Moving to Belval
Symbol of the country's future vision
Luxembourg is redefining itself: from a steel region to a financial centre, the country now wants to morph onwards and become a research hub. In Belval there are plans to turn this vision into reality.
Where once the chimneys of blast furnaces poured out their smoke heads will soon be steaming. With that motto, on the industrial wasteland of Belval, about 20 kilometres southwest of the city of Luxembourg, a completely new neighbourhood is growng up on the territory of the local communities of Esch-sur-Alzette and Sassenheim, in the very shadow of the old blast furnaces.
Belval is considered to be one of the largest and most ambitious current urban renewal projects in Europe. On the 120 hectares of grounds that once housed Luxembourg's largest steel foundry, academic research and teaching, work and leisure, industry and commerce and home life and culture are to enter into a thriving mixture. Based on a master plan created by Jo Coenen Architects of Maastricht, the development corporation Agora as well as the public Fonds Belval are bringing this new site into being.
The University on Belval
The "Cité des Sciences" (City of Science) is Belval's headway project pure and simple. The first phase of the project, budgeted at EUR 950 million and comprising about 20 new buildings on the grounds of the blast furnace plateau, will house the University of Luxembourg as well as off-university research centres and a start-up centre.
In its ultimate expansion, around 7,000 students and 3,000 teaching staff and researchers will be at work in Belval. The entire University (with the exception of parts of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance) will have moved here by 2019.
A crucible of disciplines
Science can only solve the major problems we face in partnership with other disciplines and institutions. Belval offers a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary exchanges, thanks mainly to the research facilities being organised thematically. This brings together a diverse range of researchers and institutions. The former Esch-Belval steel mill has thus become a factory for research and a crucible of scientific disciplines.