L-R: Florian Hertweck, Uni.lu; Enno Zuidema, MVRDV; Winny Maas, MVRDV; Claude Turmes, Spatial Planning Minister; Claudia Hitaj, Uni.lu; Simon Auperin, Arep; Grégoire Robida, Arep; Philippe Nathan, 2001; Credit: Yannick Stirn

The Department of Spatial Planning (DATer) of Luxembourg's Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning has announced that a travelling exhibition on the international consultation regarding the climate transition in the Grand Duchy is now open to the public at the Maison du Savoir of the University of Luxembourg in Esch-Belval (until 5 June 2022).

Launched in June 2020, the international consultation gathered strategic spatial planning proposals and produced ecological transition scenarios for Luxembourg and its neighbouring border territories by 2050. The work was concluded in January 2022 with a wide range of new pathways for contributing to the ecological transition and proposing a new spatial planning culture.

For Claude Turmes, Luxembourg's Minister for Energy and Spatial Planning, "the consultation Luxembourg in Transition was a real laboratory for innovative and experimental ideas, strategies and concepts that were proposed by enthusiastic experts and committed citizens. The citizens and experts were free in their thinking and expression and this allowed them to unleash their intellectual and creative capacities. The result is a bold set of concepts and proposals presenting a source of inspiration for a spatial planning that is different. These ideas and concepts now have to be conveyed and shared".
He continued: "It is now up to the Government and its agencies, but also society and public as well as private actors to be inspired by these new pathways in order to implement them and to build, all together, a resilient and zero-carbon territory with a high quality of life for its residents".
Considering the climate-related challenges and social issues that the Grand Duchy is facing, the aim of the consultation was to develop new concepts for an innovative approach to planning its territory and support the ecological transition by 2050. Seven priorities are intended to pave the way towards a zero-carbon, resilient and sustainable territory: net zero greenhouse gas emissions; no net land take; protection and enhancement of biodiversity and landscapes; fair and inclusive economic development; territorial and social cohesion; preservation of natural resources; balanced distribution of infrastructure.
In this sense, the consultation has explored innovative concepts, developed future-oriented methods and submitted project ideas that have been illustrated through concrete urban development projects. The territorial visions and projects that were developed are supposed to accompany the actions of political decision-makers and promote public support for the profound transformation of their lifestyles. The University of Luxembourg's Master Programme for Spatial Planning, which is currently being finalised, rests on four guiding principles developed through the work of the consultation.
Bringing together professionals, but also universities, technical colleges and research organisations with an expertise in the fields of spatial planning, urban planning, landscape planning and architecture, supported by the environmental disciplines as well as human and social sciences, ten international teams were working since October 2020 throughout three work stages on operational proposals for ecological transition strategies. The last stage brought together the four final teams who developed transition scenarios by translating them into concrete applications and projects at various scales. These were presented to the Luxembourgish press on Thursday 19 May 2022 during an exchange that brought together more than 120 stakeholders and other guests.
From January 2021 to January 2022, 30 members of the public representing the diversity of Luxembourg's society were informed and trained with regards to the consultation's themes in order to accompany its work and they were able to draw up their own recommendations on how the functional cross-border territory of Luxembourg should evolve to become carbon-neutral by 2050. On 19 January 2022, the citizens' committee thus submitted to Minister Turmes a document containing nine principles and 44 proposals for a transition policy. These principles and proposals were the subject of an open exchange between the public and Minister Turmes, with the participation of Luxembourg's Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, the Minister for Housing, the Minister for the Economy and the Minister for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
The international consultation is the trigger for the collective process "Luxembourg in Transition". According to DATer, it is now a matter of bringing the scenarios, strategies and concepts that were developed into the territorial reality of the Grand Duchy as well as to the partners of the Greater Region, in order to set in motion a dynamic process that is both feasible and concrete. The first steps will consist in initiating pilot projects intended to function as demonstrators of the capacity of Luxembourg's society to really commit to the path of the territorial transition.

A travelling exhibition that retraces the international consultation was created with the goal of raising public awareness on the subject of the ecological and territorial transition as well as presenting some of the teams' concepts. This exhibition is open to the public on the Esch-Belval campus of the University of Luxembourg from 20 May to 5 June 2022.