Join us in the Irresistible Cities Lab - ICL

– a ‘community of irresistible practice’ supporting the green transition in cities via the New European Bauhaus.

Published February 1, 2024

Many cities around Europe have initiated projects addressing Scope 1 and 2 of the greenhouse gas protocol, now preparing for the next step of dealing with Scope 3, which is the indirect emission and closely linked to our behaviour as cities and citizens. To support this, we have established the Irresistible Cities Lab (ICL).

Dealing with Scope 3 emissions includes working outside the traditional processes of municipalities and finding new avenues to work with citizens and regulations. If we want a viable, realistic, and desirable green transformation of our cities we need to engage, act, reflect, learn fast and be agile in our approaches and choices. These approaches need to be efficient and operational. This dynamic approach is key in the Irresistible Cities Lab, a community open for practitioners at cross-city level in Europe.


ICL activities aim to share actionable knowledge on bridging the gap between policy formation and the implementation of policy. The focus is on sharing and getting access to practical and accessible ideas; getting qualified feedback on thoughts and ideas before implementing new initiatives and solutions. This is expected to qualify decisions and accelerate the making of our future sustainable urban environment.

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We commence our activities with two tracks of interest as a starting point:

- Regulatory framework/Policy making: How can municipalities re-interpret, transform, and create legislative frameworks that make it possible to adapt a New European Bauhaus approach to cities’ climate action and urban transformation?

- Community of practice building citizens participation: Solutions and initiatives from Europe that efficiently have delivered Scope 3 emissions cuts with citizens’ active participation as a driving force in urban sustainable transformation.


At this stage, our activities are performed along three types of activities:

We will invite practitioners to meetings at:

- NEB Festival in Brussels, Belgium on 9-14 April 2024

- Urban Future in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 5-7 June 2024

- ICLEI Congress in Aalborg, Denmark on 1-3 October 2024

Online plenary meetings dedicated to creating interest and inspiration, with presentations and Q&A.

Frequency: Bi-monthly

- Twin-up meetings – smaller facilitated dialogues or workshops between practitioners from 2-3 cities based on an agenda set in common.

Frequency: Depends on interest and need as well as availability


Henriette Thuen, Leading Senior Adviser, Global Development and Sustainability | New European Bauhaus at Danish Industry,

Part of the New European Bauhaus

The 'Irresistible Cities Lab' is part of Desire – Designing the Irresistible Circular Society, a New European Bauhaus funded initiative. The EU Commission launched the Green Deal in 2019 aiming for a green and just transition, which committed the EU to become CO2-neutral by 2050 in a way which is just and fair for the citizens. 

To ignite the just transition the EU Commission also introduced the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative highlighting the values of sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusion as supportive of creating behavioural change.

One of the cities in the community is Riga.

“In the lab, we see, talk, reflect, and act. We are practitioners at city or town level involved in the green urban transformation in its’ broadest sense inspired by the values inclusion, aesthetics, and sustainability, which constitutes the New European Bauhaus” says Arnita Verza, City Architect of Riga, and continues “We have initiated this lab because we miss an informal forum, where we can discuss with like-minded how we can tackle the challenges we are constantly facing. Where we can share and be inspired by others ensuring that our urban transformation is not only green but also just, beautiful and aesthetic”.

The City of Torino strongly believes that the New European Bauhaus is the key concept that should lead the green and urban transformation of cities. 

According to the Deputy Mayor for Digital and Ecological Transition, Chiara Foglietta “It’s one of the foundations of our intervention of urban regeneration where it leads the way on how to design, plan and implement any new project. But besides being an important initiative, we are aware that the New European Bauhaus is also a really new and articulating subject”. 

“That’s why we know we need to cooperate with other European cities to get the right tools and acquiring the proper knowledge to allow us to implement and master each NEB value to create the Torino of the future. These are the reasons why we decided to join the DESIRE consortium and to be part of the Irresistible Cities Lab, where you can learn and exchange with other cities on inspiring projects and ideas related to the New European Bauhaus,” she continues.

Two-pager: Join us in the Irresistible Cities Lab