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Established in 2010, the CIPU (Cellule d’Information pour la Politique Urbaine, Information Unit for Urban Policy) is a platform for exchange between a multitude of local, national and European players on different urban policy topics.

It is the result of a partnership between the cities of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette and Dudelange, the Ministry of Housing and the Department of Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning.

Many other stakeholders are involved in its work: in addition to the country’s largest municipalities and some ministries, there are public promoters (SNHBM, Fonds du Logement, Agora, Fonds Kirchberg…), Syvicol and representatives of private urban planning offices that are members of AULA (Aménageurs & Urbanistes du Luxembourg) and OAI (Ordre des Architectes et Ingénieurs-Conseils).

Each year, the work of the ICPU focuses on a specific theme. After the theme of affordable housing in 2018, this year’s work is concentrated on urban policy. “We held a first workshop on 9 May, during which we looked at the best ways to organise the planning of major urban projects,” explains Lex Faber, partner and urban planner at the Zeyen+Baumann design office, in charge of coordinating CIPU. “We then identified four avenues for reflection, one of which concerned innovation. This is why we invited Luxinnovation to participate in the second workshop which took place at the beginning of October. We wanted to consider this theme as broadly as possible, including methods and processes.”

Exchanges, brainstorming, information structuring… the stakeholders were proactive, to say the least. “Bringing together stakeholders around a table and setting up such ideation processes, including the exploitation and restitution of data, is part of our role as a cluster. It is all done for the benefit of eco-districts,” comments Charles-Albert Florentin, manager of the Luxembourg CleanTech Cluster at Luxinnovation.

See you on 28 November

In the end, four working groups were set up around the themes of urban planning and buildings, green spaces, infrastructure and mobility, with innovation as the guiding principle of all these aspects.

“The proposals that have been formulated are of course different according to the background of the various players. However, a common ground has emerged: the importance for any project to take its time to organise its processes, and not to want to save time at the wrong moment. It is also necessary to involve all the players concerned as soon as possible and to make available the necessary resources to properly manage the projects. We must not give in to stress or pressure, otherwise there is a great risk of wasting time and missing opportunities to integrate innovative aspects that are essential to the project,” says Mr Faber.

“Having to make improvements on an existing project is particularly difficult,” confirms Mr Florentin. “It is essential to be able to share thoughts well in advance of the project launch, for example on the establishment and management of green spaces and sustainability aspects such as water, energy and waste issues, as well as on the circular approaches to be considered.”

All the work done during these two workshops will be presented at a public conference to be held on 28 November at the Forum DaVinci (from 16:30 to 19:00). Recommendations will then be issued to all professionals to make the processes even more efficient. “We are a platform for discussion and exchange,” says Mr Faber. “We will not be in charge of implementing these recommendations.”

Photos: Cipu

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