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Initiated in January 2021 by the European Commission, the New European Bauhaus initiative translates the European Green Deal into a cultural and human-centred, tangible and positive experience. All Europeans can participate and progress together by developing creative, affordable, inclusive and attractive solutions to respond to climate challenges, thus accelerating the transformation of various economic sectors. The initiative will provide answers to the question how to live in harmony with the planet.

The initiative will translate into the development of projects that are at the crossroad of innovation, creativity and imagination. Its objective is to make new ways of living possible.

Similarly to the architectural movement Bauhaus, from which the name is derived, the New European Bauhaus aims at breaking silos and creating links and bridges between its three core values:

  • sustainability, from climate goals to circularity, zero pollution, and biodiversity
  • aesthetics, quality of experience and style, beyond functionality
  • inclusion, from valorising diversity, to securing accessibility and affordability

How does it work?

The initiative unfolds in three phases: Design, Delivery and Dissemination.

During the Design phase (spanning from Q4 2020 to Q3 2021), the Commission gathered examples, ideas and challenges related to new sustainable and inclusive ways of living.

We are now entering the Delivery phase, which will last until the end of 2023, with the future establishment of five pilot sites – so-called lighthouses – to test different solutions. The Delivery phase is organised around four themes:

  • Reconnecting with nature in order to increase the motivation for addressing climate change and reducing the exposure to pollution
  • Regaining a sense of belonging by building bridges between people
  • Prioritising the places and people that need it most by promoting affordable and accessible solutions for all, in particular the most vulnerable groups and individuals
  • Fostering long term, life cycle and integrated thinking in the industrial ecosystem to encourage circularity and a sustainable use of resources and waste

In September 2021, the Commission published a call for five first demonstrators that will have the function of kicking off the transformation on the ground. The call, funded under Horizon Europe, will remain open for applications until 25 January 2022. A group of selected experts will then assess the applications and select the first five projects in spring 2022.

A call for a new wave of pilot projects will open for applications in 2022-2023.

The Delivery phase is also supported by projects around three key interconnected transformations:

These projects are funded by different EU instruments.

Finally, the Dissemination phase (from Q1 2023 until the end of 2024) will focus on disseminating good ideas and concepts to a broader audience, not only in Europe but also beyond.

How is the initiative funded?

There will be about €85 million dedicated to New European Bauhaus projects from EU programmes in 2021 – 2022. Funding will come from different EU programmes including Horizon Europe (notably the Horizon Europe Missions), the LIFE programme and the European Regional Development fund. Member States and private investments are invited to participate and support the initiative as well.

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