IFLA Europe - International Federation of Landscape Architects
Conclusions from IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Conference ‘Places’ 11 June 2022 Brussels
IFLA Europe organised Saturday 11 June 2022 a European Conference on the topic of “Reconnecting with Nature - Landscape architects at the forefront of the sustainable and creative urban transformation” as a part of the New European Bauhaus Festival in Brussels.
The hybrid conference, with over 100 participants (in person and online), was organised in cooperation with the Architecture Faculty of Free Brussels University ULB, Brussels Perspective, ABAJP BVTL and the CIVA (Centre International pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage). On behalf of IFLA Europe, we would like to thank the partners and sponsors of this event.
Landscape Architects together with associated disciplines can make the difference in the context of building resilient and sustainable cities. During the conference, solutions of reconnecting with nature in our social and ecological systems, urban landscapes, fighting against environmental crises towards a more intact and resilient urban nature for a better future of our citizens were demonstrated.
Keynote speaker Henri Bava, FFP France President, explained the important role of landscape in protecting our cities, including how to preserve the living soil as a key resource. Keynote speaker Stefan Werner, Copenhagen, demonstrated how water management connected to open space projects is crucial, and how cities can prepare to reduce flood damages. A multidisciplinary approach is the key to success, and landscape visualisations are the best tool for convincing decision-makers. Nature
is spectacular by itself; we should embrace our cultural heritage but design future solutions together. Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President,reminded us about the role of landscape architects in Europe, and their value for the European environment and quality of life. Ann Voets and Hicham Karkouch, both representatives of ABAJP-BVTL, Belgian National Association of Garden and Landscape Architects, indicated the importance of historic landscapes, their tradition and heritage, also for solving actual problems, as well as brown fields as reservoirs of biodiversity and habitats: here there is a need to change the vocabulary, talking about urban oases and not building potentials. Peter Löffler, European Commission DG Climate, mentioned the global warming as a challenge for European cities, and the several EU programmes such as Green Deal, Climate Cities, to achieve smarter and more adaptive cities. He emphasised the role of landscape architects as key players in implementing the EU Agenda such as the EU Green Deal. Ben Stringer, architect researcher representing ARENA, focused on productive landscapes and the question of scale in our landscapes.
The roundtable, moderated by Haris Piplas, member of IFLA Europe NEB Working Group, with Björn Bracke, Kollektif Landscape Studio, Indra Purs LAAA Latvia/City of Riga, Ann Voets, Hicham Karkouch, Ursula Wieser, CIVA and Eva Jenikova, Delegate of Czech Republic National Association of Landscape Architectes, discussed essential points of the future of sustainable and creative urban transformation, such as the political and social dimension of the landscape creation, the management of adaptive capacity of transformation, the symbiotic relationship between buildings, land and nature. Green concepts for our cities are necessary, and landscape architects have considerable responsibilities – and abilities - in achieving these urban transformations, at all decision-making levels. More landscape architects are needed for these tasks than are currently being trained at European universities.
Cities have become the focus of sustainability issues as they are major consumers and distributors of goods and services. They have an ecological impact much beyond their geographic locations. Calls for humankind to reconnect with nature to forward sustainability and resilience cannot be ignored anymore. Therefore, we have to re-connect with nature in our social and ecological systems, to the urban landscapes, to fight against environmental crises in our cities. There is an urgent need to transform our cities towards a more intact and resilient urban nature for a better future of our citizens. Interventions that respond to certain everyday needs of people in their public spaces can have multiple catalysing benefits for urban communities. Besides the tangible improvement of the environment, socio-ecological design, innovation practices in public spaces strengthen community cohesion, awareness of the common good, and finally the motivation towards further engagement in spatial transformation processes.
Landscape Architects together with associated disciplines can make the difference. We understand nature and public space as a real-world laboratory where we interact with citizens and in transdisciplinary contexts. Therefore we invite neighbouring disciplines, academics, citizens and public officials to our “Places” event. The designers, artists and academics will interact with users and foster the discussion of the future of reconnecting nature and the city both through activating a university auditorium and an urban space, connecting theory and practice. During this New European Bauhaus Festival, we would like to demonstrate how landscape, nature and the disciplines working with nature are key factors for our European cities. The Faculty of Architecture Auditorium and the Place Flagey in Brussels is the perfect place to demonstrate the urgent need of urban transformation.
