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The discovery of iron ore deposits in the south of the country in the 1840s turned Luxembourg into a highly industrialised country – in the early 20th century, it was one of the six largest steel producers in the world. This industrial past has had a huge impact on Luxembourg’s economy, society and landscape.

Linking the industrial past with the city of tomorrow

The country’s last blast furnaces in Belval were closed down in 1997, and the audacious dream was born to turn the remaining brownfield site into an attractive area for living, working and studying located only 20 minutes south of the capital.

Over the past few years, the abandoned site has been turned into a bustling neighbourhood with office buildings, shops, restaurants and accommodation.

Over the past few years, the abandoned site has been turned into a bustling neighbourhood with office buildings, shops, restaurants and accommodation that will eventually grow to house 7,000 residents and 20,000 workers. Often named the City of Sciences, Belval also hosts the University of Luxembourg and several other research organisations such as the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). Innovative entrepreneurs can find office space at Technoport, the country’s oldest and very successful start-up incubator. Entrepreneurial students can join the university incubator located only a few steps away.

Cleantech Forum study visit

As part of the programme of the 2020 Cleantech Forum Europe, which will be hosted in Luxembourg from 18-20 May 2020, Luxinnovation, the national innovation agency, and its partners are organising a study visit to Belval. Participants will gain an insight into the urbanisation plans and architectural solutions that combine Belval’s industrial past with all the requirements of a modern eco-district. They will also hear about the production of sustainable steel from international engineering firm Paul Wurth and learn about LIST’s research activities in the field of smart cities.

Photo: © Tristan Schmurr

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