Actions putting the Territorial Agenda into practice

Cross-border spatial planning

Cross-Border Spatial Planning: A vision for a cross-border functional region

Cross-border spatial planningThe Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg is currently revising the Master Programme for Spatial Planning. This new version of the main spatial planning document will include guidelines for the near- to medium-term future development of the Luxembourgish territory (time horizon 2035) and strategic orientations for its long-term future development (time horizon 2050).

As an input for these strategic orientations, the Ministry wants to develop a territorial vision for the ecological transition of the cross-border functional region of Luxembourg until 2050 based on the principles of decarbonisation and resilience in a process called ‘Luxembourg in Transition’. Showcasing this process, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg would like to set up a Pilot Action to initiate a mutual learning process with partners from across Europe and allow for the transfer of this specific methodology of cross-border territorial visioning in other cross-border regions.


Rationale and link to Territorial Agenda

The pilot action based on ‘Luxembourg in Transition’ consists of a learning process. It allows for the transfer of a methodology for cross-border territorial visioning to other areas in Europe. The visioning process as well as the pilot action contribute to the priority of ‘Integration beyond borders’. With the thematic focus of decarbonisation and resilience, it furthermore aims at aligning spatial policy with the European Green Deal and the Just Transition Mechanism, thus contributing to the priority of ‘Healthy environment’.

Together with stakeholders from the cross-border region, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning launched the ‘Luxembourg in Transition’ process in October 2020. It is based on a cooperative competition with 10 international multidisciplinary expert teams developing territorial visions and implementation strategies with concrete projects for a decarbonised resilient cross-border functional region in 2050. After a methodological framework has been established (Oct. 2020 – Jan. 2021), it will be adapted to the territorial context of cross-border functional region (Jan. 2021 – June 2021). Finally, a coherent vision with demonstration projects will be developed (June 2021 – Dec. 2021). Public participation plays a vital role throughout the whole process, with a citizen committee involved in the decision-making process. Key questions are:

  • How to develop a joint territorial vision for the cross-border functional region based on soft territorial cooperation?
  • How to translate a cross-border territorial vision into concrete objectives, strategies and measures on both sides of the border?
  • How to tackle decarbonisation and resilience in a cross-border context?

Envisaged activities

The pilot action is going to run in two main phases, each with specific activities:

  • Phase 1 (Dec. 2020 – Feb. 2022): The objective of this phase is for partners to exchange, comment on, and learn from the methodology. While this territorial visioning process is ongoing, the Ministry will share relevant documents with the partners, present the different steps of the process and organise regular (online) meetings to discuss them. This will give partners an opportunity to critically assess this territorial visioning process.
  • Phase 2 (Feb. 2022 – Dec. 2022): Based on the lessons learnt, partners are invited to develop a short guidance note for the potential transfer of the methodology. The guidance note will describe the different steps of the process and offer lessons for implementation. One possibility is to present this guidance note at a closing event or conference on cross-border territorial visioning.

Envisaged lessons and results

The idea of the pilot action is to share experiences and facilitate the transfer of the methodology of ‘Luxembourg in Transition’. The central output will be a short guidance note concerning the potential transfer of the methodology. Ideally, the experiences, lessons and exchanges from this process could motivate the development of cross-border territorial visions for decarbonisation in other parts of Europe.


Envisaged dissemination

General information on the process of ‘Luxembourg in Transition’ is available on the website https://luxembourgintransition.lu. While the process is ongoing, the responsible Ministry will share relevant documents with all partners. The guidance note concerning the potential transfer of the methodology of ‘Luxembourg in Transition’ should be disseminated on a broad basis and could be presented at a closing event or conference on cross-border territorial visioning.


Time planning

The pilot action is going to run in two phases from March 2021 until December 2022. The Kick-off Meeting took place on 26 March 2021 and the Second Meeting on 7 May 2021.


Resources

Depending on the situation in relation to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, the costs for partners could, for instance, include travel costs for attending a meeting or a site visit. It will be attempted to avoid incurring other costs.


Indicative partners

In the framework of ‘Luxembourg in Transition’, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg works closely together with stakeholders from Luxembourg as well the neighbouring countries of Belgium, France and Germany. For the pilot action, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg would like to set up a partnership with interested parties from other countries at the local, regional, national, cross-border or transnational level.

Partners include: The European Commission (DG Regio), the European Committee of the Regions, the Benelux Union, Switzerland (Federal Office for Spatial Development), Rhineland-Palatinate (Ministry of the Interior and Sports), the EGTC Eurorégion Nouvelle Aquitaine-Euskadi-Navarre, the EGTC Euregio Meuse-Rhine”, the Kommunalgemeinschaft Europaregion POMERANIA e.V., the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI), the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.


Lead stakeholder

Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, Luxembourg
Frederick-Christoph Richters (frederick-christoph.richters@mat.etat.lu)


Key messages/ results/ updates

“Luxembourg in Transition” is a competitive process that brings together 10 international expert teams developing territorial visions and implementation strategies for the ecological transition of the cross-border functional region of Luxembourg until 2050. General information on the process of ‘Luxembourg in Transition’ is available on the website https://luxembourgintransition.lu

The main goals of the Pilot Action “Cross-Border Spatial Planning: A vision for a cross-border functional region” are to:

  • Share the methodology of the “Luxembourg in Transition” process and inspire its transfer with (cross-border) partners from across Europe and
  • Discuss the challenges of cross-border spatial planning in relation with the ecological transition.

The Pilot Action is aimed at the local and regional level in a cross-border dimension with a focus on the topics of decarbonisation, resilience and cooperation in (cross-border) functional regions.

The kick-off meeting has started a mutual learning and sharing process that  will last until February 2022. The main output of the first phase will be the presentation of the methodology and results of the “Luxembourg in Transition” process and a critical exchange with partners that, in the second phase, is meant to result in a transfer guide.

7th May Second meeting of the Pilot Action
Date (Jan-Jun 2021) Main Activities
18th February Participation in the ESPON Joint session Pilots LAB TA2030, promoted by PT PRES & ESPON
16th March Participation in the event “Territorial Cooperation Agenda 2030: Bringing Territoriality into Interreg”, promoted by Interact
25th March Participation in the event “Territorial Agenda 2030: a future for all places, a future for rural areas”, integrated in the ‘Rural Vision Week: Imagining the future of Europe’s and promoted by PT PRES
26th March Kick-off meeting of the Pilot Action
6th May Participation in the pilot action “A future for lagging regions: fostering the implementation of spatial strategies” kick-off event “Putting the Territorial Agenda 2030 into practice”, promoted by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and the German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)
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