14.00 Welcome - Pablo Lhoas, Dean ULB Faculty of Architecture and Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President
14.05 Day program and introduction, Didier Vancutsem, IFLA Europe Vice President for Professional Practice, ULB Faculty of Architecture
14.10 Keynote “Landscape Architecture as transformative discipline towards better cities” Henri Bava, Fédération Française du Paysage FFP, Agence TER, France
14.30 “Public Space and climate adaptation - the lesson of Copenhagen” - Stefan Werner, Urban Water Planner, Copenhagen
14.50 “Reconnecting with nature - IFLA Europe”, Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President
15.00 “The Landscape Identity Plan along the Brussels Canal: BKP of the Brussels Region”, Sven Vercammen, Perspective Brussels
15.20 “Climate, biodiversity and more: the European Green Deal and urban transformation” Dr Peter Löffler, European Commission Directorate General Climate
15.30 “Nature and Research” - Ben Stringer, ARENA (Architecture Research) 15.40 Coffee Break
16.10 Moderated round-table discussion: “New collaboration modi for Reconnecting nature with (landscape) architecture” - short statements
(7min each) from Björn Bracke Kollektif Landscape Studio, Indra Purs LAAA Latvia Riga City Council, Ann Voets & Hicham Karkouch ABAJP/BVTL Belgium, Ursula Wieser CIVA, Eva Jenikova, CAKA Czech Republic + Dialogue with the Speakers
Moderator Dr. Haris Piplas, IFLA Europe NEB WG, BSLA Switzerland, Drees & Sommer
17.30 Opening to the public - questions and debate
18.00 Closing remarks, Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President
18.10 Drink - Apero and farewell
19.00 Guided tour by Björn Bracke Kollektif Landscape Studio on Place Flagey
Meet the Conference speakers and participants!
Update on New European Bauhaus Initiative, September 2021
Inspired by the views and experiences of thousands of EU citizens and organisations who joined the co-design of the New European Bauhaus from January to June 2021, four thematic axes will now guide its implementation:
1. Reconnecting with nature
2. Regaining a sense of belonging
3. Prioritising the places and people that need it most
4. Fostering long term, life cycle thinking in the industrial ecosystem
For the funding, there will be about €85 million from EU programmes dedicated to New European Bauhaus projects in 2021 – 2022. On top of the dedicated calls for pilot projects, many EU programmes will integrate the initiative as an element of context or priority, without a predefined budget.
In addition, the Commission will invite the Member States to use the values of sustainability, aesthetics and inclusion in their local strategies and to mobilise the relevant parts of their recovery and resilience plans, as well as the programmes under cohesion policy, to build a better future for everyone.
The Communication also sets out the plan to organise a Festival and to establish a New European Bauhaus Lab: a ‘think and do tank’ to co-create, prototype and test new tools, solutions and policy recommendations.
In so doing, the initiative will help translate the European Green Deal into positive, tangible transformation of the places around us, but also of the environment that enables innovation and of our mindsets. As President von der Leyen said during her State of the Union address last week: “If the European Green Deal has a soul, then it is the New European Bauhaus!”
The first New European Bauhaus Festival in June 2022
The New European Bauhaus initiative is now moving from the co-design phase, which collected more than 2,000 pieces of insight from all over Europe during the first six months of 2021, to the delivery phase. The communication from the European Commission on the New European Bauhaus shared in mid September creates the framework for actions to follow.
One of the actions will be an annual Festival to further strengthen the community of organisations and individuals committed to be part of the NEB family, to showcase outcomes of NEB around Europe and to communicate beyond Europe that Europe is positioning itself as the global reference for sustainable transformation of our living environments.
The first NEB Festival, to be organised and financed by the European Commission, will take place early June 2022. Exact dates are to be confirmed but the Festival is expected to cover four to six days.
The following editions will be based on a call for interest for places to organise the Festival, both within and beyond the EU.
DG Research and Innovation is responsible for organizing the first edition. Contact points are
Paola Momoli, Head of Unit Communication at DG RTD and Giuseppe Ruotolo, Deputy Head of the same unit.
The first Festival will be a hybrid event. Onsite location will be Brussels. The exact venue is to be confirmed.
Satellite events are encouraged to be organised especially by NEB partners all over Europe
Support framework and calls for proposals
Inspired by the co-design phase, which allowed to further define the concept and priorities for the New European Bauhaus actions, the delivery presents the first elements of a support framework at EU level. The combination of several EU financing instruments with complementary scopes reflects the transdisciplinarity of the initiative.
The Communication presents plans to build on and mobilise EU funds to support pilot projects, explore new avenues and turn the ideas of the New European Bauhaus movement into reality. Through the links below, you will find the different EU funding opportunities supporting the initiative. Several calls (fully dedicated or contributing to the New European Bauhaus) are presented according to the three main types of impact they seek.
Places on the ground - Supporting the concrete transformation of the built environment and associated lifestyles at local level
Diffusion of new meanings -Questioning our perspectives and mind-set around the core values of aesthetics, sustainability and inclusion.
Working with the New European Bauhaus Community
The Commission will establish a New European Bauhaus Lab to work with its growing community to co-create, prototype and test the tools, solutions and policy actions that will facilitate the transformation on the ground.
