Credit: VdL

This past Saturday saw the launch of a European open tender for urban ideas for the development of an area on Route d'Arlon, a large part of which is currently occupied by the Stade Josy Barthel in Luxembourg City.

On Friday 17 May 2019, Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer and first alderman Serge Wilmes presented the "Wunnquartier Stade" project aimed at collecting urban ideas for the development of these grounds. In a first phase, the competition will be addressed to qualified planners who will present a first draft project by filing an anonymous application.

The plots covered by the competition include the grounds currently occupied by the Stade Josy Barthel, a football field, a sports hall, tennis courts, Fire and Ambulance Service and the Hygiene Service buildings, the recycling centre and a power plant, well as the buildings of the Franciscan Sisters and a free space on their land. Out of a total of some ten hectares, 83% belong to the City of Luxembourg, the remaining lands being the property of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mercy.

The purpose of the competition will be to reconvert land into a residential area with the creation of varied and affordable housing. Next to housing, the project will also include local shops, meeting and relaxation areas, crèches, sports complexes and playgrounds, to name but a few of the infrastructures and services that are considered essential to guarantee a high quality of life for future residents of the neighbourhood.

The urban ideas competition will take place in two distinct phases in which citizen participation will be an essential element. The first phase, launched on Saturday 18 May 2019, took the form of a European open tender. Then, in January 2020, when a selection committee composed of representatives of the City of Luxembourg, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Housing, the SNHBM, the OAI and the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters, as well as a professor of architecture from the University of Luxembourg and several international experts, will choose up to fifteen participants.

The selected projects will then be presented to the municipal council, before being exhibited anonymously for about two weeks. During this stage, the public will have the opportunity to actively participate in the process of developing the new project: an exchange with the citizens will collect their ideas which will be transmitted to the competition participants and will be integrated as much as possible into the projects.

Phase Two of the competition will begin in April 2020 and will consist of a paid consultation of the selected teams whose anonymity will be lifted at that time. After the integration of citizens' thoughts on the projects and the elaboration of an urban planning project, the selection committee will be able to reduce the number of teams of the competition. The remaining teams will submit their final projects and the municipal council and citizens will once again have the opportunity to give their opinion. The second phase of the competition will close at the beginning of 2021 with the exhibition of the projects and the announcement of the winning team.

The winning project will serve as a basis for the development of a special management plan (PAP) to be adopted by the municipal council.