Common Ground | NEB collective report is out

July 28, 2021, 3:46 pm

On 29 April, the New European Bauhaus (NEB) Collective, where Culture Action Europe is a member, organised an online conference to contribute to the collective thinking around the newest project of the European Commission that aims to make the Green Deal a cultural project and bring it closer to the citizens. In the spirit of the New European Bauhaus, the event was designed to be a participatory and multidisciplinary gathering, enabling people from various academic and professional backgrounds to meet and exchange ideas on how to shape the NEB. 

The “Common Ground: Making the Renovation Wave a Cultural Project” report, now available online, summarises key learnings and findings of the conference, attended by 800 participants from various backgrounds. Opened by some introductory remarks of the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the event  gave representatives from six European cities the opportunity to share how they translate the NEB ambitions into concrete initiatives and projects.

During 11 breakout sessions participants were invited to discuss specific issues and challenges relating to the New European Bauhaus: participation, education, quality, bio-sourced materials, sustainability, research, mobility, heritage, and sense of place, to name a few.

Culture Action Europe chaired a break-out session which explored how collective and participatory processes led by artists and cultural agents can catalyse the challenges of sustainable and inclusive practices, which are based upon the strategic collaboration between various disciplines and sectors. The main issues discussed in the session were how to create open contexts where multidisciplinary approaches and practices have a place in trust, equality, and ownership; and how to give a room for transversal dialogues between different agents and disciplines, to trigger collective thinking and actions in the context of the NEB initiative.

Presentations on the Laboratorios Ciudadanos distribuidos by Marcos García, the Cultural Creative Spaces & Cities by Marjolein Cremer and SoPHIA by Nicholas Anastasopoulos inspired the discussion regarding collaboration with bottom-up process, co-learning processes in the communities and the role of architects and urban planner in the participatory processes. The session, facilitated by CAE Secretary General Tere Badia, produced a set of recommendations (available at pag.25 of the document).

With the conclusion of the co-design phase on 30 June, the Commission will unveil the “New European Bauhaus Communication” expected to be presented on 14 September, just one day before the State of the Union speech of President Von der Leyen. Next to start is the NEB implementation phase.

In the meantime, have a look at the series of meetings launched by another NEB official partner, Conexiones improbables. Under the title ‘What would Gropius do a century later?’, they seek to analyse, from different thematic areas, the role played by the arts, culture, creativity and thought in the processes of transformation and innovation of organisations and territories, as well as creating a network of dialogue and reflection on the contribution of transdisciplinarity, hybridisation and cross-fertilisation between sectors and knowledge in developing Europe’s future. So far, nine conversations took place in three stages between May and June, with the participation of 70 international agents and organisations. Memories available on their website.