gabrovo’s territory is covered in forest, with beech-trees being the most dominant species. One third of the territory is a Natura 2000 designated area, and it also contains parts of two natural parks. It has a strategic location and proximity to the geographic centre of the country and acts as a key transport junction, with one of the most important road links passing through Gabrovo connecting Bulgaria from North to South.
The town is home to one of the largest technical and science universities in Bulgaria, the Technical University of Gabrovo. Through its cooperation with the business sector, the University of Gabrovo is a key player in the local economic development of the city. Key industries in Gabrovo which contribute to the local economy are weaving, knitwear, textiles, leather, machine building, engineering production and technological development.
For over a decade, Gabrovo’s local government has been one of the leading Bulgarian local authorities involved in the implementation of energy efficiency and clean technologies and has created partnerships and joint initiatives with local businesses, the Technical University, and the civic sector. This has resulted in initiatives focused on the provision of modern transport connections, promotion of environmental policies, and modern maintenance of Urban Green Areas (UGA) which involve citizens in the process. The City is also a member of various international networks, including Civitas, and has partnerships with other cities.
Gabrovo’s future vision is to be a city of smart, sustainable, economic and inclusive growth, with community participatory involvement and the provision of modern public infrastructure. This vision aims to improve the quality of its transport, education, social, cultural, tourism and urban environment sectors to provide a better quality of life for its citizens and allow it to develop in to a modern European City.