Green transition: Ensuring citizen engagement and art integration from the start – How will our New European Bauhaus insights impact legislation?

Last week, the Desire project and BLOXHUB in Copenhagen hosted the third New European Bauhaus Cluster Workshop, gathering the six lighthouse projects, the coordination and support project CrAFt, and CINEA, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency. All projects share a common goal: the implementation of the EU Green Deal, emphasizing beauty, sustainability, and collaboration.

Published on 21st November, 2023. Text Hanne Kokkegård

The cluster workshop sparked insightful discussions, delving into crucial aspects such as citizen involvement and long-term integration strategies.

Addressing the common challenges, Aase Højlund Nielsen, European Coordinator of Desire, pointed out the need to anchor project outcomes both politically and practically.

"Our challenges are somewhat the same. How do we anchor what we do? How do we get the plans our projects create to live in the long term on a political level and in practice? When, for example, Gadehavegaard, one of the Desire sites, develops a plan for what to do with the green area, we need to make it happen."

An overarching experience shared by lighthouse projects is the time constraint when involving citizens, Aase Højlund Nielsen emphasized:

"When you involve citizens, you must do it at a level where they feel they are being listened to. Finding a practical and feasible way of involving citizens which fulfils the obligation of listening and showing that their ideas and input are valued and respected is a cross-cutting challenge."

The workshop also highlighted the importance of integrating the arts into solutions early, Aase Højlund Nielsen added:

"The lighthouse demonstrators also work a lot on how we get the arts involved in practice very early in solutions instead of as a supplement later. Figuring out how to achieve this integration, considering financial constraints, poses a significant challenge."

The New European Bauhaus projects are well underway in their respective timelines; for instance, Desire is scheduled to conclude in September next year. Consequently, the discussions encompassed regulatory considerations and the future of the New European Bauhaus - also a very important topic for CINEA - as highlighted by Torben Klitgaard, CEO at BLOXHUB and Coordinator of Desire.

"When we talk about how to roll the New European Bauhaus forward after the first 'wave', how do we do it? How will our findings affect the framework and regulation, the infrastructure and tender conditions, and everything that sets the framework for the construction we want to do?"

Living Places – Build for living

The cluster meeting program included a site visit at 'Living Places – Build for living' in Copenhagen, an experimental living environment demonstrating that we don't have to wait for future technology to improve people’s lives while being regenerative for the planet. The initiative aligns with the New European Bauhaus’s use of principles. Here: Healthy, Shared, Simple, Adaptive, and Scalable. Learn more here.

Photos from the meeting in Copenhagen, including site visit at Living Places – Build for living.