Tuesday

11th May 2021

New Bauhaus contest kicks off to inspire green projects

  • Cohesion commissioner Elisa Ferreira (l) and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen are leading the flagship project (Photo: European Commission)

The EU Commission kicked off, on Thursday (22 April), its flagship project for a sustainable green transformation in housing, architecture, transportation, urban, and rural spaces as part of its effort to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

"With the New European Bauhaus, we want to make the European Green Deal tangible and 'palpable'. We want to add a cultural dimension to the economic and technological transformation," EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said at a conference dedicated to the issue.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The new initiative, first unveiled in von der Leyen's State of the Union speech last year will unfold in three phases - design, delivery and dissemination - that will last approximately until the end of 2023, or even longer.

"This could be a new culture for Europe," "an experiment," "a change of attitude," EU commissioner Elisa Ferreira, who is leading this initiative, told EUobserver.

On Friday, the commission will open a competition, with €30,000 prizes for those who spot "existing examples" that represent "the integration of the key values of the initiative".

"We are asking people if they can find good examples that already exist that can illustrate this concept, that can be recognisable and that can be an inspiration for others," Ferreira explained.

"We need to make it more easily understood all across Europe," she added.

In this competition, there will be ten categories, with a diverse focus, including plans for rural areas, historic buildings or educational projects.

Ferreira said she hopes this initiative "makes a difference" when implementing EU cohesion funds and recovery plans, inspiring future ways of living in a sustainable manner.

"There is a huge opportunity when we relaunch the economy to do it differently," she said.

Brussels is counting on media, fundations, universities, ministries and municipalities, among others, to infrom local communities and engage with citizens because "this initiative cannot be an elite project just for the few", she added.

This contest is part of the first phase of the initiative which will be running until the end of the summer.

'Concrete actions against climate change'

In the autumn, the commission will launch five pilot projects with funding of €25m, and it will be possible to combine this money with EU structural funds.

During this second phase, the commission will also support communities that want to develop projects linked to the Bauhaus with technical assistance from urbanists, designers, architects, or academics.

"This is what the New European Bauhaus is all about. It is about hope. It is about inspiration. It is about new perspectives. And it's about concrete actions against climate change," von der Leyen said.

The commission chief said the aim was "reconciling our way of life with nature". One of the ways to achieve it is to focus on materials that need less CO2 in their production.

"All of the technologies are here, what we really need is to incentives and accelerate its implementation at scale," Bjarke Ingels, architect, and founder of Bjarke Ingels Group said at the conference.

Buildings are responsible for 40 percent of our energy consumption, von der Leyen said, adding that if the EU manages to change this, there is a "chance to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees".

Part of the money available for member states under the recovery fund can be used to refurbish buildings and save energy.

The EU wants to renovate some 35 million buildings over the next ten years.

First look at EU's new '21st Century Bauhaus' project

The European Commission unveiled its plans for the 'New European Bauhaus' initiative - an environmental, economic and cultural project whose aim is to design "future ways of living" in a sustainable manner.

EU defers decision on gas and nuclear as 'green' energy

The European Commission has laid out rules classifying industrial logging and the burning of trees and crops for energy as 'sustainable' investments. Decisions on whether to also list gas and nuclear energy as 'sustainable' investments will be made later.

EU negotiators strike deal on climate 'law of laws'

The European Parliament and the European Council reached an agreement on the first-ever EU climate law - raising the current 2030 emission-reduction target from 40 percent to around 55 percent (including carbon sinks).

News in Brief

  1. Lukashenko amends emergency transfer of power
  2. German centre-left picks Scholz as would-be chancellor
  3. EU has not ordered AstraZeneca vaccines beyond June
  4. Macron: Pandemic showed need for more EU integration
  5. Election win fuels Scottish nationalists' referendum plan
  6. Surge in migrant arrivals to Italian island
  7. EU embassy pays bail for Georgia opposition leader
  8. British aristocrats caught peddling Kremlin ties

Analysis

2030? Fine. 2040? Great. 2050? Even better. Now? Too difficult

Leaders of the world's biggest economies recently renewed their climate commitments. But climate targets decades into the future, with a belief in tech-induced salvation, minimise the sense of urgency needed now to reduce emissions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU and US urge Israel to defuse Jerusalem violence
  2. Frontex 'mislabelling minors as adults' on Greek islands
  3. Has Albania really met the 15 tests to join the EU? No
  4. Vaccine fairness plus Russia on table This WEEK
  5. EU ambassadors flock to Red Square for Putin's parade
  6. MEPs win battle for bigger citizens' voice at Conference
  7. Hungary gags EU ministers on China
  8. Poland and Hungary push back on 'gender equality' pre-summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us