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Overall, the amount of surface area covered by built-in structures is growing and the technical infrastructure is developing, which are obviously positive changes for the population, while not strictly geared towards sustainability. Air quality and urban environment are showing improving trends, but this is more due to the economic changes having taken place after the regime change than effective environmental protection measures.


Air quality

Air quality has improved significantly since the regime, primarily owing to changes in industrial emissions.  Caused by residential heating, the level of SO2 emissions also decreased. Major positive developments have taken place in the cities which in the nineties were simply referred to as the “Dirty Dozen”. Conversely, no substantial change can be observed in terms of the NOx and dust levels generated by transportation.


Pollution in residential areas

The share of the population experiencing pollution or other environmental problems in their residential areas is below the EU average: it was 2.3 percentage points lower, i.e. 11.8% in 2012. The regional average is almost the same as the EU average. However, the share has increased in 2011 by 1 percentage point and it is important to look out for the continuation of the trend. A grade of 5 would have been awarded for a slight increase of the indicator, given that at times of economic crises, GDP contraction should have been seen as a chance to reduce pollution.



One can say that the drinking water supply and sewer networks are completely laid out nationally. In the case of the latter, a number of unsustainable solutions were adopted with often unnecessary and excessive technical content. The road infrastructure developed a lot, but only in respect of the highways. The quality of lower level roads is poor, making the access to small municipalities difficult on a national level. The railway infrastructure is developing much more slowly; the tracks are in poor condition. The suburban transport vehicle stock has improved significantly.