“Luxembourg in Transition” (LiT) can be characterised as an innovative process with the aim of rethinking and reshaping the territorial transition of Luxembourg and its neighbouring regions across the border by developing visions for a desirable future until 2050. The territorial visioning approach is innovative in the sense that it goes beyond traditional planning culture and instruments in an interdisciplinary manner and the spirit of coopetition.
The main objective of this innovative process is to develop different territorial visions, based on ecological transition scenarios, strategic spatial planning solutions and demonstration projects, for a decarbonised and resilient cross-border functional region of Luxembourg until 2050. The ecological transition refers to achieving the objectives of zero carbon emission while:
- reducing land take;
- enhancing biodiversity, improving ecosystem quality;
- integrating the aspects of housing, transport, energy and digitalisation;
- creating concepts and models for a territory resilient to climate change;
- promoting an economic development that is stable, equitable and solidarity-based; and
- strengthening territorial and social cohesion.
The territorial visions are based on the long-term horizon of 2050. By comparing the visions with the business-as-usual scenario, it becomes possible to identify the changes required for achieving the objectives and design a roadmap.
The LiT process was initiated by the Department of Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning. The consultation was accompanied by different committees: The Scientific Committee provided expertise from research and planning practice; the Advisory Committee incorporated the interests of partner and stakeholder organisations from Luxembourg and the Greater Region; the Interministerial Committee engaged all relevant sector ministries and steered the process; and the Citizens’ Committee (Biergerkommitee Lëtzebuerg 2050) introduced the population’s perspective and addressed recommendations to political decision-makers. An external service provider was tasked with the scientific management of the process and overseeing the work of the expert teams.
The international consultation within the framework of the LiT process was designed as a three-stage cooperative competition (“coopetition”), aiming to engage international experts from various disciplines and stimulate cross-fertilisation among teams. The consultation brought together practitioners, universities and other research organisations and gathered knowledge in the fields of regional and urban development as well as architecture, environmental and social sciences. The initial ten teams started working in October 2020 and the four final teams presented their results in January 2022. The three stages of the consultation aimed to refine and concretise the so-called “transition visions” developed in each preceding phase.
Stage 1: In this stage, the expert teams were tasked with developing a quantitative approach to assess the effectiveness of measures in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The metrics needed to quantify various aspects related to land use, energy consumption, waste management, food production, water resources or biodiversity.
Stage 2: Building upon their work in Stage 1, the expert teams were required to apply their metrics to the territory and show how innovative concepts in spatial planning could be implemented. The focus was on the cross-border functional region of Luxembourg, exploring the potentials and challenges of implementing measures in a cross-border context.
Stage 3: The final stage called for the expert teams to develop concrete strategies and exemplary projects to anchor the vision both within Luxembourg and across borders. This stage emphasised topics such as energy efficiency, the protection of biodiversity, resilience and climate change adaptation, resource scarcity and food security.
For instance, the team led by the University of Luxembourg presented measures for regenerating industrial parks and commercial areas through conversion, multifunctional usage, the use of local products and renaturing. The experts developed their vision using the example of the commercial area Foetz in Mondercange, Luxembourg.
Further projects and detailed information about the entire LiT process can be found on the website: https://luxembourgintransition.lu/en/
The LiT process represents an innovative approach to shaping the future of Luxembourg. By engaging a diverse range of actors, implementing a multi-stage competition, and incorporating cross-border aspects, the process aims to develop a sustainable and resilient Luxembourg in a sustainable and resilient manner. The vision’s long-term horizon of 2050 provides a framework for setting goals, identifying necessary changes, and establishing a roadmap for this development. The next step is to shift from theory to practical implementation, which consists of pilot projects and demonstrating the ability of the functional region Luxembourg to transition towards a carbon-free territory. Additionally, the transferability and application of the LiT process in other territories – cross border or not – is illustrated in the Guidance Note “Cross-Border Spatial Planning: A vision for a cross-border functional region” which is a Pilot Action of the Territorial Agenda. It demonstrates the applied methodology and discusses the implications of decarbonisation and sustainability for spatial planning and its cross-border dimension. Find out more about the pilot action here: https://territorialagenda.eu/pilot-actions/cross-border-spatial-planning/
Luxembourg in Transition: https://luxembourgintransition.lu/en/contact-2/
- LiT website (English and French): https://luxembourgintransition.lu/en/
- The Luxembourg Government (English): https://gouvernement.lu/en/actualites/toutes_actualites/communiques/2022/05-mai/19-turmes-luxembourg-in-transition.html
- ESPON (English): https://territoriall.espon.eu/articles/222384?article=38-1&index=3
- University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Centre for Ecological Learning Luxembourg, Institute for Organic Agriculture Luxembourg, & Office for Landscape Morphology. (2021). Luxembourg 2050 – A Guide on Repairing Commercial Zones – Report Phase 3.
- Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning. (2023). TA2030 Pilot Action – Cross-Border Spatial Planning: A vision for a zero-carbon cross-border functional region – Guidance Note – For the application of the process „Luxembourg in Transition“ in other territories. URL: https://territorialagenda.eu/wp-content/uploads/TA2030-Pilot-Action-Cross-Border-Spatial-Planning-GUIDANCE-NOTE-June-2023.pdf