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Errico B., Bisogni F., Levi T. (2023) “The New European Bauhaus at the local and regional level”

Committente: European Committee of the Regions. 
Periodo: 2023
Url: The New European Bauhaus at the local and regional level

The present study aims to analyse the state of the art of the implementation of the New European Bauhaus initiative (NEB) in relation to the local and regional authorities, and how they are delivered it on the ground in adherence with their local and regional development strategies. On 15 September 2021, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) received a Communication from the European Commission on the “New European Bauhaus. Beautiful, Sustainable, Together” (European Commission 2021)1. Its objective was to introduce the NEB as an initiative enhancing sustainable innovation, technology, economy, and environmental transition through a participatory approach. Therefore, by involving people from different professions and backgrounds, the goal is to create a movement that expresses the EU’s ambition to create beautiful, sustainable and inclusive places, products and ways of living. In doing so, the NEB will create the space to explore and test policy, funding and other solutions to design and build a better life for all. Against this backdrop, cities and regions play a key role in designing, implementing and disseminating the NEB. As they have clear responsibilities for sustainable local and regional policies, they are responsible for large stocks of public spaces and buildings and play an important regulatory and funding role in their renovation and regeneration processes. Therefore, their participation in the NEB is fundamental, to make the initiative more accessible and comprehensive of members of the public in the transformation process on the ground. On 27-29 April 2022, the CoR adopted the opinion on the NEB (European Committee of the Regions 2022)2, outlining that the role of the local and regional authorities (LRAs) in implementing the principles of the NEB is acknowledged. Since cities and regions are at the forefront of cultural development, they are responsible for the implementation of the NEB in public spaces. In its opinion, the CoR reaffirmed the importance of the multi-level and place-based approach, the identification of bottlenecks and impediments LRAs tackle in the realisation of the NEB initiative. Moreover, it proposes new instruments, such as the NEB Lab voucher scheme, to support LRAs in financing and organising NEB projects in their constituency, to enhance cross-border cooperation and partnership in relation to the NEB.

Based on the abovementioned, this study investigates the very recent developments related to the NEB at local and regional level, which occurred after the launch of the NEB in September 2021. The study is based on three main methodological approaches: desk research and review of available local and regional level data; wide ranging consultation that gathered feedback from 138 LRAs across the 27 EU Member States about the NEB, and interviews with LRAs already involved in the NEB, to build a general framework regarding their current and possible future involvement in the NEB as well as NEB-related foresight considerations and better implementation at the local and regional level. Through informed objective evidence, this study is structured in four parts. In Part 1, the NEB integration at the local and regional level is analysed. After explaining the main key transformation actions of LRAs in the context of the NEB, the ongoing and scheduled projects involving the LRAs, thanks to the financial support of EU funds and programmes, are mapped. The delivery of the NEB is supported by different dedicated and contributing calls, to enable the fostering of innovative and transdisciplinary projects making places more sustainable, inclusive, and beautiful, which are critically assessed. Part 2 is focused on analysing the role of the LRAs in engaging communities, the NEB Lab, and developing partnerships and cross-border cooperation in the NEB. A set of tools, initiatives and methods is therefore provided, to understand how the participatory approach ascribed to the NEB can be exploited at best for further cooperation, replicability and dissemination purposes. In Part 3, six case studies implementing the NEB at local and regional level are described. They provide a better understanding of the ongoing NEB projects and a deep analysis of the role of LRAs in delivering them. The case studies are described considering the NEB three core values (i.e., sustainability, inclusion, aesthetics) and the key principles of the NEB based on the participatory, transdisciplinary, and multi-level approach. They support the research by explaining the current implementation of NEB projects by LRAs through different funding programmes opportunities and intervention areas. Finally, Part 4 is divided in two subsections. The first one proposes foresight considerations, to explore possible implementations of the NEB at local and regional level that can uptake it at best. Two scenarios are provided, in the framework of the current technological advancements, to best address policymakers in implementing strategies to satisfy NEB place-based policy actions in the future. The second part presents concrete recommendations to 2 LRAs, Member States and the European Union regarding the implementation of the NEB. By way of example, concrete actions should be done in terms of funding scheme and financing instruments to better involve LRAs in the process of implementation of the NEB initiative. Moreover, guidelines to develop specific qualitative and quantitative indicators to monitor and evaluate any NEB projects should be defined by the EU.