26 October, 2017

FCAT - finding the relationships

Steinsel, photo from Constance Carr
I had fun guest lecturing to future Luxembourgish planners, architects, and urbanists at the School of Geography and Architecture's certificate course, "Formation continue en aménagement du territoire" (FCAT). The best part was discussing how the landscape emerging at Hamilius Station is related to landscapes beyond the city, such as Steinsel (above). Of course, one could extend the discussion to how these two landscapes are related to those beyond the national border, as Christmann's (2017) dissertation has demonstrated.

23 October, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Nathalie Christmann

Congratulations to Nathalie Christmann who successfully defended her dissertation on October 19th entitled, "Wohnmobilität in der Großregion ­ eine interurbane Diskursanalyse mit Fokus auf den Städten Arlon, Thionville und Trier,"  ("Residential mobility in the Greater Region - An interurban discourse analysis with focus on the cities of Arlon, Thionville and Trier").  Her work delivers important lessons in border studies and transnationalism with regards to labour movements in cross border agglomerations.  Her work will soon feature on science.lu in Luxembourgish with English subtitles.

Effects of residential mobility that is moulding uneven development in border regions can be perceived very differently by city councils, planners and local populations. This research focuses on the perceptions of population mobility and housing in the Greater Region, a transnational cross-border polycentric region in western Europe. Recent economic development of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has called for a constant expansion of the labour market, attracting cross-border commuters, and highly mobile professional elites. The concomitant rises in property prices as well as the extreme housing shortages in Luxembourg have led to an expansion of the housing market into the border regions. So far, studies have mostly dealt with the socio-demographic characteristics of the transmigrants. This research aims to detect people’s perceptions of the phenomenon by applying a discourse analysis, and thus aims to trigger an increasing awareness of the various dimensions concerning the emerging transnational housing market.

Sitting on her panel were Prof. Dr. Markus Hesse, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Sailer, Prof. Dr. Birte Nienaber, Associate Prof., ph.d. Martin Klatt, und Prof. Dr. Christian Schulz

Congratulations Dr. Christmann!

19 October, 2017

Reconstructing the Hypercentre - Documenting Hamilius Part II

photo from Dr. Nathalie Christmann
The construction site at Hamilius has become a regular pit stop on the tour of the City of Luxembourg that first year Master students in our Geography and Spatial Planning program take. This year, in preparation, I dug up some media concerning the site.

   This entry may be seen as a follow-up to a previous blog entry "When the Heart Went" (April 2015) where I published a short photo essay of some of the graffiti art that was dismantled before construction began. There I also provided a link to a Luxembourgish film, "Hamilius," that documented the underground art scene that used to gather in the passageways underneath the bus station. More on this can be found with a simple search of skater/hip hop/breakdance/Hamilius in youtube. A couple of examples are Here or Here. While on the topic, it can also be noted that since construction began, the new Skatepark Peitruss has opened. While it certainly looks "impressive" and well supplied, I am curious to what degree this was a satisfying replacement. 

   The following list of articles focus conflicts around the construction site since 2015. This is by no means an exhaustive list of articles (One might notice the lack of German language articles, for example!!). But some of the general discourses can be reconstructed, and some of the primary stakeholders can be identified.  Following the list of newspapers and communications is also a list of web addresses of some of the main stakeholders of the site.

Newspaper Articles and Communications

Websites of some stakeholders

  • Before construction, the Ville de Luxembourg either owned or was able to buy many of the properties currently under construction.  The City's website has plenty of videos to watch on the.

  • The Real Estate Developer in charge of the site is Codic. More info here.

  • Giogetti is one of the real estate developer that lost the bid, and then later bought 40% of the units at 49 Blvd Royal.
  • The Foster + Partners were the (Star)chitects who won the design competition. Click around this site and notice that they have a knack for opulence being famous for signature projects such as the Reichstag in Berlin, the Great Court at the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the headquarters of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Al Faisaliah Centre in Riyadh, or The One in Toronto (the upcoming tallest building in Canada).....and they claim a "sustainable approach to architecture".
  • Back at 49, Boulevard Royal L-2449 Luxembourg, there are still some businesses in operation. See Institut-Royal