The Master Programme for Spatial Planning in Luxembourg, known as “Programme directeur d’aménagement du territoire” (PDAT) 2023, is the central element of the country’s spatial planning policy. Serving as a framework for a sustainable development of the national territory and for enhancing the quality of life of all citizens, the PDAT defines an integrated strategy for sectorial policies with a territorial impact and defines guidelines, objectives and measures for the government and municipalities. The newly adopted PDAT (21 June 2023), which was prepared by the Department of Spatial Planning in cooperation with an interministerial working group, builds upon a large public participation process in 2018 and the international consultation “Luxembourg in Transition” in 2020—2022.

Structure and objectives

PDAT 2035 (Source: Département de l’aménagement du territoire (DATer) 2023)

In order to frame the strategy, objectives and measures, the PDAT was developed in accordance with the following four guiding principles:

  • Increasing the resilience of the territory
  • Safeguarding territorial, social and economic cohesion
  • Ensuring a sustainable management of natural resources
  • Accelerating the transition of the territory to carbon neutrality

Based on those guiding principles, three policy objectives and a cross-cutting objective have been identified, addressing the development issues highlighted in the spatial analysis as well as the challenges imposed by climate, environmental, geopolitical and health crises:

1. Concentration of development in the most suitable places: Central to the PDAT’s mission is guiding sector policies and supporting municipalities in locating essential functions and services in the most suitable places. This aims to facilitate access to services, anticipate and reduce mobility needs as well as plan for critical infrastructure.

By guiding future development, the PDAT enables efficient infrastructure planning and a cost-effective implementation of sector policies. The territorial strategy encompasses an urban hierarchy based on Central Places (centres de développement et d’attraction, CDA), which is supposed to steer the spatial distribution of population (i.e. development) and employment growth (i.e. attraction) in a sustainable manner.

2. Reducing land take: The PDAT focuses on limiting the process of converting natural, agricultural or forest land into built-up areas. Decreasing land take offers several benefits, including mitigating the effects of climate change, preserving natural and semi-natural areas, minimising flood risks, protecting biodiversity, and fostering carbon sequestration. The goal is to gradually reduce land take from by 2035 and tend towards no net land take (zéro artificialisation nette du sol) by 2050.

Dynamics of soil artificialisation 2007-2018 (Source: Département de l’aménagement du territoire (DATer) 2023)

To achieve this, the PDAT puts forward a planning culture that promotes urban regeneration, multifunctionality and efficient land management.

3. Cross-border spatial planning: Taking into account the functional linkages between Luxembourg and its cross-border functional region, the PDAT recognises the need for a concerted territorial development in the Greater Region (Grande Région). To address ecological and climate transition challenges, the Master Programme promotes territorial development strategies for cross-border functional areas, consultation with neighbouring regions in the framework of planning processes, and cross-border resource management.

4. Collaborative Governance as a cross-cutting objective: In the PDAT, governance is considered to be a cross-cutting objective, emphasising the coordination required for effective spatial planning. This is meant to happen horizontally across sector policies, vertically between the State and municipalities, as well as through public participation.

Time Horizon

The PDAT2023 is meant to unfold in two phases: 2023-2035 and 2035-2050. The first period until 2035 will act as a transition phase, which contributes to reversing the current development trends. Actions will focus on identifying and adopting instruments for the implementation of the Master Programme as well as initiating pilot projects and stakeholder connections.

The second phase, from 2035 to 2050, will ensure a steady transition and reverse the trends in question by the implementation of the strategies, while monitoring the developments as well as adapting approaches as needed.

Programme directeur d'aménagement du territoire 2023 - Stratégies  territoriales - Portail de l'aménagement du territoire - Luxembourg
Vision 2050 in the PDAT (Source: Département de l’aménagement du territoire (DATer) 2023)


In order to achieve the above-mentioned policy objectives in the given timeframes, two territorial strategies have been developed at different scales. First, the national territorial development strategy “Leitbild 2050” envisions a carbon-neutral and resilient territory, emphasising green, yellow and blue networks, the concentration of development in accordance with the urban hierarchy, and a sustainable mobility. This national territorial development strategy has also been broken down to so-called action areas (espaces d’action) at a functional-regional level. In this context, territorial visions for the three urban agglomerations have also been developed. Second, the territorial development strategy at the level of the Greater Region promotes cooperation in cross-border action areas, in accordance with the Interreg VI Greater Region programme. This cooperation fosters integrated territorial development in cross-border functional areas, complementing previous approaches by addressing challenges linked to the environment and natural resources. The implementation of strategies will be fostered through the adaptation of existing regulatory instruments and the potential creation of new ones.


