Introducing Kuebebierg, a new urban development in Luxembourg’s Kirchberg area managed by the Fonds Kirchberg, focused on creating a sustainable and inclusive community. With an emphasis on environmental responsibility, social diversity, and economic viability, Kuebebierg aims to set a benchmark for future urban projects. From promoting alternative transportation to supporting local agriculture, Kuebebierg offers a balanced approach to urban living that prioritizes harmony with nature.


The aim of the Kuebebierg project is to create a vibrant, environmentally conscious neighbourhood that promotes sustainable living, social inclusivity, and economic vitality. Through careful planning and implementation, the project seeks to establish Kuebebierg as a model for future urban developments, both locally and internationally.

Aerial view of the planned neighbourhood (Source: Güller Güller Architecture Urbanism)

The Kirchberg quarter located on the north-eastern plateau of Luxembourg city is the vibrant business district, hosting not only banking and financial organisations but also EU institutions. The Fonds Kirchberg, established in 1961, operates under the supervision of the Minister of Mobility and Public Works and is responsible for urbanisation and development of the Kirchberg Plateau. It manages its operations and investments independently, relying on proceeds from real estate activities. Its main tasks include construction, urban development, and road infrastructure, with a current focus on building affordable housing. The Fund utilizes leasehold and other rights for land development, emphasising sustainability and community involvement in its planning processes.

The Fonds Kirchberg launched a competitive consultation process to develop an urban design charter establishing objectives for the landscape of the Kuebebierg area, a major land reserve belonging to the public organisation. The 33-ha area is located in a so-called deferred development zone (zone d’aménagement différée, or ZAD). The winning team of the consultation process presented its project in March 2022. The consortium is led by the Güller Güller Architecture Urbanism office in Rotterdam and Zurich, cooperating with Zeyen+Baumann, Atelier Alfred Peter, Etienne Ballan, Cabane Partner, RR&A, ZEFCO, Ecolor, Ville en Œuvre and Belvédère.

Illustrated plan of the Kubebierg neighbourhood (Source: Güller Güller Architecture Urbanism)


With its circular design and ecological focus, Kuebebierg aims to create a vibrant, liveable community that integrates seamlessly with its surroundings. Activities within the neighbourhood are guided by a holistic vision that embraces the area’s natural and urban characteristics, prioritising principles of sustainability and community well-being.

  1. Promoting Active Mobility: Kuebebierg prioritises diverse mobility options to reduce reliance on individual cars. Direct and secure routes for pedestrians and cyclists are integrated, along with the commissioning of a new tram line to enhance public transport accessibility.
  2. Limiting Car Circulation: With only one vehicle access point and a ratio of 0.5 cars per dwelling, Kuebebierg encourages a shift away from car-centric urban planning. Shared spaces accommodate various modes of transportation, fostering a safer and more vibrant urban environment.
  3. Creating Vibrant Public Spaces: The heart of Kuebebierg features a bustling square, reminiscent of traditional city centres, offering a diverse mix of shops, restaurants, and recreational amenities. These vibrant public spaces serve as focal points for social interaction and community engagement. A linear park and the tram line will connect public spaces, crossed by the spaces “Porte Frieden” and the “Place du Kuebebierg”.
  4. Maximising Renewable Energy Production: Kuebebierg embraces energy efficiency by prioritising renewable energy sources. From efficient building design to on-site energy production and storage, the district aims to minimise its carbon footprint while ensuring optimal living conditions for residents.
  5. Fostering Social Diversity: With a balanced mix of housing typologies and amenities, Kuebebierg promotes social inclusivity and diversity. Affordable housing options, coupled with accessible public services and recreational facilities, create an environment where people from all walks of life can thrive.
  6. Living circularity: the planned programme for the site, the architecture and the infrastructures are all aiming for a high standard regarding carbon footprint, local consumption and low energy demands, etc. In this context, the concept includes for example an urban farm and gardening.
  7. Farming in the City: The city farm project aims to maintain agricultural activity on one of the last remaining sites on the Kirchberg Plateau worked by farmers. It promotes biodiversity through more extensive green space management and offers multifunctional farming activities, including grazing, market gardening, and agro-tourism, contributing to economic, environmental, and socio-cultural services within the community.
Place du Kuebebierg (Source: Güller Güller Architecture Urbanism)

Status of Implementation

The implementation of the project started in 2022. At the western tip of the district, where the city farm and orchards are also planned, initial work began at the end of 2023 (planting trees and exploratory drilling for geothermal energy). This part of the district will also be included in the exhibition LUGA – Luxembourg Urban Garden taking place in 2025.

Onsite photo (Source: Fonds Kirchberg)


The winning project for Kuebebierg embodies a vision of urban living in harmony with nature. By integrating topography and green spaces, creating pedestrian-friendly environments, and prioritising sustainability, Kuebebierg sets a new standard for future urban developments.

As construction progresses, Kuebebierg aims to become a living testament to the possibilities of sustainable urban planning. The aim is to achieve a district development plan for 2025, build infrastructure in 2027 and initiate the construction of housing in 2029. With its innovative approach and commitment to environmental and social well-being, Kuebebierg represents not just a neighbourhood but a vision of a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient urban future.


