NEB ambition

The ultimate ambition of the New European Bauhaus is to achieve transformation. To do this, the NEB Compass has identified specific levels of ambition that outline the desired outcomes for each of the NEB values.

Action areas

These areas refer to the five key domains of intervention that CrAFt's New European Bauhaus Impact Model considers essential for guiding and evaluating complex urban initiatives.

Participation level

The participation level refers to the degree or extent to which individuals or groups are actively involved or engaged in a particular activity, project, or process. It assesses the depth of their involvement, contributions, and commitment, ranging from minimal or passive participation to active and dedicated participation.

NEB values

The New European Bauhaus (NEB) aims to promote the values of sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusion in the design and transformation of urban spaces. It emphasises the integration of environmental, social, and economic considerations to create harmonious and innovative living environments.

Implementation Stage

According to the Smart City Guidance Package, there are seven stages to plan and implement smart city projects. These stages propose a logical and coherent roadmap for city initiatives involving many stakeholders.

CrAFt students’ adventure in Manchester

A group of eight international CrAFt students embarked on a transformative journey to organise a Think/Do Tank event in Manchester. Together with participants, they explored the role of universities in closing intergenerational gaps and fostering inclusiveness in cities.

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges”.

Sir Isaac Newton

CrAFt – Creating Actionable Futures is an EU-funded project that supports cities in becoming climate-neutral, beautiful, and inclusive. CrAFt works with a group of students (the Core Group, as we call it) who are responsible for proposing participatory models and setting up mechanisms to engage other students across 60 CrAFt cities. A new CrAFt core group of students started to work together in September. We were a group of seven, now eight students based in 4 different cities and with seven different nationalities, from different disciplines. Our first task was to organise the project’s third Think / Do Tank (TDT), taking place in Manchester on 17th of October: UniCity 2030. A Pop-Up Think / Do Tank by CrAFt. The TDT is an activity with a group of experts and students that collaborate to analyse problems from different points of view. 

When we started working together in September, we used most of our time to get to know CrAFt and understand what we were supposed to do. The time passed by and, suddenly, the TDT was just three weeks away! Luckily, two of us were more experienced, because they had been involved in organising the previous TDT in Évora (May 2023). They had started planning for Manchester already over the summer. But, as the clock ticked, all of us had to come together and contribute. Our theme for the TDT was: what role can universities play in closing intergenerational gaps in the city? Three weeks of hard work went by, and we were as ready as we could have been, despite having worked remotely.

On Sunday, the 15th of October, our flights flew to Manchester, where we would finally meet each other in person, host our very first Think / Do Tank and attend the Leadership Symposium, organised by ELIA. We used the first day in Manchester to prepare for our TDT with lots of brainstorming, piping hot coffee and running around the university to make sure everything was ready. After many hours of hard work, preparations, and making final decisions, everything was finally ready for the big day. We managed to transform the room into a creative workshop, equipped with all sorts of tools to stimulate the imagination of the participants. 

As we woke up the next day, we realised the TDT was actually going to happen here in Manchester! We all hurried to breakfast, determined to make this day flawless: we were ready to welcome a wave of enthusiastic students, hoping to find many solutions for the intergenerational gap! Unluckily, only half of the registered participants showed up for the event. But, looking back, this did not turn out to be a total flop. After an initial moment of confusion, we realised that fewer people meant that we could get more involved in the programme. Almost all the different activities were meant to happen in small groups anyway, so fewer participants did not change the programme we had planned. The day was so full of excitement that we forgot about all our worries. 

Our programme was bursting with variety! We began with an icebreaker where everyone introduced themselves and shared their thoughts on the power of art. It was a great way for everyone to connect and get creative! Up next, we took a deep dive into the panel discussion, with the participation of Dan Dubowitz, who is teaching at the Architecture faculty at MMU and Polina Chizhova, a PhD at MMU and Arts Project Coordinator. They shared their experiences and inspired us and the participants by discussing beauty, inclusiveness and sustainability.

Things got even more interactive with a roleplay where we all took on different points of view to explore the issue of generational differences. We then brainstormed some questions and took our event outside to get real-life answers from people around campus. After our exciting adventure, we returned to the university to hear from the amazing Eunice Bélidor, a Canadian curator of contemporary art. She was good at making us reflect on what we had learned throughout the day, and her conversations with us were thought-provoking and inspiring! We wrapped things up by creating colourful posters with suggestions on how to bridge the intergenerational gap. 

This was a wonderful experience, in which we had the opportunity to meet different people, cooperate with them, and come up with a solution together. We set out without knowing what we would find, but with the desire to complete our job in the best possible way. Our goal was to plant a seed and raise awareness about the intergenerational gap in society, hoping to create an inclusive, sustainable and beautiful connection. 

The next day, we attended, as guests, the opening of the ELIA Leadership Symposium, with many representatives from higher arts education. We used the posters from our TDT to start conversations with the other attendees. This allowed for an exchange of thoughts, in which we not only had the opportunity to give, but also to receive new ideas. 

It was a pleasant experience aimed at creating lasting connections that hopefully will bear fruit in the future. We wish that our work inspired at least one person among those we met to reflect on the crucial role the intergenerational gap can have within society. In this day and decade, it’s too easy to label people by their age, leading to a world of exclusion. But, we can make a change by starting small, by looking at people beyond their age and coming together over shared values and experiences. If we can all just take a step in that direction, we can create a world that’s full of beauty and inclusiveness.

Written by A’mina Santina and Mia Bjørndal, CrAFt Core Group Students.

Photos by Tom Cox.

A story about…



NEB Values

Participation level

Action areas

Implementation stage

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