29 November, 2023

'This country is punching ...' Lecture documentation

As already mentioned in the previous blog-post, I was invited to give a lecture on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the University of Luxembourg. It was held on Thursday, 23rd November 2023, at Campus Belval in the Black Box of the MSH. This was a nice event visited by about 50 people, among them colleagues, students, and also a number of guests from outside the University.

(c) Olga Kryvets

I have documented the talk in a script that, for technical reasons, is stored for download on the University's repository orbilu.uni.lu (HERE). The text has largely remained in the form of its oral presentation, aiming to provide an overview of some key development dynamics and conflicts of the country. While sticking to the scientific method of providing a solid question, making empirical cases and also deriving robust conclusions, I tried my best to speak to the interested reader and the general public as well.

For further reading and sense-making, there is a number of sources mentioned at the end of the paper, which are all available on the repository. As a publicly funded institution, we are committed to inform the public, so feel free to consult our writings. (In my case, this includes both academic journal papers and book chapters, but also a range of shorter articles deliberately written for the interested public and the readers of magazines and media outlets such as 'forum', 'Letzëbuerger Land', 'ons stad', or 'Luxemburger Wort'.)

And for sure, we certainly speak to institutions outside of academia, to politics and practice about these and other issues as well, if this is desired.

12 November, 2023

'This country is punching far beyond its weight'-- Lecture on the occasion of uni.lu@20

Colleagues, students and the interested public are invited to this talk on behalf of the UL celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is one of the contributions selected from the Faculty of Humanities, and we are happy that this proposal coming from the Dept. of Geography & Spatial Planning was selected as well. 
    The quote in the title comes from an expert interview in recent research. It illustrates the foundational fact that Luxembourg has considerably more economic power and dynamism that its size and institutional set-up would allow to accommodate to. This is the basic problem that runs through all development and planning conflicts, reinforced by institutional and procedural complexity and inertia. Appropriate strategies need to be structural. However, current practice is constrained by three different sorts of illusion: a growth illusion; a steering illusion; and a sustainability illusion. The lecture will close by reflecting upon some thoughts on how to address structural challenges.
    The talk could be assumed as a menu composed of four courses. The ‘amuse geul’ (S1) includes a short note on where I obtained the knowledge that allows for to make today’s argument (aka my lenses). The 'entrée' (S2) refers to the work others have been doing on related subject matters in most general terms (aka theory). S3 may comprise the main course: the specificities of Luxembourg’s development trajectory, the dark side of being small-but-global, and the governance illusions that seem pertinent when it comes to policy & planning discourses. As to the dessert (S4), I know that I cannot finish this exercise without addressing what could, or should, be done in order to improve the real-world situation. I remain pretty cautious and won’t present solutions. Instead, I will name a few important requirements that need to be set in place, before one may think about anything that promises to resolve the underlying issues.
    Entrance is free (of course), but the organisers would like to see participants register in advance. This can be done HERE.

Markus Hesse

10 November, 2023

A podcast about Luxembourg for our swedish readers










Last October, Carr had the pleasure of greeting Håkan Forsell and Dan Hallemar in Luxembourg as they expand their catalogue of cities under exploration for their podcast, Staden Podcast. Swedish listeners can tune in here: https://www.stadenpodcast.se/avsnitt/luxemburg