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Esch transforms steelwork site into new housing area

Esch transforms steelwork site into new housing area

Project will be home to 3,500 residents but also have a school, shops and offices
The project, named Rout Lëns, will be built on a 20,000 square metre area in Esch-sur-Alzette
The project, named Rout Lëns, will be built on a 20,000 square metre area in Esch-sur-Alzette
Photo credit: Illustration: Iko/LW-Archiv

By Raymond Schmit and Heledd Pritchard

Luxembourg’s second-largest city will add more than 1,700 housing units at a former steelwork site, as the country's south distances itself from its industrial past in favour of measures to ease a devastating housing crisis.

The project in Esch-sur-Alzette, named Rout Lëns, will arise on a 20,000 square metre area, where blast furnaces and a steelwork factory once stood.

Luxembourg would need to build close to 7,500 additional properties annually between now and 2026 to keep on top of rising demand, a report by Luxembourg think-tank Fondation Idea found last month, warning that the country's housing crisis could worsen significantly.  

Around 80% of the area will host housing, with the 1,700 units expected to be home to up to 3,700 people, developer Iko Real Estate told the Luxemburger Wort. There are also plans for a residence for the elderly, and student housing.

Illustration: Iko/LW-Archiv

The project also includes a new school for 460 children, while almost 10,000 square metres have been put aside for shops and 8,000 square metres for offices. There will be 1,000 trees in the area.

Illustration: Iko/LW-Archiv

Southern Luxembourg is rapidly emancipating from its grimy industrial past, with several new projects springing from the ground. Differdange, home to Luxembourg’s most productive steel mill, has seen its first high-rise tower go up near the train station.

Esch-sur-Alzette, the second-largest city in the country, has managed to keep its working-class character but yet has become the country’s foremost research hub, because of the presence of the University of Luxembourg, several research institutes and a raft of innovative companies.

Photo: Raymond Schmit

Building works at the new Rout Lëns district will begin next year and residents are expected to move in to the area by 2026.

A terrace has been installed over the summer and until the 11 September for people to view the plans. There will be food trucks on Sunday afternoons and some cultural exhibitions.

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