Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the creative sector and NEB partners have actively helped with the emergency situation. Moreover, the community (from education to heritage and the arts, designers to architects, etc.) clearly called on the New European Bauhaus initiative to get further involved.
As a first action, a group of high-level roundtable members and partners coordinated the implementation of the ‘Paper Partition System’. They showed the strength of the NEB network by putting in place a simple yet efficient solution to address the lack of privacy in temporary housing (e.g. public buildings or sports centres) where displaced Ukrainians took shelter at the beginning of the war. The system allows each family to have a dedicated space separated with paper tube frames and textile divisions that are easy to assemble. 
In parallel, the reflection started in Ukraine about a reconstruction that would bring the country into a more sustainable and inclusive future, upholding a sense of identity and belonging rooted in the local culture. The EU is exploring how best to support such a rebuilding process. As the President of the Commission put it in a recent speech in Rome, «We will reconstruct Ukraine. It is not only in our interest, but it is our moral duty. When we do it, let's do it in the right way. Let's do it in the spirit of the New European Bauhaus».
Beyond its values and principles, the role of the New European Bauhaus could be one of connecting ongoing initiatives. By using the strength and collective intelligence of the network, providing content and guidance to the continuing work of colleagues (e.g., rebuilding taskforce), and connecting needs with available support. Short-term emergency solutions must be connected to long-term reconstruction and development objectives to avoid wasting money and energy.
In such a context, the NEB provides a framework aligned with EU policies, connecting sustainability, social inclusion, and cultural challenges well recognised by the Ukrainian partners.
The work is organised into three pilot activities:
1. Housing urgency
Objective: to develop a typology of possible solutions to address the urgent housing needs of internally displaced people in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in the EU. Moreover, to compare alternative solutions and provide guidance for relevant public authorities.
2. Circular housing
Objective: to contribute to the preparation of sustainable design and engineering in reconstructing Ukraine by 1) collecting potential solutions for recycling and re-using demolished buildings and infrastructure and 2) researching circular construction methods using Ukrainian resources.
3. Capacity building
Objective: to set up a webinar training system for local municipalities in Ukraine.
Particular attention has been paid to the following framing conditions:
- All forces should be pointed towards giving a sense of purpose and redirecting refugees back to Ukraine as soon as possible to avoid brain drain and lack of workforce in the long run inside Ukraine. Therefore equal partnerships and co-development of projects are essential.
- Support for urgency management and reconstruction should also aim at rebuilding the Ukrainian economy, privileging options that can be implemented by Ukrainians, creating jobs, up-skilling the workforce, and adapting the industrial ecosystem in Ukraine.
- June 2022: World Urban Forum - first meeting Mayors for pilots, NEB National Contact Points meeting
- July 2022: Sessions with the NEB community and Ukrainian network
- August - October 2022: Stock-taking, three pilots a) housing urgency, b) circular housing, c) capacity building webinars
- October - November 2022: Expert review reports
- November - December 2022: Sessions with the NEB community
- February 2023: College discussed with the Ukrainian government EU support to help Ukraine rebuild its cities, and presented the “Phoenix" initiative, providing expertise and funding opportunities inspired by NEB Press release, video joint press conference
- March - June 2023: Series of capacity-building webinars and info sessions
- August 2023: Summary session: New European Bauhaus capacity-building webinars for Ukraine
Participation in the project
A series of capacity-building webinars, lectures and working sessions will become available in the first half of 2023. The webinars are based on the outcomes of the pilot projects and will be open to Ukrainian municipalities, and in a later stage also to NEB partners and international experts interested in getting involved in the reconstruction of the country. All info and registration on EU Academy.
Project team coordinators
New European Bauhaus partners
- High-level roundtable, H. Trammer and M. Beňačková Rišková
EC-New-European-Bauhausec [dot] europa [dot] eu (EC-New-European-Bauhaus[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
- NEB Lab, European Commission led project
- Project locations