Europe’s Top Photo Contest Seeks Sustainable Beauty

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Johanne Troelsgaard Toft,
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Where can sustainable beauty be found in your city? Now, photography enthusiasts across Europe have a chance to capture a snapshot of their city. In collaboration with Danish Architecture Center (DAC), cities of Riga, Amsterdam, Milan, Turin, and Ljubljana invites all residents to participate in the photo competition “Capture Your City”, which has just opened for submissions. This year, the competition focuses on a new, more sustainable beauty across Europe. The competition runs from March 1 to May 1, 2024.

Capture Your City is a major photo competition open for all of Europe, in which photography enthusiasts can interpret their city as it looks right now. The Capture Your City competition receives approximately 5,000 photos annually, and participation is free.

The competition was originally organized by Danish Architecture Center (DAC), based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is the first time the competition is being held in multiple countries as part of the New European Bauhaus-project ‘Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society’. A jury will select the best photographs, which will be exhibited physically and digitally at various locations across Europe in the summer of 2024.

In 2024, the Capture Your City theme is: New Beauty

Each year, a new theme is chosen for participants to capture through their lens. And in 2024 the theme is New Beauty, because if we want to change the world, we should start seeing it with new eyes.

Manicured lawns with ‘Keep off the grass’ signs – that’s the ‘nature’ we typically find in our cities. But can we discover beauty in weeds and less planned greenery too? A tree sprouting where it wasn’t supposed to or wildflowers blooming in a road verge.

We buy and waste more than ever, whether it’s something for our homes, or in the construction industry, where buildings are torn down and replaced with new ones. But if we want more bees in our backyards and less construction waste on the curb, isn’t it time to see the world around us with new eyes?

  • If, instead of freshly painted white walls, we need to embrace patina and traces of the past, where can you find these in your city?
  • If our cities need more weeds and wild nature, how does the countryside, the forest, or the beach coexist with the asphalt in your city? And maybe humans aren’t the only creatures living in your city.
  • If we should share more things in the future, can you find new communities and ways of living in your city?

For the first time this year, Capture Your City is open to everyone in Europe, and especially to the collaborating cities of Riga, Amsterdam, Milan, Turin, and Ljubljana, all taking part in the New European Bauhaus-project Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. Can we find new beauty in the old Soviet buildings of Riga? Is there evidence of wild nature in Ljubljana? Are there new approaches to dealing with water in Amsterdam? Or foxes living in Turin or Milan?

This year’s jury

The jury consists of Jule Quottrup Silberman, Director of CHART, Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, Director of Copenhagen Photo Festival, and Kika Krista Kjærside, Program Director at DAC. Last year’s winner of Capture Your City 2023, Natascha Lhea Narvaez Nielsen is also in this year’s jury. Additionally, there are representatives from DAC’s international partners from Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society: Femke Gerritsma, Communication Manager at Arcam (Amsterdam), Hana Čeferin, Curator at MAO (Ljubljana), Arnita Verza, Landscape Architect at Riga Municipality (Riga), and Federica Tognon, curator, CAMERA (Turin).

Exhibition Period

The exhibition period for the photos is from June 6 to October 1, 2024, at Bryghuspladsen in front of Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. Additionally, as something new this year, the exhibition will be shown digitally and physically in various locations across Europe. The competition runs from March 1 to May 1, 2024.

How to Participate

Post your photo on Instagram with #CaptureYourCity2024. Or upload your photo through

The competition team encourages everyone, regardless of where they live or who they are, to participate in the competition and looks forward to seeing all the interpretations of the theme ‘New Beauty.’


There are exciting prizes for the winners of the photo competition. But even if you don’t win, there’s an opportunity to have your photo included in the exhibition.

1st Prize

Interrail ticket with 10 travel days over 2 months
Annual pass to Danish Architecture Center or a local partner in Milan, Riga, Turin, Amsterdam, or Ljubljana
Print of your photo

2nd and 3rd Prize

Tagtomat gift box with Bybi honey from Copenhagen and a mushroom box
Sparkling apple wine from Andersen
Winery made from Discovery apples
Print of your winning photo

The winners of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes will be notified in early May 2024. The winners will be announced and celebrated at the exhibition opening on June 6, 2024.

The photo competition is supported by the philanthropic association Realdania and the New European Bauhaus project, Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. Desire is funded by the EU.

More facts about Capture Your City

  • Capture Your City runs from March 1 to May 1, 2024.
  • Participation is free.
  • The exhibition period for the photos is from June 6 to October 1, 2024, in front of Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen. Additionally, the exhibition will be shown digitally and/or physically across Europe.
  • A selected jury will decide which photos are to be included in the exhibition and the three winning photos. The final winner will be announced and celebrated at the exhibition opening at Danish Architecture Center on June 6, 2024. The prize is an Interrail ticket around Europe.
  • This is the 9th consecutive year that the Capture Your City photo competition is taking place, but it is the first time ever that the competition is being held in multiple countries.
  • In 2024, Capture Your City is part of the New European Bauhaus project ‘Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society,’ funded by the EU. As part of this project, citizens in Riga, Milan, Turin, Amsterdam, and Ljubljana are invited to participate in Capture Your City.

About Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish Architecture Center is an international cultural attraction that creates engaging experiences and debate about architecture and design. Here, you can explore exhibitions, join tours and events, shop for design products, and enjoy the spectacular view.

About Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society

Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society is a New European Bauhaus lighthouse project. Desire experiments with creating sustainable, attractive, and inclusive urban spaces which respect the limited resources of the planet.
The project is funded by the European Union.

About Arcam, Amsterdam, Holland

Arcam is the architecture center in Amsterdam. They host exhibitions, talks, guided tours, and more, housed in a spectacularly shaped building designed by architect René van Zuuk. Arcam was founded in 1986, nearly simultaneously with DAC, and is the oldest and one of the largest architecture centers of the more than 40 architecture centers in the Netherlands.

About MAO, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) was founded in 1972 in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. It is located in an old 16th century castle and has a vast collection of works in architecture, urban planning, graphic design, and photography. MAO also hosts BIO – the Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, an international platform for new approaches to design and Europe’s oldest design biennial.

About Fabbrica del Vapore and Milan Municipality, Milan, Italy

Fabbrica del Vapore is an intercultural center located in an old tram factory and managed by Milan’s municipality. It is a meeting place dedicated to contemporary art but also houses theater, dance, film festivals, and more. The venue also includes an archive for architectural drawings.

About Riga Municipality, Riga, Latvia

In Riga, Capture Your City collaborates with Riga Municipality. Riga is a city with a history spanning over 800 years. The city boasts the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. However, 70% of the residents live in a completely different kind of building – the old Soviet residential blocks. How can these be renovated and transformed? And is it possible to find a new beauty in them?

About CAMERA – Italian Centre for Photography, Turin, Italy

CAMERA is located in Turin and serves as a central gathering place for conveying photography in Italy. CAMERA was started in 2015 and annually showcases 2-3 major, rotating exhibitions featuring both international and Italian photographers. Through exhibitions, debates, school programs, and courses, CAMERA works to increase understanding and create dialogue and curiosity about photography.


Hana Čeferin

Curator, MAO (Slovenia)

Hana Čeferin holds an MA in Art History from the University of Ljubljana. Since 2023, she has been Head of the Biennial of Design in Ljubljana. Hana also has extensive experience in working with photography – e.g. as a curator at Galerija Fotografija in Ljubljana, where she has curated exhibitions with both Slovenian and international photographers.

Femke Gerritsma

Communication Manager, Arcam (Holland)

Femke Gerritsma is an art historian and has worked in the field of communication and marketing in the cultural sector for almost 15 years. In 2013 she moved to London where she worked for two years as a marketing manager at The Crafts Council. When she moved back to the Netherlands in 2015, she started her current position as the communication manager at Arcam.

Julie Quottrup Silbermann (Denmark)

Director CHART

Julie has been in the art world throughout her career, most recently as the director of CHART, an art fair for Nordic galleries held every year in August in Copenhagen. She has a long background in the gallery sector, where she has worked for the Nils Stærk Gallery, the David Risley Gallery and the Martin Asbæk Gallery.

Natascha Lhea Narvaez Nielsen (Denmark)

Winner of Capture Your City 2023

Natascha won with an honest photo of the interior of a classic Copenhagen apartment. The narrow kitchen is filled with laundry, washing-up and even a baby being washed in the kitchen sink. A unanimous panel was no doubt that this was the winning photo for the year. Natascha works as a health visitor for the City of Copenhagen.

Federica Tognon (Italy)

Curator, Unità Progetti Speciali e Fabbrica del Vapore, Comune di Milano

Federica holds an MA in Archeology from the University of Milan and a master’s in ‘Management of Cultural Heritage’. Since 2023, she has been working for the Municipality of Milan as curator for Unità Progetti Speciali e Fabbrica del Vapore. Federica also has a ten year long experience in museum education.

Arnita Verza (Latvia)

Landscape Architect, Riga Municipality

As a landscape architect Arnita is working with the development of Riga as part of the municipality. Before joining the team at the City Development Department she worked as a landcape architect in a private practice. Arnita is part of the DESIRE team in Riga where the ‘site’ is an old Soviet housing block in need of renovation.

Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen (Denmark)

Director Copenhagen Photo Festival

Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, Managing Director of Copenhagen Photo Festival, has an increasing interest in experimental and outdoor exhibition concepts as she strives for a more accessible and sustainable festival format. She has strong focus on international collaboration and has worked with many art and photography institutions, festivals and photographers as a curator, juror, and portfolio reviewer.

Monica Poggi (Italy)

Photography historian, CAMERA

Since 2019 Monica has been working at CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia (Turin) as Curator and Exhibition Manager. Among the exhibitions she has worked on are Eve Arnold. Works from 1950 -1980 and Robert Capa and Gerda Taro: Photography, Love, War. She combines her curatorial activity with writing doing collaborations with newspapers and magazines.

Kika Krista Kjærside (Denmark)

Head of Program Sector, Danish Architecture Center (Denmark)

Kika is a qualified architect from the Aarhus School of Architecture, and architecture has always been at the center of her career, although she has never worked as an actual designing architect. Kika has previously worked at the Danish firms AART Architects and BIG — Bjarke Group.

The photo competition is supported by the philanthropic association Realdania and developed in collaboration with Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. Desire is funded by the EU.