To allow visibility for the change makers, to encourage them to share progress and results, and to foster the engagement of citizens, we will convene a New European Bauhaus Festival for the first time in spring 2022. The first edition of the festival will take place in Brussels and will be organised and financed by the European Commission. Based on this experience, the Commission will draw up a concept for a yearly event that will, ideally, include places in and outside the EU from 2023 onwards.
Calling on all EU Institutions to promote the debate further across Europe and beyond.
Inviting EU Member States to appoint a New European Bauhaus contact to coordinate local efforts and participate in an EU wide informal network to exchange information and experience.
Publishing a report on progress in 2022.
Previous IFLA Europe activities in NEB:
As New European Bauhaus Initiative partner, IFLA Europe organised on 21 May 2021 a conversation entitled “Landscape Architecture co-designs the EU Green Deal”
The objective of this conversation was to harvest and ideate on landscape architecture as a co-creative ecosystem that leaves no one behind, to make the EU Green Deal a cultural, human-centred and positive, tangible experience enhancing our quality of life and health of the Earth.
Karin Helms, President of IFLA Europe Indra Purs, chair of IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Working Group
Presentations and discussions Moderators
Haris Piplas, IFLA Europe, Member of BSLA/FSAP Switzerland, member of IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Working Group Didier Vancutsem, IFLA Europe, Delegate of ABAJP/BVTL Belgium, member of IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Working Group
Alessandro Rancati, Joint Research Centre (JRC) European Commission Tilman Latz, Landscape Architect, Architect, Urban Planner, member of ByAK, bdla and OAI Luxembourg Ellen Fetzer, President of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) Almut Jirku, Association of German Landscape Architects (bdla), member of IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Working Group Niek Hazendonk, IFLA Europe, Delegate of the Netherlands Association for Garden- and Landscape Architecture (NVTL), member of IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Working Group Kjell Nillson, Nordregio, Senior Research Advisor
Chris Younes, École Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris, professor emeritus at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-La Villette Stjepan Spoula, Institute of planning and development of Prague, member Czech Association for Landscape Architecture (CAKA) Timo de Rijk, Director of the Design Museum Den Bosch, Netherlands
Indra Purs, IFLA Europe, Delegate and Board member of Latvian Landscape Architects Association (LAAA), Chair of IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Working Group
General - about New European Bauhaus Initiative
The New European Bauhaus initiative connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces. It calls on all Europeans to imagine and build together a sustainable and inclusive future that is beautiful for our eyes, minds, and souls.IFLA EUROPE and Landscape Architects with their holistic approach and vision will participate in this initiative and bring necessary knowledge, expertise and experience which will make the necessary difference! We applied to be official member to ensure that landscape architecture as profession is part of this important initiative. We need to rethink our concept of living and Landscape Architecture profession will have an important role to play in designing a more sustainable, accessible and inclusive way of living and working in Europe.
The New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary movement in the making.
It’s a platform for experimentation and connection, fostering collaboration across thinkers and doers who want to design our future ways of living together.
It’s a bridge between the world of science and technology and the world of art and culture.
It’s an invitation to change perspective and to look at our green and digital challenges as opportunities to transform our lives for the better.
It’s a fresh approach to finding innovative solutions to complex societal problems together through co-creation. The initiative aims to shape our thinking, behaviours, and markets around new ways of living and building, including by influencing public procurement.
The New European Bauhaus will:
Bring citizens, experts, businesses, and Institutions together and facilitate conversations about making tomorrow’s living spaces more affordable and accessible.
Mobilise designers, architects, landscape architects, engineers,scientists, students, and creative minds across disciplines to re-imagine sustainable living in Europe and beyond.
Strive to improve the quality of our living experience. It will highlight the value of simplicity, functionality, and circularity of materials without compromising the need for comfort and attractiveness in our daily lives
Provide financial support to innovative ideas and products through ad-hoc calls for proposals and through coordinated programs included in the Multi-Annual Financial Framework
The New European Bauhaus unfolds in three phases: Co-design, Delivery and Dissemination.
The phases partly operate in parallel, as individuals and communities interested in the first ideas are most likely to become partners to deliver and scale up the initiative. The New European Bauhaus engages early through open conversations, to shape the concept in a large co-creation process. In parallel, the initiative needs to develop a framework of deliveries, to align with the ongoing planning of the Multi-annual Financial Framework.
Co-design phase - From October 2020 to Summer 2021
In this phase we start shaping the movement by gathering and connecting what we all consider concrete contemporary examples that showcase principles of the New European Bauhaus. The most inspiring contributions will help all interested people to organise, trigger and participate to debates. An engagement toolkit is available to inspire the conversations and structure the collection of emerging ideas and insights.
A high-level round table with distinguished thinkers and practitioners, established through a series of semi-structured interviews, will serve as a sounding board for ideas and as community ambassadors. Drawing on the examples collected and on the conversations they generated, it will become clear how the New European Bauhaus initiative can boost, scale-up, and support the generation of beautiful, sustainable and inclusive places.
The outcome of the co-design phase will be a support framework based on EU programs, including a call for proposals for pilots in different EU Member States where the new Bauhaus concept will come to life.
Special prizes will be awarded in Summer 2021 to excellent contemporary examples that are in their own way already combining sustainability, quality of experience and inclusion, selected among the examples collected and reviewed/integrated by the enlarged community.
Delivery - From September 2021 onward
This phase will start with the setup and implementation of New European Bauhaus pilots, supported by specific calls for proposals.They will be closely followed and monitored in a ‘community of practice’ mode, to share the lessons learned from these first experiments.The focus of the dissemination phase will then be on diffusing good ideas, across Europe and beyond. This will be about networking and knowledge sharing, to identify open, replicable methods, solutions and prototypes, and make them available to cities, localities, architects and designers. It will be key to engage with citizens, businesses, academia, and to reinforce urban institutional capacities.
Flanking initiatives and additional policy instruments beyond the call for proposal will bring further structure to the movement and spread it through digital networks and engagement platforms.
Dissemination - From January 2023 onward
In the third phase, the focus will be on amplifying the ideas and actions that emerged and reaching a broader audience in Europe and beyond. It will be a lot about networking and systematically sharing knowledge between participants and practitioners - identifying the best methods, solutions, and prototypes, and making them available for cities, localities, architects, and designers. Keeping the conversations open and connecting participants with existing networks will be essential.
Finally, the New European Bauhaus will support the emergence of lead markets for beautiful, sustainable, inclusive ways of living.
The “Partners of the New European Bauhaus” are organisations and other entities that act as inspiringpromoters of the debates and ideas that will be developed through the movement with a significant outreach capacity at their level and act as trusted motivators.
Partners’ core activities are relevant to one or more dimensions of the New European Bauhaus, are in line with the core values of the European Union of human rights, -freedom, democracy, equality and rule of law- , and support the European Union priorities.
They help the New European Bauhaus to:
support the needed transformation of our societies towards living together in more sustainable, inclusive and enjoyable urban and rural environments; inclusive ideas and affordable quality solutions.
recognise that people should co-create their living spaces and debate behaviours and life styles;
acknowledge that engaging in co-creation processes, respecting the diversity of perspectives and expertise, is necessary to generate
The Partners are listed on a dedicated page on the New European Bauhaus website New European Bauhaus Initiative Partners together with their declaration of interest and commitment to the initiative. Wherever relevant, links will point the audience to New European Bauhaus related activities on the Partners’ websites. In the same way, their relevant activities will be listed on the New European Bauhaus website and on other media used for the New European Bauhaus communication.
Partners will be a key member of the New European Bauhaus community. The Commission will carry out a series of exchanges with the Partners and will facilitate interactions among them in various forms, also with a view to discuss and test developments of the initiative.
IFLA Europe participates in NEB initiative as official partner as of 22 March 2021 in two different activities:
1. As a part of New European Bauhaus Collective
2. As NEB official partner on its own.
New European Bauhaus Collective - NEBC
IFLA Europe is member of NEBC together with 12 other professional organisations
NEB Collective produced in November 2020 a joint statement The New European Bauhaus Making the Renovation Wave a Cultural Project STATEMENT which was supported by 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. You can find this Statement on our website in English and French
Next activities foreseen include NEBC High-levelConference on 29 April entitled ‘Common Ground: Making the Renovation Wave a Cultural Project’ with participation of President von der Leyen and other important stakeholders. There are 11 thematic break-out session and IFLA Europe is participating in 2 sessions:
LAB 3 / Uncommon Ground: Session on Rural Areas: Working with rural societies is critical to any re-thinking of our relationship to ecology. The urgent need to take stock of the complex and disturbing nature-cultural dynamics that are destructuring the habitability of the planet is acutely understood in our varied and contested country sides. This session will aim to discuss how design and philosophy can help to conceptualise and realise rural futures that are biodiverse, inclusive and innovative. Facilitated by ARENA and IFLA-Europe.
LAB 4 / Seeing the city as a landscape: How can cities become more integrative, and is there a way for them to rediscover their living base? This is one of the questions covered by this break-out session, with reference to various experiences, approaches and visions for the city of tomorrow. The idea of an ‘augmented landscape’ – adapting tomorrow’s urban and rural territories to climate challenges to meet the societal needs of a territory more in touch with its longstanding roots – is the subject up for discussion regarding the future of European inhabited territories. Facilitated by IFLA-Europe.