Friday, November 20, 2020

Planning organisations from the creative sector present a joint statement on the New European Bauhaus



The joint statement is supported by the representative European organisations of architects, spatial planners, landscape architects, interior architects, engineers, designers, artists, educators and researchers of the built environment, who welcome the New European Bauhaus initiative put forward by the President of the European Commission as part of the Renovation Wave strategy.

For ACE President, Georg Pendl, who initiated this collective project: "We were delighted to hear the President of the European Commission say: "But this -the renovation wave- is not just an environmental or economic project: it needs to be a new cultural project for Europe“. This can be the start of a game-changing policy, as renovation isn’t seen as a technical issue only, but promotes a holistic approach, not only including the quality of the design, but putting it at the core."


The New European Bauhaus 
Making the Renovation Wave a Cultural Project

We, the representative European organisations of architects, spatial planners, landscape architects, interior architects, engineers, designers, artists, educators and researchers of the built environment, enthusiastically welcome the New European Bauhaus initiative put forward by the President of the European Commission as part of the Renovation Wave strategy.  

With this initiative, the European Commission complements the economic, social and environmental measures of the Renovation Wave strategy with an essential cultural dimension. By making the Renovation Wave a cultural project, including all stakeholders, and by including architectural quality and design quality as key principles to steer it, the Commission initiates a fundamental shift. This can be a game-changer in the transition to a more sustainable economy and society and will bring the Green Deal closer to citizens for their well-being.

It opens the door to a more holistic approach to our built environment, seeking to enhance, at the same time, economic, social, environmental and cultural values. Thus, it builds on the 2018 Davos Declaration Towards a high-quality Baukultur and principles included in the New Leipzig Charter and, in its implementation, will help to reach the UN Sustainable Development goals.  

In this holistic approach, the cultural dimension is central. It goes far beyond aesthetic considerations and is the main driver for quality planning processes and quality projects, as well as a source of inspiration and innovation for the other pillars of sustainability, given that arts are providers of crucial twenty-first century competencies, such as critical thinking and problem solving.  

The holistic thinking and cultural approach that underpin the New European Bauhaus initiative must lie at the heart of the Renovation Wave strategy and inspire all its measures to raise the full potential of the strategy and achieve a ‘quality renovation wave’, making a difference in people’s minds and quality of life, and achieving Europe’s climate neutrality objective.  

This holistic approach is needed at all spatial scales, whatever the size of the project – from landscape architecture to town planning, neighbourhood development, infrastructure, buildings and interior architecture and design. We very much welcome the ambition of the European Commission to facilitate exchanges across disciplines, as we share the view that it is the best way to spur creativity and innovation.  

It reflects well how our professions work, every day, on the ground. Through our respective networks, we are ready to support the development of this initiative, notably by:

acting as an information platform, able to reach a large audience via its member organisations;

assisting the implementation of the key principles of the strategy in the education, as well as the research agendas of schools and institutes;

identifying and collecting best practice examples and innovative projects;  

enabling contact with renowned professionals and experts, who would be able to give greater visibility to the initiative;

offering a knowledge and expertise hub, to help the European Commission to further design the initiative and ensure that its process delivers the desired outcomes;

facilitating   initiatives to upskills professionals in the targeted sectors;

- obtaining inputs from public authorities and decision-makers, with whom we are in regular contact in our daily professional practice at all governance levels;

acting as a partner for co-organising consultations, co-creation initiatives, and awareness-raising events targeting professionals, students and citizens.

We are very much looking forward to collaborating with the European Commission and all stakeholders to make this initiative a success.


     This statement is endorsed by the following
      pan-European organisation:

The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) is the representative organisation for the architectural profession at European level. Its membership consists of 43 Member Organisations, which are the regulatory and professional representative bodies in all EU Member States, UK, Switzerland and Norway. Through them, the ACE represents the interests of 562.000 architects from 31 countries in Europe.

The European Council of Interior Architects (ECIA) is the representative body for the professional organizations in Interior Architecture and Design. Founded in 1992, ECIA currently represents 17 European Member – National Organizations and through them, the interests of over 14.000 professional Interior Architects/Designers. 

The European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP) brings together 28 professional spatial planning associations and institutes from 24 European countries as well as corresponding members. It is an umbrella association providing its members with a common framework to promote the visibility, recognition of the important societal role and practice of planning and urban development in Europe.

The European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) is the network for architectural and planning schools in Europe. The purpose of the Associations is to advance the quality of education and research in all areas of the built environment and thus to promote the quality of architecture and urban landscape in Europe. The EAAE promotes the interests of 135 member schools as institutions and academic environments, lobbies for common goals and connects globally. 

ELIA is a globally connected European network that provides a dynamic platform for exchange and development in higher arts education. It represents 260 member institutions in 48 countries, with over 300.000 students across all art disciplines. By placing emphasis on the value of arts education and artistic research, ELIA is dedicated to enhancing the conditions in which higher arts education can flourish, both nationally and internationally.

IFLA Europe is the European Region of the International Federation of Landscape Architects formed by 34 professional Landscape Architects' Associations with 20.000 landscape architects across Europe. It aims not only to promote the landscape architecture profession, recognising excellence in educational courses and promoting the best practice operations, but also striving to enhance the quality of landscape planning, monitoring and management, provide nature-based solutions in climate change mitigation and adaptation and ensure transformational changes in landscape, urban and rural areas.


Architects' Council of Europe
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B-1050 Brussels
T: +32 2 543 11 40
F: +32 2 543 11 41
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