28 November, 2021

SOUNDWALKS -- Walking, listening and recomposing everyday sounds of Esch-sur-Alzette

An exploration offered by Trond Maag and Andres Bosshard

Tuesday, 7th December, 14h30 -- Esch-sur-Alzette, Hôtel de Ville

This is a special offer to the students of MArch (Master in Architecture) and MaGeo (Master in Geography & Spatial Planning) @ uni.lu

Walking, Listening and Recomposing Everyday Sounds of Esch comprise three routes to discover the art of sound walking, exploring a specific topic characteristic for Esch's identity and development: City stories for the ear unearths the garden city's acoustic legacy and introduces visitors to contemporary strategies for making cities greener. Memories of the blue noise draws attention to the broken and obscured noises and sounds of the river Alzette, which flows underground the city squares. Fading thunders of Belval immerses visitors in immense dimensions of steel structures contrasting with expansive brick walls, monstrous cranes, and labyrinths of giant pipes that shape and direct today's everyday sounds.

We will explore the route “City stories for the ear” to unfold some of Esch’ sounds and their relationship to architecture, planning, urban design and public engagement. Brief introduction and first listening impressions, 30’ Exploring and working in small groups how sound and urban space interrelate, 50’ - Short break - Presenting and discussing observations and results, 50’.

Would you mind bringing tools such as paper, pencils, cameras, and smartphones to write / record / photograph / draw your observations?

Trond Maag, urbanist, and Andres Bosshard, sound architect, collaborate with planners and architects on different projects on the subject of urban sound. Their working practice involves active listening combined with walks within urban design processes. They are currently preparing sound experience walks through Belval and Esch as part of Esch2022.

Pls find here a few more pics from our walk. Urban acoustic exploration indeed provides a distinct sense of the materialities of the urban built environment, different ways of how to perceive the city, and may also give some important hints as to urban practices: urban layout, density, street design. What is also striking is the legacy of good urban planning provided by figures such as Joseph Stübben.

More information about the project is available here:



09 November, 2021


Geographers have unique opportunities and responsibilities in the face of the global biodiversity and climate crises. Geography is a discipline that is uniquely located at the intersection of the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. This equips geographers to be adept systems-thinkers and interdisciplinarians. It is furthermore an applied knowledge, focused above all on the state of our planet and our relationships with it. All of this makes the learning, teaching, and practice of geography centrally relevant to the closely-linked challenges of the global climate and biodiversity crises.

Geographers can do much more than present an analysis of these challenges. They also have a vantage point from which they can point to the kinds of thought and action that can deliver a better tomorrow for every person on Earth.

This October and November will see some of the most consequential weeks in terms of humanity’s collective relationship with planet Earth. In October the world’s governments will come together to confront the continuing dramatic loss of species and their habitats—the biodiversity crisis—compounded as it is by the accumulating impacts of climate change. It is hoped that the meeting will set the stage for ambitious new targets for the global conservation of nature out to 2030.

Around the same time, in Milan, Italy, and then, for two weeks in November, in Glasgow, Scotland, governments will reconvene to confront the existential challenge of climate change. It is widely hoped and expected that the meeting will set enhanced and more urgent reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions out to 2030, as well as mandating a critical role for nature in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Geographers, whether as students, researchers, educators, writers, explorers, practitioners in business or policy, or as engaged and curious travellers, encourage our leaders to make ambitious commitments to place the protection of nature and a liveable climate at the centre of the world’s economics and politics at this critical juncture.

Accordingly, we pledge that our institutions will redouble our efforts to apply the unique attributes that are the hallmark of the learning, teaching, and practice of geography to the global environmental challenges that have drawn together the world’s governments to these vital meetings this year. We commit to doing all that we can to apply geography’s potent capabilities to the task of making the coming decade one of hope and of positive action.

Adopted from The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, https://rcgs.org/about/news-releases/declaration-of-the-global-geography-community-on-the-biodiversity-and-climate-crises/

02 November, 2021

Best Paper Award for the Regional Studies Association eZine Regions

It was a great pleasure yesterday to meet Eduardo Oliveira, Klara Sobekova, Alex Holmes, Robert Bowen, Stefania Florentino, Michael Short and Nicola Livingstone at the online awards ceremony of the Regional Studies Association (RSA).  


Markus and I are amazed to learn that out paper Sidewalk Labs closed down – whither Google’s smart city was elected as one of two winners of the 2021, Regional Studies Association Best Paper Award for our eZine Regions.  Thank you RSA!