16 May 2024

Big Buyers Working Together kicks off latest Community of Practice at annual event.

On 24 April, the Big Buyers Working Together project held its first in-person annual event in Brussels. During the event the project kicked off its Community of Practice on New European Bauhaus, the first European initiative to connect sustainable public procurement to the NEB principles.

NEB is in an interdisciplinary initiative launched in 2020 that expresses the EU’s ambition to create beautiful, sustainable and inclusive places, products and ways of living. It was developed as a co-creation space for a joint cultural project for Europe, which also aims to push the market to follow NEB principles. As such, public procurement can play a key role in the advancement of NEB. However, so far there has not been any working group trying to connect NEB to sustainable public procurement, providing a great opportunity for the CoP participants to do pioneering work.

The kick-off meeting was attended by participants from the City of Porto (Portugal), the City of Essen (Germany), the City of Cantù (Italy) and the Andalusian Housing and Rehabilitation Agency (Spain). They discussed the scope, objectives and activities of the CoP, agreeing that the neighbourhood would be the main scope of the community’s work, as neighbourhoods can act as living labs for innovation and community participation. More specifically, it was decided to focus on existing buildings, with particular attention for revitalization, retrofitting, improvement of existing infrastructure and community inclusion. A key aspect is how to make existing buildings more sustainable and inclusive.

The lack of NEB-specifications related to public procurement means that the participants find it important to develop feasible actions with a practical outlook. That could developing guidance/recommendations for public buyers, sharing best practices, developing user journeys, and organising market dialogues, study visits, and expert briefings and trainings.

More information on this Community of Practice can be found on the European Commission’s Public Buyers Community, a digital platform for public procurers. Participants interested in joining the CoP are encouraged report their interest in the work of the Community by sending an email to Big Buyers Working Together Secretariat, at The CoP on NEB is one of the four CoP’s coordinated by ICLEI Europe. Eurocities also coordinates four, while BME coordinates two.