Launched in April by the European Commission, it is at the service of the new European Bauhaus and will have two missions: to create favourable conditions for the green transition and to trigger tangible transformations on the ground

A co-creation space at the service of the new European Bauhaus, to realize beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive projects. This is the Neb Lab, launched by the European Commission at the beginning of April: the place where the new European Bauhaus is realized in concrete and tangible projects. “It is about what we can achieve when we work together in a spirit of openness and trust. It focuses on connecting people, learning from each other and using each other’s experience,’ the Commission explained.
The Neb Lab will have two missions: first, to create favorable conditions for the green transition, such as new tools, frameworks, and policy recommendations; second, to trigger tangible transformations on the ground. At the heart of the lab are projects in which teams self-organise to bring about tangible changes in a specific place or context. The New Bauhaus community and European institutions will independently develop project proposals for the Neb Lab. The proposals will then become Neb Laboratory projects following a process that will ensure a clear purpose, transparency towards the community and well-defined beneficiaries.

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The Neb Lab, action

The Neb Lab ensures coherence between projects and alignment with the principles of the New European Bauhaus. It supports project development by questioning proposals, connecting projects with the community and institutions for further support and linking local action with the European and international dimensions. It offers projects a space on a dedicated online platform, mentoring and communication support. These are the guidelines of the Neb Laboratory. It does not provide funding for projects, however, project teams can consider support and funding options, e.g. in-kind support, European, national, regional or local public funding, and sponsoring.
Neb Laboratory projects are developed independently by a team of project coordinators and can receive support from various bodies in addition to the official support of the New European Bauhaus community. They make use of independent experts and are required to produce changes in the field.

Becoming Friends
The launch of the Neb Lab started with an invitation to participate as Friends of the New European Bauhaus to involve companies and public actors such as regions, municipalities and cities more directly. Among the Neb Lab projects that have been launched are the development of labelling tools for the new European Bauhaus, work on the conditions of the regulatory framework and a survey aimed at construction companies, architects, planners and others to identify obstacles to the implementation of the new European Bauhaus projects in the building and housing sector.
The invitation to become a friend of the new European Bauhaus responds to the request of public bodies, political organisations and companies to be involved in a more structured way in the New European Bauhaus initiative. It is open to entities that are committed to the New European Bauhaus values of sustainability, aesthetics and inclusiveness. Friends will join an existing community of over 450 official partners, members of the High-Level Round Table, national contact points, and winners and finalists of the New European Bauhaus awards.

The projects
Building on this community, the Neb Lab will act as an incubator to connect people and learn from each other’s experiences. Three projects have started. The first is a ‘labelling strategy’ project that invites experts, academics and practitioners in the fields of sustainability, inclusiveness and aesthetics to help create a compass and evaluation frameworks that will help ensure that projects are well aligned with the values of the new European Bauhaus. The second is an ‘analysis and experimentation’ project to examine how the regulatory framework, from the local to the European level, can support the development of New European Bauhaus projects. A survey to map the challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners is open until 30 June 2022. The third and fourth are two ‘innovative financing’ projects: one focusing on crowdfunding and public financing, the other on joint financing with philanthropy. These projects will explore innovative financing solutions for the new European Bauhaus projects. Anyone interested in innovative financing is invited to participate by sharing their thoughts and experiences.

These projects are in addition to ongoing work to promote the transformation of places of learning and three calls for support for citizens, cities and municipalities to place the New European Bauhaus project at the heart of their communities.
Three participatory Neb Lab projects are also starting. The first, entitled ‘The New European Bauhaus Goes South’, links six southern European countries joining forces to reflect and improve education through architecture. The second, entitled ‘Carbon Neutral Nordic Bauhaus’ is an open forum to discuss how architecture, design and art can contribute to achieving a carbon-neutral built and living environment inclusively. The third, entitled ‘The New European Bauhaus of the Mountains’, aims to improve the quality of the built environment and the quality of life of citizens in rural and mountainous areas.

“The New European Bauhaus is a growing movement that brings together people from the fields of culture, education, arts, science and architecture to share new ideas and undertake beautiful, sustainable and inclusive projects to improve our daily lives,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. “The Neb Lab provides a central meeting place to further multiply these contacts. It will help lay the foundations for more concrete changes on the ground,” she added.

Giulia Torbidoni – TNC


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