The Master Programme for Spatial Planning in Luxembourg sets a forward-looking and ambitious territorial vision. By addressing climate change, resource preservation and sustainable growth, the PDAT paves the way for the ecological transition of the territory. Through clear strategic objectives and cross-sectoral coordination, Luxembourg is taking a further step towards sustainable development and enhancing citizens’ quality of life.


Master Programme for Spatial Planning in Luxembourg – “Programme directeur d’aménagement du territoire” (PDAT) 2023 (French):

Spatial planning portal (French):

The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Alzette Belval plays a vital role in fostering collaboration between the French and Luxembourgish communities in the Alzette-Belval region. By facilitating cross-border projects and initiatives, the EGTC promotes sustainable development and positions Alzette-Belval as a transnational agglomeration.


Imagine a world where geographical borders do not limit collaboration between regions but facilitate it. That’s the objective of the EGTC Alzette Belval. By establishing a sustainable framework for cooperation and joint projects, it aims to bridge the administrative borders between Luxembourg and France to develop a shared vision for the future of Alzette Belval and stabilise the cross-border relationship. Additionally, the EGTC enables the transferring of local findings and perspectives to higher administrative levels and informs according regional, national or European institutions about the cross-border challenges.

Inauguration of the Cross-border Steel Curcuit in September 2022

Genesis and Composition

After first selective collaborative approaches between the French and Luxembourgish communities in the 1990s the need for a more effective and solid legal framework emerged. Therefore, the EGTC was established on March 8, 2013, with the support of the French and Luxembourgish governments and local authorities. It operates within the regulatory framework of the European Union, specifically the EGTC Regulation (No 1082/2006), which makes it a legal body.

The EGTC is compiled of a Luxembourgish delegation consisting of representatives from the state Luxembourg as well as from the four municipalities Esch-surAlzette, Mondercrange, Sanem and Schifflange. From the French side, representatives from the national level and Communauté de Communes du Pays-Haut Val d’Alzette, Région Grand Est, Conseil départemental de Meurthe-et-Moselle and Conseil départemental de la Moselle are involved.

Discovery of the ABACTIV pedestrian cycle track linking Micheville (F) and Belval (L) in September 2022. Copyright: GECT ALZETTE BELVAL

Activities, Measures, and Current Strategy (2021-2027)

A strategy is an essential instrument for an institutional body to function sustainably and effectively. The EGTC Alzette Belval developed a first strategy in 2014 for the timeframe until 2016. It was updated for the second phase 2017-2020 and the current version accounts for 2021-2027. It builds upon its previous successes and focuses on the following key areas:

  • Health
  • Mobility
  • Everyday life without borders and limitations
  • Alzette Belval: Maintenance and use of green landscapes
  • Alzette Belval: Shared and resilient future
  • Alzette Belval: Laboratory for education
  • Alzette Belval: Symbolic space of French-Luxembourgish collaboration

The EGTC Alzette Belval undertakes various measures and assumes roles to strengthen cross-border collaboration:

  • Information hub: The EGTC serves as a valuable information resource, providing updates on transborder initiatives, projects, and opportunities to the residents and institutions in the region.
  • Local link: Operating independently, the EGTC effectively represents the local interests of the Alzette-Belval community.
  • Facilitator: The EGTC facilitates exchange between stakeholders in the region, strengthening the cross-border network.
  • Project initiator: The EGTC takes the lead in developing and implementing transborder projects, often financed by European funds, e.g. through the Interreg Greater Region programme. These projects contribute to the region’s development and enhance cooperation between neighbouring communities.

A standout project within the EGTC’s portfolio is “Alzette Belval, vivons ensemble!”, which ran from 2014-2020. This initiative was developed to promote the concept of a cross-border agglomeration, aiming to cultivate a sense of belonging and regional identity. Through collaborations with several authorities from France and Luxembourg, the project facilitated cross-border projects in domains like sports, tourism, culture, and agriculture.

Games without borders between the youth centres of Belvaux (L) and Rédange (F) in summer 2022. Copyright: GECT ALZETTE BELVAL


The EGTC Alzette Belval is dedicated to cross-border collaboration and sustainable development. By facilitating cooperation, implementing joint projects, and engaging local stakeholders, the EGTC strives to create a dynamic, interconnected, and resilient Alzette Belval that benefits residents, businesses, and institutions. Looking ahead to 2021-2027, the EGTC focuses on integrating cross-border projects and fostering a harmonious cross-border agglomeration. This strategy underscores the transformative power of collaboration, envisioning a future where borders no longer limit progress but instead facilitate collective development.


EGTC Alzette Belval: