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Designing the Irresistible Circular Society
Making nature and vulnerable groups stakeholders
We work to make circular processes visible and accessible for all local actors
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A tool for decision-makers, architects, urban designers and planners to interactively explore the wishes and challenges of people in an area.
Desire experiments with creating sustainable, attractive, and inclusive urban spaces which respect the limited resources of the planet.
The aim of Desire is to start an architectural movement based on cohesion and equality.
Desire will create a movement that sets new standards and develops methods for transforming urban spaces.


How do we make the green transition acceptable, desirable and irresistible for young people, adults and the elderly? ART could perhaps be part of the answer. CHART (a nonprofit organisation – and a leading Nordic art fair) has helped us to understand how art can play a role in the new circular society and the changes required in the green transition. In this podcast, Director Julie Quottrup Silbermann explains the power of art.
The MIND Milano Innovation District, located 15 minutes from Milan’s heart, is transforming into a vast innovation and science hub. Spanning over 1 million square meters, it aims to create a sustainable “city within the city.” Now four minor yellow benches have moved in to serve as symbols of inclusivity, fostering a sense of community for the daily visitors. Have a look at the Desire film from MIND, created by filmmaker Benjamin Hesselholdt.
Empower students to inspire developers in constructing sustainable neighbourhoods! Backed by the European Commission, the ‘Desire’ movement aims to set new standards and methods for transforming Europe’s urban spaces. The video demonstrates how ‘Desire’ brings these ideas to life, showcasing its potential impact.

Meet us at these events

Prisme, Klimafolkemødet, 5500 Middelfart, Denmark 30.08.2024
KLIMAFOLKEMØDET i Middelfart, DK (The climate festival, Denmark) - 30 August 2024: More and more people live in cities, but the cities are under pressure and must develop and adapt so that they can provide a climate-friendly framework for community, health and well-being – even in 100 years. But how do we create the cities of the future in collaboration with the young people who live there now and for many years to come? How do we make room for good urban spaces and green mobility? And can citizens always be involved in the best solutions? Meet Desire partners Aalborg University, BloxHub and
BLOX, Bryghuspladsen, 1473 Copenhagen K, Denmark 10.09.2024
Join us for this event in Copenhagen, where we celebrate the last two years dedicated to creating sustainable, inclusive, and attractive solutions. We will share our results, tools, and learnings - and look into the future of the New European Bauhaus in the coming years.

Experience a day filled with inspiring activities: Listen to talks from our project partners, participate in interactive workshops, and enjoy a captivating performance.

About Desire - Designing an Irresistible Circular Society: Desire experiments with creating sustainable, attractive, and inclusive solutions. Powered by knowledge from eight urban transformation projects across Europe, the aim is to create a new vision for how we can build and live based on cohesion and equality. Desire is a New European Bauhaus lighthouse project.

September 10, 2024
12.00: Arrival and lunch
12.30: Panel discussions, workshop, performances
17.30: Thank you for today
17.40 -: Network and drinks

Danish Architecture Center Bryghuspladsen 10, Copenhagen, Denmark
Sign up for event:
Valencia, Vesterbrogade 32, 1620 Copenhagen, Denmark: 16:00-19:00 PM 12.09.2024
Join Danske Arkitektvirksomheder (Danish Association of Architectural Firms - Desire partner) when they invite to a debate (Danish) about the architectural industry’s role in the circular transition as part of the EU project Desire. In our project, four Danish architectural firms have actively influenced setting new standards and developing methods for transforming existing urban spaces and creating urban development with respect for the planet and people’s diverse ways of living. Click to learn more.

Demonstration sites

Desire’s three themes are powered with knowledge from eight territorial sites, three in Denmark, two in Italy, and one in each of the other countries: The Netherlands, Slovenia, and Latvia.

Creating social and inclusive housing where we address the need for inclusive processes in the circular transformation of social housing.

Transforming through symbiotic relationships where we will focus on optimising materials flow when rethinking urban landscapes in cities.

Reconciling cities with nature where we will design livable habitats and functional ecosystems from a multispecies perspective while rebalancing ‘land use’ to accommodate resource generation and biodiversity.

  • All
  • Social housing
  • Symbiotic relationships
  • Reconciling cities

Creating social and inclusive housing

Addresses the need for inclusive processes in circular transformation of social housing.