Fonds Kirchberg:


Fonds Kirchberg (French):

Communication of the Luxembourgish government (French):

Paperjam article (French): Record of the project presentation (French):

Willkommen auf der vorübergehenden Seite der Cellule nationale d’information pour la politique urbaine (CIPU). Dies ist eine Austauschplattform, die sich mit stadtpolitischen und urbanen Themen in Luxemburg und in Europa auseinandersetzt. Die Kooperation im Rahmen der CIPU stützt sich auf eine Konvention zwischen dem Ministerium für Wohnungsbau und Raumentwicklung, dem Ministerium für innere Angelegenheiten sowie den vier größten Städten des Landes: Stadt Luxemburg, Stadt Esch-sur-Alzette, Stadt Dudelange und Stadt Differdange. Die aktuelle Konvention hat eine Laufzeit von 2022 bis 2026.

Da sich die Website momentan im Umbau befindet, finden Sie hier die Publikationen, die im Rahmen des Themenjahres 2023 “Funktionsmischung” erarbeitet wurden.

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):

During the first workshop organised by the CIPU office in 2023 and held on the 27th of June, the participants delved into the concept of multifunctionality in the city, focusing on different scales (building/parcel, district, city). They had the opportunity to explore various planning examples and engage in discussions about the obstacles, potentials, and instruments associated with multifunctional urban use.  

Copyright: Melt Studio, 2023

The day started off with an informative guided tour of the hosting location, the 1535° Creative Hub in the city of Differdange. The location symbolises creativity and innovation in Luxembourg. Established in 2013 by the city of Differdange, the Creative Hub got named after the melting temperature of iron at 1535°C, paying homage to the industrial heritage of the site and the whole city. Today it hosts creative and cultural start-ups, small- and medium-sized enterprises, artists, a co-working space as well as e.g. rentable music studios. More than just the physical space, the 1535° Creative Hub follows a community-driven approach, facilitating collaboration and sharing of expertise among its members. It functions as an open platform fostering synergies and networking, connecting actors from the cultural and creative industry and creating an open-minded environment for the sector.

Copyright: Melt Studio, 2023

After discovering the site, the workshop participants received input on functional mix in urban areas and its current relevance in Luxembourg. As a cross-cutting topic in the Master Programme for Spatial Planning 2023 (Programme Directeur de l’Amenagement du Territoire), it is primarily addressed under the objective of reducing soil artificialisation. In addition to that, the topic is considered under the objective of concentrating of different functions through e.g. creating Centres of development and attraction (Centres de développement et d’attraction). Furthermore, two examples developed during the Luxembourg in Transition Process (LiT) were presented, i. e. the densification strategy for the cross-border town Esch-sur-Alzette (LU) and Audun-le-Tiche (FR) as well as the plan for the commercial area Foetz to be transformed into a mixed-use zone. The local input was complemented with several examples from international multifunctional planning processes form Paris, Bern, Linz, Hamburg, Brussels and Anderlecht.

Copyright: Melt Studio, 2023

Finally, the participants delved into discussions on multifunctionality in urban spaces. The focus was on exploring the potential of integrating multiple functions within city structures on different scales (building/parcel, district, city). Through interactive sessions and planning examples, the workshop shed light on the obstacles, potentials, and instruments associated with multifunctional use in various contexts.

Working in groups, the participants explored multifunctionality in three key areas: commerce and services, production and manufacturing, and the creative sector and culture. These discussions considered the different existing scales, including the city, districts, and individual plots. The fourth group addressed the multifunctional use of housing in combination with schools, shopping centres, and industrial sites. These group sessions provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating different functions within urban structures. The results were then presented and discussed in plenum. The results of the discussions will be available on the CIPU Website soon.

Copyright: Melt Studio, 2023

By examining multifunctionality at different scales, the workshop encouraged innovative approaches to urban planning and development. The participants considered the potential of multifunctional spaces to (re-)vitalise communities, optimise resource utilisation, and promote sustainable development. The workshop held within the CIPU framework offered a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing, bringing together diverse perspectives from local and regional/national stakeholders as well as from thematic experts. It highlighted the importance of considering multifunctionality as a crucial aspect of contemporary city planning as well as which challenges need to be addressed by already existing and potential instruments.



Esch-sur-Alzette is the second largest city of Luxembourg and has a rich industrial heritage. Not least because of this heritage, the city is currently undergoing a significant transformation. At the forefront of this process is the visionary project Rout Lëns. Aimed at revitalising a former industrial site, Rout Lëns is set to become a sustainable and socially vibrant neighbourhood.


