In the summer of 2021, the initiators and partners of the Saxony-Anhalt Project met to discuss the initiative of a “New European Bauhaus” (NEB). The first excursion led to Zeitz in the Burgenland district. In addition to the Zekiwa site, which is undergoing conversion and is a major part of Zeitz’s (industrial) history, the schedule also included the Alte Nudelfabrik, which combines creative working and living, and the Franciscan monastery as the home of the Digitisation Centre. Valuable ideas and impulses, which are brought out of the region and above all bring the areas of digitalisation and sustainability into focus, are created here as part of the structural change and offer the region the chance to make topics of the future a reality now. In the process, the region is continually looking beyond its own nose and focusing on Europe as a whole.
The “Saxony-Anhalt Project” with the “Initiative for a New European Bauhaus” is intended to set new standards in structural change and initiatives. The impetus for the NEB initiative is not to come from outside, as is the case with many large-scale projects; in this case, the thrust for this development comes from the citizens and regions themselves. Dr. Barbara Steiner, director and board member of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, is thus confident about the “generic participation” of the cities and communities. In this way, something emerges from within – and that in many small steps over a long period of time and thought together with the people.
The New European Bauhaus – Partners and Institutions
The cities of Dessau-Roßlau and Zeitz themselves are actively involved in this project. The Zeitzer Nudel and the Franciscan Monastery alone are places of origin for innovative projects and seminal changes. But other institutions such as SALEG, Forum Rathenau, Bauhaus Dessau, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, the Fraunhofer Institute and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg are also making a considerable contribution to structural change. Together, they are researching new energy sources and sustainable lifestyles, as well as providing creative thought-provoking impulses to society towards the future.
Zeitz – the place of the future
In a city like Zeitz, essential things of a promising region have their origin – and that is exactly the aspect that makes this city so special. Not only do city councillors and the mayor sit down together here, Zeitz offers every citizen and every idea a space of free development and reaches out to these innovators with all its might. Thus, the municipality has a great potential of creative design perspectives – no matter whether it is thought in the direction of climate neutrality or structural change. Thanks above all to Zeitz’s great history, the city can envisage many opportunities to make progress in structural change and to grow into a “new” city, says Thomas Poege, the managing director of SALEG mbH.
Thus, this initiative “New European Bauhaus” should give rise to promising and valuable impulses – not only for the individual regions, but for society and for Europe as a whole.