The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced funding for 18 projects working to engage citizens in solutions that transform our inhabited spaces as part of its New European Bauhaus initiative. A Limerick initiative, Horticulture for the Homeless (H4H), is among the 18.

H4H will instal polytunnels at two emergency accommodation facilities in Limerick city, as well as engage qualified horticulturalists to teach residents about horticulture, growing food and sustainability. Each project will receive between €15,000 and €45,000 to support the testing and scaling of their project. 

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Climate-KIC will be working directly with six of these awardees, who will receive funding as well as tailored support to address local challenges with local solutions in a sustainable and inclusive way.   

Building beautiful and sustainable experiences together

In line with the mission and vision of the New European Bauhaus in building beautiful and sustainable experiences together, the EIT community is supporting the development of innovative and collaborative models of local initiatives that increase citizen engagement and involve communities in the design of sustainable public spaces that have lasting impact on challenges faced at the local level.   

The selected teams are working across challenging issues and with diverse communities, from supporting refugees to integrate into communities through art, co-developing projects to transform urban spaces, or deepening the power of harbour spaces through citizen workshops.   

Natalia Vera, cities adviser and project lead, EIT Climate-KIC, said: “We’re excited to be supporting inspiring and diverse projects that exemplify the values and principles of a New European Bauhaus future, namely inclusivity, beauty and sustainability. Each initiative is working on a unique way to encourage more climate-friendly habits, empowering citizens to implement new solutions to local problems, and creating sustainable practices that can transform cities and communities.” 

The wash houses that will be transformed as part of Porto Think Tank (Portugal)

The six awardees EIT Climate-KIC will be supporting are:  

Porto Think Tank (Portugal) 

  • This initiative will aim to transform the 24 Lavadouros (washhouses) across Porto from architectural artifacts, historically linked to women, through consultation with local communities and understanding how the washhouses can be transformed through sustainable means to be useful once again. 

The wash houses that will be transformed as part of Porto Think Tank 

Imagine your city: utilising urban co-designing and NEB principles to make stronger communities (Slovakia) 

  • This project will bring together local citizens of Kosice and refugees from Ukraine living in Kosice to co-create specific sustainable interventions that will improve the area around the temporary refugee shelter.  The project will aim to share a prototype for scalable solutions that not only tackle current issues but can be useful for future challenges due to the climate crisis. 

CONNECT, Community for Timisoara (Romania) 

  • Working across Timisoara, this project will aim to integrate Ukrainian refugees, particularly women, into the community by raising awareness of the role foreign people have played in the development of the city. This will be explored through gatherings that take an artistic and social lens, using sustainable materials to connect art to history and to build bonds between communities. 

Harbor Highlight Actions: reconnecting citizens with the beauty of the river (France) 

  • Harbour will utilise summer workshops and learning explorations at the river to design and animate shipyard districts, interweaving art and innovation and exploring the shared heritage of the Seine in Paris. The project will prioritise vulnerable communities, such as younger people and the elderly, as well as directly connecting citizens to professionals and policymakers. 

ASD-Publics (Spain)

  • Activating spaces with neurodiverse publics (ASD-publics) will aim to explore nature-based solutions to improve playing areas for neurodivergent people, children with autism and their families. The project will pilot co-creation with the ASD community to understand how spaces can be changed to create an overall better multi-sensorial experience for this community. 

Adáma: community togetherness for a sustainable future (Greece) 

  • Helping to understand local issues in Elusis through participatory methods and co-designing these with sustainable solutions.  

Nektarios Tavernarakis, chair of the EIT Governing Board, said: “In order to address the environmental and societal challenges Europe is facing, we need solutions that reflect the diversity of voices within our communities. We need to engage citizens at a local level and co-create solutions that work. The initiatives awarded through this project each bring a unique approach to tackling problems with community members – demonstrating the real power of the New European Bauhaus at work.”

The projects were selected from a pool of over 100 proposals that applied to two different programmes launched by the EIT Community: New European Bauhaus Citizen Engagement Programme aimed at identifying and co-creating community solutions with citizens, and New European Bauhaus co-creation of public spaces aimed at resolving challenges and redesigning public spaces in cities, peri-urban and rural areas. 

For more information on the full list of grantees, please see NEB Awardee Profiles