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New EU initiative combining climate-smart construction with culture and design

New European Bauhaus is a new EU initiative aimed at creating sustainable living environments based on design, creativity and art. The goal is to create climate-smart cities and buildings that also take people’s happiness and wellbeing into account.

The new EU initiative, which was launched at the start of the year, is part of the EU’s Green Deal and investment in climate-smart cities and construction. The thing that stands out is that New European Bauhaus not only takes ecological and climate sustainability as a starting point, but also cares about creating living environments that are sustainable in the long term from a social and aesthetic perspective. 

“We were delighted when the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, came up with this initiative, which brings together science, technology, art, culture and design. Together with my colleagues, I registered RISE as the first Swedish party to be involved in the project. We are now setting up a European ‘Competence and Excellence Centre for Inclusive Innovation and Societal Transformation’,” explains Marlene Johansson, Business and Innovation Manager for the new centre.

Pilot project come autumn

At present, ideas and good examples are being gathered in. In parallel with this, researchers, students, designers, architects and individuals in other creative industries are being mobilised to address the challenge in various ways. By the autumn, the aim is to have selected five major projects to act as pilots for the joint efforts at EU level.

“This work must be carried out together, to ensure that everyone is following the same pathway. It is also important for us to really succeed in bringing the creative industries with us. Since these often comprise small companies, specific initiatives are required to ensure that they can participate and apply for the projects,” says Marlene Johansson.

She is witnessing many examples of how this venture might create considerable benefits in the future. This is the case in northern Sweden, for example, where several major industrial initiatives are in progress and where a number of new homes need to be built.

“In total, this relates to 100,000–200,000 new jobs in northern Sweden. In order for people to take these jobs, it is important to create living environments where people will want to live the long term. Design, culture and creativity play a huge role in this regard,” says Marlene Johansson.

Funds are available to apply

There are already various opportunities to apply for funding, including through Vinnova and the EU’s Horizon Europe funding programme. In addition, New European Bauhaus has announced a prize competition, where RISE is one of the members of the jury.

“Companies, towns and cities that want to take part are welcome to contact RISE to get tips, advice and support. We want a large number of parties to get involved in this, and are happy to help with feedback on the proposals,” says Marlene Johansson.

Marlene A Johansson

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Marlene A Johansson

+46 10 228 43 53

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