The path forward is: rethinking our public spaces, Source: Depositphotos

Two years of New European Bauhaus: How far have we gone?

Two years of New European Bauhaus: How far have we gone?

The European Commission has published its first progress report charting the achievements of the socio-cultural movement that combines beauty, inclusion and sustainability

Yesterday, 16 January, the European Commission published its first-ever New European Bauhaus (NEB) Progress Report, which takes a detailed look back at the turns and achievements of what started as a creative idea and has grown into a full-fledged socio-cultural movement.

During that time, NEB has grown through its various initiatives thanks to the participation of bright minds, grassroots enthusiasm for sustainable transition and the support of European funds (over 100 million euros have already been allocated).

Some exemplary milestones

NEB has evolved to be a multifaceted movement that now reiterates its vision through different formats. The only concrete thing, in an otherwise fluid stream of ideas, has been the insistence to follow the three core principles - aesthetics, sustainability and social inclusion – whenever thinking of or applying any new idea to any environment.

For example, there have already been two editions of NEB Prizes (with a third in the works), which gave the chance to creative European, both veterans and upstarts, to showcase their talents and out-of-the-square-box ideas on how to transform the public spaces of their communities.

The movement has also been celebrated and given visibility through its own Festival, which itself followed a very heterogeneous format.

With over 600 official partner organisations ranging from EU-wide networks to local initiatives, the NEB reaches millions of citizens. The initiative is bringing together people from various backgrounds - from art and design, cultural and creative industries, and cultural heritage institutions, to educators, scientists and innovators, businesses, local and regional authorities, and citizen initiatives.

New tools, new capacity displays

Since the start, the NEB has encouraged and inspired local, regional, and national actors to create their own NEB initiatives. To offer transparent access to information on New European Bauhaus dedicated calls, beneficiaries and its community members, the Commission has created the NEB Dashboard, a comprehensive database in the form of an interactive map.

Likewise, last year, the first six NEB demonstrators were chosen and launched. These grand-scale projects are meant to serve as the showcase of the NEB’s potential to transform at a larger scope. This year, 10 more will be added to the group under the Cohesion policy's European Innovative Actions.

The Progress Report itself was also a good opportunity to present the European Commission’s newest tool designed to prop up the work of the NEB – the NEB Compass. This is an evaluation tool that helps understand to what extent a given project is embodying the NEB approach. It explains what the three NEB values, sustainability, inclusion, and beauty, mean in specific contexts; how they can be integrated and combined with the working principles of participation and transdisciplinary. Based on this Compass, more detailed assessment tools will be developed, starting with the built environment.

2023: things to look forward to

The Commission will also continue working on mainstreaming the NEB in EU programmes, including under shared management in Cohesion Policy, and increasing the funding of the initiative. More than 106 million euros will be allocated to NEB-dedicated calls under the Horizon Europe Mission and Clusters in 2023 and 2024.

In the context of the European Year of Skills, the 2023 edition of NEB Prizes will have a thematic focus on education, and it will expand the geographical coverage to the Western Balkans in addition to EU Member States. This year, the NEB will also develop the NEB Academy and will put in place training courses on sustainable construction, circularity, and biobased materials to accelerate the transformation of the sector.

Ongoing projects will continue, such as the NEB Lab, to anchor the NEB in all policies. The NEB also sees it as one of its important tasks to increase its presence in countries and regions, including rural areas, where there is only little NEB activity thus far.

Thanks to the Erasmus+ “DiscoverEU” New European Bauhaus routes, young Europeans will soon have the possibility to discover Europe's stunning landscapes and cities, while learning about the New European Bauhaus projects.



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