"Lëtz' Discuss" youth forum
QUESTION POSED BY ANA CORREIA DA VEIGA
Young people in Luxembourg City had the opportunity to take part in discussions during the youth forums held in different districts and venues. Their complaints and suggestions were catalogued in the "Lëtz' Discuss" report. On 21 February 2018, the young people were able to share their ideas and needs with the mayor and members of the Committee on Children and Youth Commission de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse.
Three years have now elapsed since this meeting took place, and déi Lénk would like to know what follow-up has been given to the young people's complaints and recommendations. We would also like more information on the future of the youth forums.
Could you share with us the suggestions that have been implemented so far? Which proposals listed in the "Lëtz' Discuss" report have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented?
Have any projects been undertaken by adolescents further to the youth forums? Have the young people had the opportunity to put their own ideas into action, for example, with help from the youth centres or support from scout leaders?
Was a budget planned to enable the young people to undertake their projects?
How were the young people who took part in the forums notified that their projects were implemented or their suggestions taken into account? How did the young people find out that their involvement in a forum had a positive impact for their district or the city? For example, was an announcement placed in City Mag or another publication?
Are there plans to hold other youth forums and children's forums in the future?
How does the City of Luxembourg anticipate that young people and children will participate in City planning, in their districts, schools and environments?
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY ALDERMAN MAURICE BAUER
This is a topic that the City of Luxembourg has been very committed to for many years. Since 2003, the City has regularly organised youth forums to involve young residents in shaping programmes and initiatives aimed at them in order to introduce them to active participation and teach them about civic involvement. Of course, the City will continue this tradition. The last forum was held in 2018, and the City plans to hold another one in 2022.
The suggestions made by the young people in 2018 and written up in the report involve many City departments. We are doing our best to take these suggestions into account as much as possible – that is, insofar as our resources and schedules allow. Among the projects that have already been implemented, or are in the process of being developed, are the new youth centres in Cents and Cessange, and the ongoing extension of the bus and cycle lane networks, Wi-Fi coverage and sporting facilities.
The different relevant municipal departments are in charge of oversight, and in theory they report to the Service Jeunesse et intervention sociale (Youth and Social Intervention Department). The heads of the youth centres and scouts communicate on a regular basis. There are also discussions as part of the City's quality circles (four times a year) and during the consultation meetings with the Ministry of Education (Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale) (twice a year).
Young people can request support from the City for any project they would like to undertake. Last year, I visited the scouts in Cents, who expressed a desire to organise a cleaning initiative in cooperation with the Service Hygiène (Sanitation Department). The City is willing to support this project, which has not yet got off the ground due to the pandemic. In a way, we function as a 'single point of contact' to connect young people and the relevant municipal departments. We more than readily play this role, and try to help out wherever we can.
The results of the 2017 and 2018 youth forums were posted online and shared with the politicians. Feedback was not given directly to the young people, but rather through the City's usual information channels – City Magazine, the City's website, etc. – and through the near-daily correspondence between the Service Jeunesse and the scouts groups.
The next round of youth forums is scheduled for October 2022. These forums will again be geared towards young people aged 12 and over. There are no plans to involve children under 12. A survey will be conducted among young people in March/April 2022 so that we can also take into account the opinions of those who do not belong to any youth organisations or visit youth centres. The purpose of the survey is to identify their concerns, desires and needs. Based on the results, the City plans to extend the forums to include groups of young people other than scouts and those who visit youth centres. We will of course present the results to the City's representatives. I wish every success for the future youth forums.
Recycling during events
QUESTION POSED BY CLAUDIE REYLAND
In 2020, 59,716 tonnes of waste were produced in Luxembourg City. The College of Aldermen constantly stresses that considerable effort must be made to reduce the quantity of waste produced and to encourage people to recycle and reuse. In 2019, déi Gréng put forward concrete, ambitious proposals to reduce waste and insisted that the City set an example and organise "green events".
At a recent football match at Stade de Luxembourg, flags were handed out to spectators at the entrance so they could cheer on their team. Later, photos appeared on social media showing thousands of flags and other items of waste that were simply left lying on the ground.
What were the flags handed out at Stade de Luxembourg made of? Is the material recyclable? How many flags were handed out?
Isn't the College of Aldermen considering a concept that would allow these flags to be reused at subsequent matches?
Does the College of Aldermen plan to produce a catalogue with clear measures for organising "green events"? Would it be possible to enforce this catalogue whenever the City is involved in organising a public event in the capital? I am thinking in particular of the marathon, and I will return to this topic in relation to the associated agreement.
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY ALDERMAN PATRICK GOLDSCHMIDT
I would like to be able to provide you with details on the flags, but this was an initiative undertaken by the Luxembourg Football Federation (Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Football – FLF). However, we have sounded the alarm and we would like to put a stop to such initiatives, whether during football matches or other sporting events. The distribution of gadgets should be discussed with the City in advance. We have an Environmental Officer, the Service Hygiène (Sanitation Department) and the Service Espace public, fêtes et marchés (Department of Public Spaces, Festivals and Markets), who have specific instructions for organisers. We will also ask the stadium's management committee to pay attention to who is handing out what in the stadium. In addition, we try to enforce this rule whenever outside parties organise events in the city. Many gadgets are always handed out during the marathon. The City does not always have a say on the nature of these gadgets. We will put pressure on the sponsors and other involved parties to hand out only environmentally friendly products.
The City has commissioned a study to look into how we can organise green events. There are several categories of events, ranging from very small to very large. The relevant departments will present the conclusions of this study to the College of Aldermen in the coming weeks. While some steps could be implemented quickly, larger events would require more extensive logistics, so implementing the corresponding measures would take more time. In any case, we want to be able to ensure that events are much more environmentally friendly than they are currently.
Hall Victor Hugo
QUESTION POSED BY TOM KRIEPS
My question – which I asked on 6 January 2022 – is about why the vaccination centre had to be moved urgently from Hall Victor Hugo to LuxExpo. Apparently, parts of ceiling panels had fallen off, or at least there was a risk that panels would fall from the ceiling. Wasn't this danger noticed before?
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY MAYOR LYDIE POLFER
As I explained in the interim to the media, a small piece of plaster (3 x 10 cm) fell from the ceiling on the evening of 30 December 2021. As a precautionary measure, Hall Victor Hugo was closed immediately. In any case, nothing was scheduled for 1 January 2022, but there were many vaccination appointments scheduled for 2 January. After consulting with Luc Feller, the high commissioner for national protection, we were able to quickly move the vaccination centre to the LuxExpo halls. The problematic parts of the ceiling of Hall Victor Hugo were secured with a net.
The new vaccination centre at LuxExpo worked very well and, apparently, there was even an option for an extension of the centre. Unfortunately, it was impossible to keep the centre at LuxExpo permanently as the areas being used had already been rented out for upcoming exhibitions. Therefore, the vaccination centre will return to Hall Victor Hugo on 8 March. I would like to extend a big thank-you to everyone involved for helping to move the vaccination centre to LuxExpo in record time – one day – and, in all likelihood, this will also be the case when it returns to Hall Victor Hugo.
Extension of citizen participation to the virtual space
QUESTION POSED BY EDUARDA MACEDO
Public and private meetings and gatherings have been subject to stringent restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, administrations, political bodies, associations and individuals have all had to learn to work and communicate in a different way – namely, virtually. Despite the inconvenience of restricted human contact, technology has opened up many opportunities. For example, it has made it possible for the municipal council to meet virtually, thereby allowing the continuation of the democratic process.
The City of Luxembourg regularly organises citizen participation procedures and information and consultation meetings for residents of individual districts. These meetings range from those addressing minor development works, to more complex meetings, such as the mobility plan kick-off meeting, the Gare district meetings, and the meetings to present the Villeroy & Boch and Place de l'Étoile special development plans (plan d'aménagement particulier – PAP).
Issues that affect everyone should be discussed by everyone. As such, it would be a good idea to try to include in these meetings the population's relatively large marginal groups that, for a variety of reasons beyond their control, are unable to attend these meetings.
In addition, it is clear that people want to share their thoughts in different ways, outside the more traditional channels, and that impromptu initiatives have been undertaken by many organisations, such as, for example, political parties, interest groups and associations.
In the perspective of modernisation, what does the College of Aldermen think of the option of routinely allowing residents' online attendance and participation in meetings to which they are invited? Does the City have the technical and human resources to do this, and is the College of Aldermen willing to take the necessary steps to do so?
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY ALDERMAN SERGE WILMES
I can answer yes to all of your questions. Much of what you have mentioned in your question has already been implemented. Since the pandemic began in 2020, the College of Aldermen and the Service TIC (ICT Department) have worked together to make sure that the City is equipped with the technology required to hold virtual meetings, including the meetings of the College of Aldermen and those of the advisory committees. This has been working well for a year and a half. Additional computer hardware has been purchased.
Giving residents the opportunity to participate in online meetings is part of our "Smart City" strategy. This option was available, for example, for the meeting on 18 January 2022 on the "Villeroy & Boch" PAP. Many residents signed up to attend online. This worked fairly well, and the Service TIC will make sure that the City's meeting rooms across the capital are equipped with the technology required for people to attend meetings virtually. It is important for us to continue to hold in-person meetings – which is a different experience – but in-person and virtual formats are not mutually exclusive. As such, we are all in agreement on this issue, and we will continue to pursue our efforts to that end.
Extension of a bus line and municipal cycle lane to the 'Haus vun der Natur' nature activity centre and the Parc Luxite economic activity zone in Kockelscheuer
QUESTION POSED BY FRANÇOIS BENOY
At a municipal council meeting, the mayor of the municipality of Roeser announced that his municipality would be working with the City of Luxembourg to create a mixed path for pedestrians and cyclists along the CR186, from the transfer hub near the stadium to the 'Haus vun der Natur' nature activity centre, and then on to the Parc Luxite economic activity zone. The City of Luxembourg would undertake the planning and execution of the project, and the municipality of Roeser would co-fund it. The Roeser municipal councillors were also told that an AVL bus line would be extended from Cloche d'Or/Stade de Luxembourg to the Parc Luxite economic activity zone in Kockelscheuer.
Can the College of Aldermen confirm this information? What infrastructure is being planned for the cycle lane? Where exactly will it run? When will it be built? Regarding the bus connection, which line will be extended? How frequently will buses run? Which stops will be served? When will it begin operating?
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY ALDERMAN PATRICK GOLDSCHMIDT
I can confirm the two points mentioned by Councillor Benoy. At a meeting between the City of Luxembourg and the municipality of Roeser in September 2020, it was decided that a consulting firm would be hired to conduct a study with the aim of creating a mixed path for pedestrians and cyclists along the CR186 between the Parc Luxite economic activity zone in Kockelscheuer and Cloche d'Or. It was decided that the municipality of Roeser would serve as the project lead and that the City of Luxembourg would co-fund it in the amount of 50% as half of the planned cycle lane would be located in Roeser and half in the City of Luxembourg. The cycle lane will be around 1.5 kilometres long and 3.5 metres wide. There have been discussions with the Ministry of the Environment (Ministère de l’Environnement) over the last few months, and once the formalities regarding the City of Luxembourg's approval are completed, another engineering firm will be hired to plan the project in detail prior to its execution.