The New European Bauhaus — Nordic Cities

Project Type: Cohesive & Creative Cities

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The New European Bauhaus (NEB) is an initiative designed to transform our towns and cities into more sustainable ones by, among other things, shining a new light on the socio-cultural element of local development, especially after the pandemic. This is why in December 2021, the NEB supported the Swedish municipalities of Kiruna, Gällivare, Bodens, Luleå, Skellefteå and Umeå (together with the Swedish Housing Agency, ArkDes, the Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas) in the launching of an ideas competition aimed at gathering fresh perspectives about the sustainable future of the arctic territory of Sweden.

Here large-scale green industrial investments are taking place in the Norrbotten and Västerbotten regions, but the impact these developments are having on people, places and local cultures has been until now under-researched. This was the challenge that the invited teams had to respond to.

For this ideas competition Lia worked with an all Swedish team featuring architects Warm in the Winter, EGA Architecture, Christina Eneris and Camilla Fransson of Afry, as well as artist Lisa Torell. Her role was to analyse the cultural context and social texture of the Bothnian Bay region (focusing in particular on the city of Luleå).

The team was given a three-month timescale (until April 2022) to produce sketches capable of inspiring these municipalities to work together towards creating beautiful, sustainable and inclusive living environments. The final concept the team produced was based on reimagining the Swedish Bothnian region as a connected constellation of nature centred on “rurban” centres, each with a different level of intensity of activity, functions, and life styles. A nature-centred adaptable environment capable of nurturing human beings while evolving resilient economic ecosystems.

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