Credit: DATer

The Department of Spatial Planning of Luxembourg's Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning has announced the establishment of the "Biergerkommitee Lëtzebuerg 2050", a citizens' committee aimed at supporting national efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The committee, which is composed of 30 members of the public from different backgrounds, will be supporting the international consultation "Luxembourg in Transition", aiming for a zero carbon and resilient territory. Since Monday 18 January 2021, this group has been bringing their own perspective and will follow the project for a year. 

In June 2020, the spatial planning department launched this urban-architectural and landscape consultation with the aim of bringing together strategic spatial planning proposals for the Grand Duchy and the cross-border area in light of climate change challenges. The consultation is inspired by major consultations carried out such as those in Grand Paris or Grand Genève.

Ten international teams of architects, urban planners and social scientists, chosen at the end of the call for applications, have been working together since October 2020 and will present their work as part of the first phase of the consultation at the end of January 2021.

A first version of the new "master plan for spatial planning" is scheduled for early 2022 on the basis (among other things) of the results of the international consultation and studies which take into account the recommendations proposed by the public in a consultation back in 2018. The project will then be submitted to a public consultation to allow everyone involved to participate in its finalisation. 

Luxembourg's Minister of Spatial Planning, Claude Turmes, descriped the Biergerkommitee Lëtzebuerg 2050 as “a pioneering approach in Luxembourg, a new milestone in the process of citizen participation. I hope that the committee can become, throughout the process, a real laboratory of democracy, this time focussed more particularly on the issue of climate change and its impact on the territory and the role of regional planning for face it and provide concrete answers and solutions”.

The Luxembourg opinion research institute TNS Ilres was tasked with selecting the 30 committee participants. The objective sought was to best reflect the diversity of Luxembourgish society. A public call for applications was launched last December, supplemented by a draw in the TNS Ilres database. Among the 250 applications submitted, the polling institute then carried out an independent selection according to a whole series of criteria.

In order to be able to assess the complexity of future territorial challenges, members of the Biergerkommittee Lëtzebuerg 2050 will participate in conferences and receive information from experts on territorial planning subjects such as mobility, housing, infrastructure, water management and biodiversity, all from a climate change perspective. Around ten of these events will take place during the first part of 2021. The conferences will be public, followed by closed-door working sessions where the group will discuss the various topics. In the second part of the year, the committee will present its own proposals as to how the territory of Luxembourg should be organised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. These proposals could then contribute to the master plan for land use planning.

Dr. Léonie de Jonge from the University of Groningen and Dr. Raphaël Kies from the University of Luxembourg will analyse the progress of the project with their respective teams and submit it to a scientific evaluation. The Stoldt Associés office is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the Biergerkommitee Lëtzebuerg 2050.