Population projections estimate that by 2050, the city of Esch will almost double to 220,000 inhabitants. To meet this growing demand, new infrastructure is needed. Rout Lëns fits this dynamic perfectly. The project will revitalise a disused industrial site of 10.5 h and transform it into a sustainable and liveable neighbourhood. The overall objective is to create a harmonious balance between urban development, community engagement, and environmental sustainability. The project seeks to develop a vibrant, inclusive, and environmentally conscious space where residents can live and work. In addition, the neighbourhood is being developed in the sign of social and intergenerational diversity. The visionary approach pursues the following objectives and aims to create:

  • A strong territorial identity: building a strong community aligned with the industrial heritage and rehabilitating it.
  • A simple and fluid daily life: enabling a dynamic and convenient life for residents through technological innovation, soft mobility and logistics.
  • A territorial, human and cultural link: encouraging initiative by connecting people and different users of the space such as residents, visitors, employees, shop owners and neighbours.
  • A resilient neighbourhood: creating a sustainable community and space with high adaptability to challenges and changes.
Copyright: IKO Real Estate, 2023


The Rout Lëns project is driven by the collaboration of various stakeholders and in close cooperation with the municipality. IKO Real Estate leads the project, supported by the architecture-urbanism agency Reichen et Robert & Associés, along with the landscaper Agency Phytolab. For the first two buildings Tatiana Fabeck and Carta Reichen and Robert & associés were contracted. The participatory process is guided by CityTools, an agency specialised in sociological and urban planning projects that incorporate local community input. This partnership ensures that the development of Rout Lëns remains aligned with the needs and wishes of its future inhabitants. Furthermore, the project is aligned with the Luxembourg government’s sector plan for housing, and the city of Esch-sur-Alzette has acquired almost 300 housing units, ensuring that 30% of the housing in the new district will be affordable housing.


The implementation of the project follows four founding pillars:

  • The urban structure – Industrial Culture Alley: The “Allée de la Culture Industrielle » will be a pedestrian route linking the five industrial heritage facilities which have become user-friendly, multifunctional places (Magasin TT, Halle des Turbines, Halle des Soufflantes, Portique de la Mollereï et Poste d’Aiguillage).
  • The built form – A stratified neighbourhood: a variation of building height will give multifunctionality to each stratum and diversity of uses such as hanging gardens, urban gardening, terraces, unobstructed views and a different atmosphere at each level of altitude.
  • The place of nature – A vegetal feeling: The masterplan of Rout Lëns prioritises well-being and nature in the real-estate project by e.g. planting almost 700 trees in the district.
  • A sustainable & innovative neighbourhood: the district will be adjusted towards innovation in terms of sustainable mobility, architecture, urban development, and energy supply consumption including waste management, urban farming and circular economy approaches.
Copyright: IKO Real Estate, 2023

The development of Rout Lëns is a participatory process that actively involves the local community. Through surveys, workshops, and consultations, residents and stakeholders had the opportunity to contribute their insights, ideas, and concerns during the first phases and will continue during its further implementation. This inclusive approach empowers the community to shape the future of their neighbourhood, fostering a sense of ownership and local identity.

The project includes housing of all sizes, from studios to flats with 1 to 4 bedrooms, including low-cost accommodations. The integration of affordable housing supports the project’s aim of creating a high degree of social mix within the neighbourhood. Although 81% of the area is dedicated to housing, it will not be only a residential neighbourhood since other uses will be included, such as schools, community and public services, shops and private services as well as offices and shared workspaces.

Copyright: IKO Real Estate, 2023

The Well Community certification guarantees that all buildings developed in Rout Lëns meet high-quality standards, focusing on the well-being of the residents. The certification prioritises air and water quality, natural light sources, and overall physical and psychological comfort. The incorporation of green spaces, including an urban forest, flower-filled meadows, and small habitats, will enhance biodiversity and provide pleasant environment with high quality of stay.

Copyright: IKO Real Estate, 2023

Soft mobility solutions will be prioritised to encourage sustainable transportation options, such as walking, cycling, and public transportation. A comprehensive network of shared mobility services, cycle paths, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and a high-speed tram line will ensure convenient accessibility to and within the neighbourhood. The connectivity and spatial planning are designed to align the new neighbourhood with surrounding residential areas and extend the city centre instead of depicting any competition for the rest of the city. In addition to that, the district is planned to be carbon-footprint-neutral and will try to recover grey water (wastewater from showers and sinks) and it will be supplied with geothermal energy. You can learn more about the energetic concept of the project in the first session of the CIPU lecture series from May 2023. You can find the recording here:

Copyright: IKO Real Estate, 2023
Copyright: IKO Real Estate, 2023

The district will be constructed in three phases. The Eastern part will be constructed from 2024-2029, followed by a transition phase in 2028 resulting in construction phase 2 and 3 from 2030-2033. This way, certain sectors will be functional and habitable before the whole neighbourhood will be finished in 2035.

The new school. Copyright: Tatiana Fabeck, 2022


Rout Lëns is a transformative project that envisions a sustainable, resilient, and socially inclusive neighbourhood in Esch-sur-Alzette. By combining innovative design, community engagement, and environmental management, Rout Lëns is set to revitalise the former industrial site into a liveable urban space. The project’s commitment to open-mindedness, innovation, inclusion and heritage is reflected in the four pillars of its vision. The realisation of Rout Lëns as is good practice of revitalising an industrial site and creating a sustainable and innovative urban space aligned with its heritage.

If you want further information and get a glimpse at how the district is going to look like, you can find more information, maps and visual material on the official website where you can also subscribe to the newsletter.


Rout Lëns:

IKO Real Estate: