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On Friday, 17 May 2019, Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer and Chief Alderman Serge Wilmes announced the urban planning competition, as part of the project to develop the site currently occupied by the Josy Barthel Stadium and surrounding areas along Route d'Arlon.
"Wunnquartier Stade": A residential project in the heart of the city
The plots that fall within the scope of the competition include the site currently occupied by the Josy Barthel Stadium, a football field, a multi-purpose sports hall, tennis courts, the buildings of the Service Incendie et Ambulances (Fire and Ambulance Department) and the Service Hygiène (Sanitation Department), the Recycling Centre, a power plant, a crèche, and the building occupied by the Franciscan Sisters, including an open space on their property.
83% of the 10 hectares of property involved belongs to the City of Luxembourg, while the remaining 17% belongs to the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mercy.
The site is ideally located near the city centre and is well served by public transport, which is to be further developed by the extension of the tram system from Place de l'Etoile to Mamer. Once the "Wunnquartier Stade" project is complete, Route d'Arlon will continue to serve as one of the major traffic routes linking the capital to neighbouring municipalities to the west. To further promote active travel, plans have been made to add a bicycle lane to Route d'Arlon, as well as several vel'OH! bike share stations, and to create pedestrian and cycle routes linking the new residential district to the various parks in the vicinity (Rollingergrund, Limpertsberg, Belair).
As such, the properties are ideally suited for a mixed-use development project with a focus on housing, which is one of the top priorities for the college of the mayor and aldermen of the City of Luxembourg.
Varied and affordable housing
The ultimate purpose of the competition is to repurpose the properties by creating a residential district, offering varied and affordable housing. In addition to the housing units, the project provides for local shops, communal and leisure areas, crèches, meeting rooms, sports facilities and playgrounds, which are just some of the essential services and infrastructure that will afford residents in the district a high quality of life.
A competition in two phases with civic participation
The urban planning competition is organised in two distinct phases, with citizen participation being an essential feature: the college of the mayor and aldermen attaches great importance to reaching out to the general public to seek their suggestions, and to undertaking a project that serves their concrete needs.
Launch of a Europe-wide open call for tenders on Saturday, 18 May 2019: the call for tenders was open to qualified urban planners, who were invited to submit a draft project anonymously.
On 14 and 15 January 2020, a selection committee composed of representatives of the City of Luxembourg, the Ministry of Home Affairs (Ministère de l'intérieur), the Ministry of Housing (Ministère du logement), the Société nationale des habitations à bon marché (SNHBM), the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI) and the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters, together with a professor of Architecture from the University of Luxembourg and several international experts, chose seven projects after reviewing the files and conducting an initial assessment of the draft designs.
The chosen projects were presented to the municipal council and will be available for public consultation, on an anonymous basis, from 21 January to 1 February 2020. During this phase, the general public will be given the opportunity to play an active part in shaping the new project: citizens will be able to submit their ideas, which will then be forwarded to the participants and, as far as possible, incorporated into their projects.
Phase II of the competition will begin in March 2020 and comprises a round of paid consultations with the selected teams, whose anonymity will then be lifted.
The teams will then be invited to submit their final projects in September 2020. The second phase of the competition will close at the end of 2020 with an exhibition of the projects and the announcement of the winning team.
The winning project will serve as the basis for the preparation of a special development plan (plan d'aménagement particulier – PAP) that will be submitted to the municipal council for adoption.