Reference : Luxembourg-Kirchberg: heading towards the new European city
Parts of books : Contribution to collective works
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Luxembourg-Kirchberg: heading towards the new European city
Hesse, Markus mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Geography and Spatial Planning (DGEO) >]
A New Beginning? Spatial Planning and Research in Europe between 1945 and 1975
Briesen, Detlef
Strubelt, Wendelin
Campus Verlag
[en] Spatial Planning ; Urban Development ; Kirchberg ; Luxembourg ; Hubert Ritter
[en] This chapter explores spatial planning and spatial research in post-World War II Europe from the perspective of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. While spatial planning and, even more so, spatial research were established in the country only recently, both the Grand Duchy and its capital city have undergone a remarkable trajectory of growth and change over the past decades. Within roughly forty years, a diminutive Luxembourg has almost doubled its population and reached a top position measured by global economic indicators. One of the major sites implicated in this economic success is the Kirchberg Plateau, a 365-hectares area that now hosts the European and banking district and also some components of nationally important infrastructure. Initially agricultural land, it was developed by the central government from the early 1960s. It was mainly designed in the fashion of a modern office town, with high-rises, ‘starchitecture’ and wide boulevards, dedicated to localising employment in future sectors, aimed at compensating for the decline of the country’s once dominant steel industry. Kirchberg provided space for expansion by experimentation, put in place by a state fund through state power and with the ability to expropriate land, offering a blank sheet of territory for development and clearly offering direction and momentum for a new trajectory. This is the known part of Kirchberg. The unknown part is also addressed here: Kirchberg has a pre-1945 history of planning, a dark side related to Nazi occupation and the attempt to “Germanise” Luxembourg’s development and building policies. While initial ideas for development were based on Hubert Ritters Generalbebauungsplan of 1943, and none of these had been implemented, some features laid the ground for the site's development afterwards. And the overall modernist function and layout of the Kirchberg, to become a template post-war European city, still challenge current attempts to further urbanise the site.
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