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BLOX and DI have won a bid to become one of five lighthouse demonstrators for the EU-initiative New European Bauhaus. Together with a consortium of Danish and European cities, we will use our lighthouse demonstrator to create the irresistible circular society.

Together with the rest of BLOX and the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), BLOXHUB have been chosen by the EU to become one of five lighthouse demonstrators for the initiative New European Bauhaus.

In January, BLOX and DI submitted a project for the New European Bauhaus competition called DESIRE – Designing the Irresistible Circular Society. The project has been created not just by BLOX and DI, but with a wide range of partners and through citizen engagement. The solutions are to be implemented and co-created in a consortium of Danish and European cities over the coming years, and hopefully become an inspiration for other cities.

According to the Horizon Europe Mission, 100 cities in the EU are to become climate neutral by 2030, and the New European Bauhaus movement support this by showcasing possible solutions. The goal of the DESIRE project is to make the circular society not only viable, but irresistible. Our cities should be beautiful, climate resilient, and livable. With this project, we hope to create an interdisciplinary solution to support the circular and green agenda by combining new knowledge and creative approaches.

Co-creation Between European Cities

In the DESIRE project, eight urban spaces are to be developed according to the three different themes: social values & communities, city(nature), resilience & biodiversity, and resource loops & zero waste.

Herlev asphalt fabric in Denmark is set to develop native nature and biodiversity in urban areas, and similar projects are underway in Turin (Italy) and Ljubljana (Slovenia). Citizens will be involved when three different social housing projects in Tåstrup (Denmark), Riga (Latvia), and Amsterdam (The Netherlands) are to be energy renovated. And finally, projects about reuse of material and rethinking waste are planned for Kalundborg (Denmark) and Milan (Italy). The different projects will share their findings with each other to ensure the best results and inspire eachother.

One of the key aspects of the DESIRE projects is its focus on citizen engagement, design, and aesthetics. We need to make a circular society that people can’t wait to live in. CEO of BLOXHUB, Torben Klitgaard, says:

“The new component in our DESIRE project is that we insist on the fact that solutions in the green transition will have to be irresistible. All parties of the urban transformation must be able to see themselves in these shared solutions, so we must make them attractive. Architecture and design will be combined with aesthetics and citizen engagement, new financing models, new norms and rules, and so on, which will lead to irresistible circular and sustainable solutions.”

Support from the Danish Government

Apart from the vast collaboration and insights from the consortium behind the project bid, DESIRE has also received support from the Danish Government. Seven Danish ministers signed a support letter for the application in January 2022:

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofoed, Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, Minister of Culture, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Simon Kollerup, former Minister of the Interior and Housing, Kaare Dybvad Bek, Minister of Environment, Lea Wermelin, and Minister of Higher Education and Science, Jesper Petersen.

Minister of Culture, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen (S), says of the DESIRE project:

”The green transition is one of the most crucial challenges we’re facing. Sustainability must permeate all of society, and that goes for urban development and architecture as well. The Danish Government therefore launched an initiative in the fall for a new national architecture policy, which will focus on creating sustainable cities, among other things. It is essential that there are attractive, green choices for the built environment, and for that reason the Government highly supports this joint project.”

The DESIRE project has been co-created with invaluable insights and perspectives led by a steering group consisting of BLOXHUB, Danish Design Center, Danish Architecture Center, Creative Denmark, Confederation of Danish Industry, Molio, The Danish Association of Architects, Royal Danish Academy, Realdania and CHART Art Fair. Project partners also include representatives from existing buidling projects in Tåstrup, Herlev, Kalundborg, Riga, Amsterdam, Milan, Turin, and Ljubljana.

The Danish-led lighthouse demonstrator have received 5 million Euro, and the project will commence on September 1, 2022.

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