Luxembourg is in transition, and not just because we say so, because of the Paris agreements or because of COVID-19. Luxembourg’s future is uncertain because the world’s future is – the way we’re currently organising, handling and viewing our energy, mobility, water, waste and food systems is no longer sustainable. DRIFT is part of a consortium co-creating spatial visions for the zero-carbon and resilient future of the Luxembourg functional region (Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Germany), and we’ve just become one of the six finalists still in the running to create the strategic plan!
The CO2 levels of our fossil-fuel-based economy are just one of the symptoms of the unsustainability of our societal systems. Shocks like COVID-19 forced Luxembourg to reckon with these dependencies. At the same time, sustainability transitions are already well underway. Diverse societal actors are increasingly aware of the urgency for fundamental change and are developing alternative initiatives. Like the car-free communities transforming their streets to outdoor living rooms, where children can play safely and parking places become green oases for biodiversity.
The Department of Spatial Planning of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning recognises that conventional planning approaches will not suffice in these times of transition. So they commissioned an urban-architectural and landscape consultation to illustrate how spatial design and planning can facilitate a transition towards a zero-carbon emission and a resilient society in 2050. Including external expertise helps expand your perspective on transitions and challenge biased and short-sighted practice, like the exclusive focus on the CO2 neutrality, which is but one of the many aspect of a regenerative resilient future for the region.
DRIFT joined a consortium tackling this challenge, led by MVRDV and including various other landscape, design, and transition governance experts: H+N+S Landscape Architects, Deltares, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Goudappel, and the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente. We will deliver and start to implement a process design to support the emerging alternatives to become the norm and phase out unsustainable practices.
This consortium believes that our role as experts and designers must also change due to transition dynamics at play. Our methodology is co-produced and forms the starting point of a co-production process with local actors. We aim to facilitate the transfer of this approach as part of the upcoming phases. We see our role as follows: visualizing the ‘how’ of the transition towards a regenerative and resilient Luxembourg functional region, supplementing this with metrics, and sketching trade-offs in terms of positive and negative impact (as food, energy, water, mobility, and waste systems are all in transition at the same time, so what’s good for one system may not be great for another). In our proposed methodology, we illustrate that the actions, metrics, and governance can be included in one co-production process that, by engaging societal actors, will accelerate the transition of the region.
Would you like to know more, or discuss spatial design and transitions in relation to organisation or region? Contact Marleen Lodder.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://drift.eur.nl/beyond-luxe-zero-carbon-resilient-luxembourg-finals/