The New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences.

The European Urban Initiative (EUI) has recently launched a €50 million call to support urban innovation and cities capabilities to build a sustainable urban development. This call is a perfect translation into practise of the core values of the New European Bauhaus (NEB): aesthetics, sustainability, and inclusion. It will allow the second generation of NEB demonstrators to be implemented after the first six projects that were financed under Horizon Europe. The EUI is part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Commissioner for Cohesion Policy and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Innovative projects on the ground translating the New European Bauhaus values into reality is crucial for an inclusive green transition that provides high-quality living solutions to all. I call on EU cities’ vision and creativity to make the most from the funding opportunity that Cohesion Policy’s European Urban Initiative offers today to improve the life of citizens and set an example for addressing complex urban challenges the NEB way.”

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “Cities play a major role in sustainable transformation. They are uniquely placed not only to engage citizens, but also to build upon cultural diversity and cultural heritage to transform our living spaces and mind-sets. With this new call, we anchor the values of the NEB in the building and functioning of cities, at the closest to citizens. I am looking forward to seeing the projects come to life and spread across Europe.”

The call looks for projects that trigger transformation in the cities and have the potential to generate investments and inspire other Cohesion Policy projects, in line with the principles of NEB. The projects have to be related to these four themes:

  • constructing and renovating in a spirit of circularity and carbon neutrality
  • preserving and transforming cultural heritage
  • adapting and transforming buildings for affordable housing solutions
  • regenerating urban spaces.

The ERDF will finance 80% of the cost of selected projects. Each project can receive up to €5 million. Part of this funding will support the transfer of innovative solutions to other cities in Europe to have an even bigger impact, especially in cities and regions most in need of transformation support towards the green future. In the longer term, supported urban authorities will set up transfer partnerships with three other cities interested to replicate parts or the full projects. The call is open until mid-January 2023.


The New European Bauhaus was launched by President von der Leyen in September 2021. It adds a cultural dimension to the Green Deal and accelerates the green transition with change on the ground that combines the values of aesthetics, sustainability, and inclusion.

With a dedicated ERDF budget of €450 million, the European Urban Initiative (EUI) is a new instrument supporting the urban dimension of Cohesion Policy in 2021-2027. A minimum of 8% of the ERDF resources in each Member State must be invested in priorities and projects selected by cities themselves and based on their own sustainable urban development strategies.

Beyond supporting innovation, the EUI supports the capacities of all urban areas across Europe. It provides evidence for policymaking and sharing knowledge on sustainable urban development, including via the Urban Agenda for the EU.

The EUI is managed by the Commission and the French Region Hauts-de-France. It builds on the Urban Innovative Actions of the 2014-2020 programming period, but has an even stronger focus on urban innovation, sustainability, and replicability in other cities.

Why should the outdoor sports stakeholded participate to the call and get involved?

The outdoor sports sector and the Bauhaus initiative have a mutual interest in urban regeneration, social cohesion and active, healthy communities. The following topics clearly link the benefits of Outdoor sports with the objectives of the New European Bauhaus.

Physical health and mental wellbeing through green spaces: 

The findings from the BOSS project have provided evidence that correlates exercise in green spaces to improvements in physical health and especially mental well-being is now very significant. While there is clear evidence that increased fitness and better cardiovascular function, reduced blood pressure, obesity, resting heart rate and a positive influence on other health markers are all associated with physical activity – but the evidence now shows that participants gain greater benefits from exercising in green space. Research has further shown that exercise in green spaces generates positive effects for mood, resilience, feelings of revitalisation, positive engagement and restoration for people living in urban settings. Negative affective states like stress, depression, anxiety, tension, confusion, anger, rumination, loneliness and neuroticism could be reduced by exercise in green space.  

Environmental awareness and connections: in the transition towards a greener economy, the awareness of our human dependence on nature and biodiversity is of significant importance. Europe’s level of urbanisation reached 75% of its population and is expected to increase to approximately 83.7% by 2050.Therefore, the development of beautiful and accessible natural areas in our urban settings is becoming increasingly important by creating greater opportunity for citizens to connect with nature in their daily routines and experience its benefits.

Active spaces: sustainable and aesthetic places of living can successfully incorporate a rethinking and redevelopment of spatial planning, thus to maximise individuals’ possibility to move in any moment of their daily routines. The concept of ‘active spaces’ is increasingly being applied in cities across Europe, transforming local communal space in order to help to decrease sedentarism and increase the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Social inclusion through active spaces: the concept of active spaces makes use of built environments in a smart way (buildings and green spaces) in order to provide equal access for all, regardless of income category, social or cultural status or physical condition: wellbeing through movement should be accessible to all in a clean, sustainable and beautiful future.

