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.

A practical research on CO2 emissions and energy efficiency

Giulia, 27, an Architecture and Construction Engineering student in Bologna, shares her journey exploring DumBO, a transformative urban project, focusing on environmental sustainability and collaborative community development using the New European Bauhaus (NEB) Impact Model.


  • Interdisciplinary interest in sustainability: Giulia's passion for architecture and construction engineering is complemented by her interest in environmental sustainability. This interdisciplinary approach underscores the importance of integrating environmental concerns into architectural and urban planning practices.
  • Community collaboration in urban development: DumBO serves as a prime example of collaborative urban development, involving not only designers and architects but also associations, businesses, and citizens. This inclusive approach fosters innovation and sustainability, highlighting the significance of community involvement in shaping urban spaces.
  • Challenges in environmental assessment: Giulia's research on environmental indicators and the NEB Impact Model reveals challenges in applying sustainability metrics at different scales. The need to adapt indicators to specific contexts and the complexity of assessing environmental impacts on a city-wide scale underscores the intricacies of environmental assessment in urban planning.

My name is Giulia. I am 27 years old and currently studying Architecture and Construction Engineering in the city of Bologna. I am passionate about art and literature, but thanks to my father, who works in the field of biomass, I have also developed a strong interest in environmental sustainability and how it can be implemented in architecture and urban planning.

I currently live in Reggio Emilia with my family. However, I also lived in Bologna for two years with my college friends. Living in Bologna as a college student is an incredible experience! The city is ideal in size; it is filled not only with opportunities for socialising and having fun but also with art and music, job opportunities, and innovative projects.

For my thesis, I had the opportunity to learn about and become part of the European project CrAFt along with my other colleagues. I discovered that Bologna was selected along with Amsterdam and Prague as a Sandbox City, with its pilot case study “DumBO”.

DumBO is a temporary urban regeneration space; a former railroad yard, with its 40,000 square metres, now hosts sheds and open areas intended for culture, art, social activities, music, and sports. It’s a large and adaptable place where creativity, culture, and community come together. I believe this makes it perfect for urban sandboxing, which aims to test new ideas, projects, or policies to improve the urban environment and enhance the quality of life for residents.

DumBO is not only a multifunctional space but also a project where associations, businesses, and citizens can cooperate, fostering new and innovative approaches to city development. I think this is one of the best aspects of DumBO, as it promotes the collaboration of different designers, artists, and stakeholders, making the project collaborative, inclusive, and sustainable. By the same token, however, I noticed an initial criticality because this plurality of voices makes the planning process more complicated and less fluid and efficient!

My research within the CrAFt project focuses on studying the indicators of the New European Bauhaus Impact Model and researching additional sub-indicators, mainly in environmental performance. I have particularly analysed four indicators in the impact category “Climate neutrality-energy”: CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, energy flexibility, and share of renewables.

I’m really pleased to participate in this research and to study these specific indicators because they stimulate my interest in environmental sustainability and allow me to learn more about this topic! One of the first difficulties I encountered was the scale of application of these indicators. For example, if I analyse a single building, I can calculate its LCA or circularity, but what if I evaluate a wider area or an entire city? Do these indicators actually become helpful on a large scale?

Also, I noticed that some indicators are invariant, as they are context-dependent, such as greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions, for which values are collected from stations in certain city areas. Others, however, are specific to the building or the analysed area and must be calculated on a case-by-case basis!

I have also learned to prioritise some indicators over others, depending on the object of study. For example, in a multifunctional space like DumBO, social-cultural performances will undoubtedly be more valuable and indicative. At the same time, the healthy living pillar in an exclusively residential building will be more important. 

In the end, I can’t wait to deepen this research and see how we will actually apply the New European Bauhaus Impact Model to the DumBO space and what these indicators will tell us about this area! I think this is a space with huge potential, both in environmental and social-cultural terms.

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NEB Values

Participation level

Implementation stage

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