This month, the European Commission announced the five projects that were chosen for the €25 million call for the development of “lighthouse demonstrators” of the New European Bauhaus (NEB).
The Commission is currently in the process of making grant agreements with the chosen recipients. The projects plan to make places in the EU more sustainable, welcoming, and beautiful, and they hope to get people involved in the green transition on a local level.
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I cannot wait to see these New European Bauhaus projects come to life. They will show how the future can look and bring the European Green Deal to our daily lives and living spaces. These projects should become the starting point for a European and worldwide network of New European Bauhaus projects.”
CULTUURCAMPUS (Cultuurcampus: a sustainable hub of arts, research, learning and community as catalyst): Cultuurcampus wants to change the disadvantaged urban area of Rotterdam South by combining education, research, policy, and culture and the lived experiences of the residents. The Cultuurcampus will be in a historic building where many different groups can come together for various activities. (Netherlands)
NEB-STAR (New European Bauhaus STAvangeR): In Stavanger, Prague, and Utrecht, the NEB-STAR project will show how the principles and values of the NEB can be incorporated into plans for changing the areas. The project will take on four big problems related to climate-neutral cities. In each case, local needs and concerns will be taken into account by working together with residents and other stakeholders. (Norway, Czech Republic, Netherlands)
NEBourhoods (NEBourhoods): NEBorhoods will ready Munich-Neuperlach for the future as outlined in the European Green Deal through its built environment, circularity, mobility, energy, food, and health. The project will build on the area’s strengths, which include a strong sense of community, a lot of green space, and large-scale housing, even if some of it needs to be fixed up. It will also address the area’s weaknesses, which include high unemployment rates and low standards of education. (Germany)
DESIRE (Designing the Irresistible Circular Society): The project wants to deal with the biggest problems that societies and cities face, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource challenges. Based on three main themes—inclusion, circularity, and bringing cities back into harmony with nature—the project will use art, architecture, and design to look at different ways to transform the territories of European cities. (Denmark, Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy, Latvia)
EHHUR (EYES HEARTS HANDS Urban Revolution): The project helps cities and vulnerable people in changing their local built environment. It will take place in seven different places in the EU and countries that are linked to it. It will try to solve social, economic, and cultural problems like social segregation, lack of access to energy, and the deterioration of depopulated historical centers. (Denmark, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Turkey, Croatia, Italy)
In two years, the projects will come up with new ideas and solutions that will help point the way for other NEB actions. As the projects are spread out across Europe, they will produce a variety of results that can be used in similar activities and demonstrators in Europe and beyond. The useful concepts and ideas used in these projects could act as NEB blueprints in the future.
Another project, the CRAFT (CReating Actionable FuTures) coordination and support action, will support these and all future NEB lighthouse projects with €2 million in funding. CRAFT will test local models for NEB transformations through collaboration in Amsterdam, Bologna, and Prague.
Background to the New European Bauhaus
The goal of the New European Bauhaus is to connect science and technology with art, culture, and education. Horizon Europe is a major source of new ideas, prototypes, and products. This is because research and innovation are important parts of how the NEB is made, delivered, and shared.
The New European Bauhaus initiative connects the European Green Deal to our daily lives and living spaces. It calls on all Europeans to imagine and build together a sustainable and inclusive future that is beautiful for our eyes, minds, and souls.
Heritage is a a key part of the NEB. For example, if we want to change how our cities look, we will have to think about cultural heritage. The initiative wants to use traditional handicrafts, both for the cultural beauty they can bring and to bring back more sustainable ways of doing things that may have been replaced by cheaper modern options.
The NEB will naturally focus on cultural heritage because it encourages putting resources back into buildings that already exist instead of funding endless construction. Old buildings are often hard to maintain, and the NEB hopes to help solve this issue.
The NEB’s main goal is to move toward a circular economy, which is a way of living that reduces waste and encourages reusing and recycling everything – a clear intersection between heritage and climate change.
Over the next two years, it will be important to look at the impact that these five projects have. Transforming into a circular society which uses heritage for good is an enormous challenge. These projects have an opportunity to show that it is possible, and some serious financial backing.