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15 November 2021 - 17 November 2021
Brussels, Belgium
LIFE in the New European Bauhaus

Bauhaus Briefing  - Edition 2

Sent on 17 November 2021

Welcome to the second edition of Bauhaus Briefing – our daily round-up of happenings at this week’s Beautiful, sustainable, together: LIFE in the New European Bauhaus conference.

Tuesday’s theme was urban transformation, and below are some of the best bits.

Firstly, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, presented some key actions and funding possibilities from the recent New European Bauhaus Communication. One action is an upcoming European Bauhaus Festival where citizens, researchers and architects will present their project ideas.

‘The New European Bauhaus should not only be considered as a future initiative. It is already happening, as many projects here have shown. The innovative spirit of the changemakers at this event gives us every reason to be hopeful for the movement’s success,’ she said.

Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Deputy Director-General of DG Energy, then explained how the New European Bauhaus could help support the EU's ambitious energy policies. She also said that the initiative is ‘a golden opportunity’ to combine energy efficiency in buildings and deep renovations with beautiful design and architecture.

During the Energy performance in buildings session, we heard from various projects like LIFE SUPERHERO and POCITYF that have been doing their utmost to upscale renovation rates. This is important as currently, only 1% of existing buildings in the EU undergo energy renovations each year. This figure needs to be at 3% to reach 2050 climate-neutral targets. New policy instruments like energy passports, demonstration projects and innovative business models help. Still, according to Eddy Deruwe from LIFE Integrated Project BE REEL!, it is ‘vital to scale up these efforts and get local authorities involved’ to reach this goal, and that is what his project aims to do.

The focus then turned to the circular economy with representatives from Life Turn to e-circularA2U food and others presenting their work. It was agreed that circular economy policies need to adapt to ‘enable and encourage’ people to embrace the concept. Also, it was mentioned that circularity is a cross-cutting issue and should be included in revisions of EU legislation such as that on energy efficiency in buildings.

In the Sustainable cities and districts session, how to integrate critical New European Bauhaus aspects of accessibility and affordability in urban planning was under the spotlight. We heard from projects like LIFE WATERCOOL and LIFE IP PREPAIR and even the municipality of Amsterdam. We learned about innovative ways of cooling cities, green and blue roofs, bike stations, Amsterdam’s green district, reusing existing spaces, among other ideas and innovations. Setting up an umbrella organisation that acts as a one-stop-shop to make all the available information on sustainable urban planning both accessible and understandable was considered important.

In a closing interview, Agnieszka Romanowicz, CINEA Deputy Head of Unit, said that the pandemic has seen people think differently about their lives, making the New European Bauhaus extremely pertinent. She also spoke about current and future Horizon Europe Calls for proposals related to the New European Bauhaus.

Coming up today

The theme for today, the final day, is nature-based solutions in combating climate change and how they relate to the New European Bauhaus.

  • First up is Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General at DG Environment, who will talk about how New European Bauhaus brings the Green Deal into our living space. Don’t miss her thoughts on the New European Bauhaus in Euractiv published this week.
  • Recent nominees and winners of the first New European Bauhaus prize will present their work.
  • Another session will look at how New European Bauhaus relates to nature-based solutions.
  • And CINEA Director Dirk Beckers will close the conference, giving his insights into the three days.

See the full programme here.

Don’t miss our final update tomorrow morning around the same time.

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