Wildemanbuurt is a post-war social housing area of poor quality, a vulnerable neighbourhood (app. 5000 inhabitants) in the city. The aim is to create new pathways, prototypes and processes towards new forms of meaning, imagination, shareability and realisation of an inclusive and sustainable (circular) living environment, by exploring how local qualities (high cultural diversity, high share of young and elderly people, heritage, green space, edible gardens) can integrate with policies and expertise of housing corporations.
In Ziepju (Riga, LV), an old Soviet social housing block needs renovation. The site will experiment with a new way forward in public renovation and transformation projects, building on inclusion and circularity, with the aim of transforming the old housing area into an attractive living environment.
Gadehavegaard, (Høje-Taastrup, DK) is a large monofunctional residential area with 986 apartments from the 1970s. It will undergo a comprehensive transformation by 2030 through re-positioning the neighbourhood as a suburban vision 2.0. Elements from the surrounding landscape will add qualities to the neighbourhood and support a continued perception of being suburban. The site will experiment with citizen involvement in redefining open spaces and their connection with nature and how circular principles guide the implementation of the transformation through reuse and recirculation of materials.

Transforming through symbiotic relationships

Focuses on how to optimize use of materials flow when rethinking urban landscapes in cities.

MIND (Milan, IT) is an innovation district in the early phase of designing the waste management system of a +350.000 sqm green and public space. A challenge concerns digitising and “greening” the huge construction supply chain while at the same time including the 70,000 daily user community to promote environmentally friendly behaviours – for instance in terms of mobility to reach the site which is around 15 minutes away from Milan city centre. The aim is to leverage on the ingenuity of the local communities and stakeholders to turn projects into a city-wide undertaking.
Existing view HT
Kalundborg Circular Campus (Kalundborg, DK) concerns urban transformation in a smaller city located 100 km west of Copenhagen with a thriving industrial ‘Symbiosis’ connecting more than 20 different streams of water, energy and materials, and with public and private stakeholders engaged across sectors and at multiple levels. The aim to develop a new irresistible circular campus as part of the Copenhagen-based Royal Danish Academy. Principles of circularity combined with art, design and inclusion will influence a broad coalition building of cross sectoral organizations and across current and future generations of professionals. The proximity of leading businesses and of several schools of vocational training, will contribute to this work where younger generations will be engaged in co-designing their own future context.

Reconciling cities with nature

Is about designing livable habitats and functional ecosystems from a multispecies perspective while rebalancing ‘land use’ to accommodate resource generation and biodiversity.

BTC City - a large business, shopping, recreation, entertainment, and cultural centre located 3 km from the city centre of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia - has a visionary goal: to transform the centre into a regionally leading green, climate-resistant, and attractive symbiotic business hub. This transformation aims to create shared value for various stakeholders, including users, businesses, the city, and the local community. (Ljubljana, SI) aims at a transformation of the city center to become a regionally leading green, climate resistant and attractive symbiotic business city with shared value for different stakeholders (users, businesses, city, local community) by integrating nature and non-human species more directly in strategies for future investments
Cascina Falchera (Turin, IT) – an old farmhouse and educational area on the outskirts of the City of Turin, aims to regenerate the area through circularity principles and as part of an innovative urban regeneration movement to support the local community and reconnect people, especially the young generations, with natural spaces and the biodiversity and historical as well as and environmental values of the site. In short, Cascina Falchera wants to become a hub of social innovation and biodiversity.
At the site where the Herlev Asphalt Factory (Herlev, DK) used to be located, we will engage in a redefinition of a character that is important to reconcile city with nature: The Caretaker. This will imply experimenting with a role that embodies cross-disciplinary skills unfolding through the intersection of art, storytelling, biodiversity and circularity, for instance facilitating and curating social art pieces that seek to stimulate and strengthen the relationship between local inhabitants and introduce art as a method for social and ecological regeneration.
Our Walk App - an open-source tool
A tool for decision-makers, architects, urban designers and planners to interactively explore the wishes and challenges of people in an area.
BTC City - Hackathon February 2024. Credit: BTC d.d.
Get updated on the Desire project to watch it blossom
Desire will create a movement that sets new standards and develops methods for transforming urban spaces