Green Playspaces – open to community-driven initiatives: rethinking our shared spaces is also about creating the conditions for bottom-up initiatives and allowing activities to take place out in the open. Sport and physical activity are excellent ways to do this, mixing communities and creating new interpretations of existing places with very limited risk of tensions that arise with the appropriation of public spaces for private interests.

Strands & Objectives

The EUI includes two strands:

  • Strand 1- Support of innovative actions, and
    • Support of innovative actions are:
      • To identify and support the testing of transferable and scalable innovative solutions to address issues relating to sustainable urban development at Union level;
      • To collect and share results from experimentations and support transfer activities, in view of fostering innovation capacities and knowledge building for all EU urban areas and mainstreaming innovative solutions in sustainable urban development, under Article 11 of the ERDF/CF Regulation and beyond.
  • Strand 2- Support of capacity and knowledge building, territorial impact assessments, policy development and communication are:
    • Capacity building part
      • To improve the capacities of cities in the design of sustainable urban development policies, strategies and practices in an integrated and participative way;
      • To improve the design and implementation of sustainable urban development policies, strategies and action plans in cities.
    • Knowledge building, territorial impact assessments, policy development and communication part
      • To develop a knowledge base in support of better sustainable urban development policy and strategy design, implementation and mainstreaming;
      • To ensure easier access to horizontal and thematic knowledge and share knowhow on sustainable urban development;
      • To support the Urban Agenda for the EU, and upon request of Member State(s), to possibly support the intergovernmental cooperation on urban matters.

The Call will not be prescriptive with regard to the nature of expected proposals. However, cities are invited to consider the four following themes which have the greatest potential to generate innovative solutions and create a clear demonstration effect to inspire the use of Cohesion policy in urban areas:

  • Construction and renovation in a spirit of circularity and carbon neutrality
  • Preserving and transforming cultural heritage
  • Adapting and transforming buildings
  • Regenerating urban spaces

What kind of projects are they looking for?

  • Innovative
    • Innovative Actions support pilot projects that have never been tested anywhere else in Europe. This is an evolutionary approach where the innovation lies in the new elements added to the existing idea, or as a revolutionary approach with completely new solutions never tested before in the policy field concerned in the EU.
  • Participative
    • Participation and co-creation with Partners, relevant stakeholders, and target groups, are key for the development and implementation of genuinely innovative and experimental projects.
  • Measurable
    • A robust methodology is necessary to measure expected impacts, as well as clear and quantified results to capture the expected change in the local situation resulting from the project.
  • Transferable and scalable
    • Based on lessons drawn from the project and shared to a wider audience of policy makers and practitioners, the Innovative actions have the potential of being scaled and transferred to other urban areas across Europe.
  • Of good quality
    • Proposals must prove to be justified, realistic, consistent, and coherent. They should also be ready to be managed effectively, implemented swiftly, and demonstrate value for money.

What kind of support is offered?

  • Funding: Each project can receive up EUR 5 million. Part of this allocation will support the transfer of these innovative solutions to other cities in Europe to have an even bigger societal impact!
  • Knowledge and Capacity Building: They provide a knowledge environment for cities to ensure easier access to knowledge and share the know-how on sustainable urban development! They are interested in strengthening your capacities in designing such strategies in an integrated and participative way.
  • Duration: project implementation should take place within a maximum period of 3,5 years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The following authorities may apply for support to undertake the EUI-IA:
    • First category: Any urban authority of a local administrative unit defined according to the degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA) of Eurostat as city, town or suburb (corresponding to DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2 of Eurostat) comprising at least 50 000 inhabitants.
    • Second category: An association or grouping of urban authorities with legal status of organised agglomeration composed by Local Administrative Units, where the majority (at least 51%) of inhabitants lives in Local Administrative Units defined according to the degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA) of Eurostat as cities, towns or suburbs (corresponding to DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2) and where the total combined population is at least 50 000 inhabitants.
    • Third category: An association or grouping of urban authorities without legal status of organised agglomerations where all the urban authorities involved (Main Urban Authority – hereinafter: MUA, and Associated Urban Authorities – hereinafter: AUA) are Local Administrative Units defined according to the degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA) of Eurostat as cities, towns or suburbs (corresponding to DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2) and where the total combined population (MUA and AUA) is at least 50 000 inhabitants.

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