Foire aux questions

What measures have been taken to limit the nuisance of the construction site?

The past demolition and current soil remediation work is carried out by ArcelorMittal. This is a necessary step which, unfortunately, is difficult to make discreet. If, in spite of the precautionary measures taken, this work should disturb you, you can send your complaint to the following address: routlens@arcelormittal.com . 

IKO Real Estate's further development of the project will take place in several phases. Continuous information will be provided for each new stage of the project.

How will mobility be improved to accommodate new residents and workers?

The project includes an urban mobility plan with underground parking at the entrance to the site, which will limit the number of cars on the surface.

We are also working to encourage soft mobility as much as possible with the implementation of a high service level bus, an efficient national cycle path and a cross-border cycle path and bicycle stations within the project. Pedestrians will be given priority with, in particular, the Industrial Culture Alley. For workers, the creation of a BHNS station and the proximity of the station is an advantage. 

The parking supply will be adapted and designed according to new concepts such as shared parking, car-sharing or reversible parking. The number of parking spaces is adapted to the needs of the district in order to avoid any transfer to neighbouring districts.

What about population density? Urban density? What about aesthetics?

It is obvious that this new district is also designed to meet the growing demand for housing. The focus is on quality of life and integration into the environment. 

Thus, the new buildings are designed to occupy a small area of the ground in order to free up public space and open spaces and to limit the sealing of the ground. The site will offer several types of housing spread throughout the project. For example, we note the construction of "superimposed houses" with some "emergences" that will make the urban sequences more dynamic. Moreover, while our masterplan guarantees coherence, we will also organise architectural competitions for certain lots to guarantee architectural diversity. 

There are 2 towers for the whole site. These will be strategically located to minimise the visual impact on the environment.

The new Rout Lëns district is intended to be a neighbourhood on a human scale where life is good.

This is why a mix of functions will be ensured both during the day and in the evening, both during the week and at the weekend. This is an active and dynamic neighbourhood that will promote intergenerational diversity with the creation of a school, housing for both purchase and rental, a student residence, a seniors' residence, co-living, etc. 

The emphasis will be on meeting spaces such as community gardens, multi-purpose rooms, public squares, street furniture, etc.

What importance is given to nature and planting?

In accordance with the Nature Conservation Act, high quality and ecologically valuable biotopes were first relocated to sites of equivalent quality and then compensated.
The Rout Lëns PAP is based on the landscape and ecological approach of Phytolab, where the emphasis is on the presence of green structures (urban forests) and which is a concept with a certain ecological value. As a result, the green structures that are established will, after a certain period of development, achieve a high ecological value.
The number of trees indicated on the graphic part does not imply that the planned 700 trees will not be planted. The PAP must allow for factors of evolution as to their position in space (e.g. a lamppost, a network or a window), which is why not all of them are indicated on the plan. Nevertheless, this commitment is included in the ecopoint assessment carried out on the site as part of the environmental permits and IKO will be subject to penalties if this obligation is not met.

How can you talk about heritage preservation when you have demolished the Mollerëi?

Several studies were carried out to see whether it would be possible to retain all or part of the Mollerei.

First of all, it was a purely technical and closed concrete structure (ore silos) and therefore very difficult to convert for a new use.  The creation of a pedestrian/bike bridge from the Barbourg plateau opposite was also studied, but this proved to be technically complex, particularly in terms of the slopes to be respected.

It should be remembered that this history of local heritage began 40 years ago. That means that two generations ago, we started to destroy this factory, to dismantle it. We left behind buildings which were symbols. There were two types of building: this concrete building and all the metal halls. The urban bias, not the heritage bias, is a bias to work for future generations, that is to say to say that the buildings that we have kept and that we are going to connect them by the industrial culture alley, are buildings that are all going to find a use for the benefit not of the last workers of the factory but of their grandchildren.

We have therefore chosen to preserve the emblematic parts of this building, the metal gantries and silos. As a tribute to the original site, they are considered as one of the major elements of the industrial culture alley which is at the heart of the project.

How was the sanitation concept defined?

The City of Esch has granted permission (building permit no. 20/0221) to Arcelor Mittal, which has already undertaken the corresponding operations in accordance with the legislation in force in Luxembourg, which, unlike France or Belgium for example, does not allow for a "Risk" type approach (QSRA = Quantitative Health Risk Assessment) that would have made it possible to confine the soil in place rather than excavate it. Thus, the only possible solution in the current state of the regulations is to evacuate the contaminated soil to landfills designed for this purpose. In this case, the soil is being disposed of at the historic Arcelor Mittal landfill in Differdange. In order to ensure that these operations are carried out correctly, Arcelor Mittal has provided IKO with a protocol for the management of contaminated soil, which indicates how these operations are carried out, certified by the FONDASOL office.

In order to optimise excavation on the site, all the car parks have been built on the pockets of pollution that were identified in the preliminary studies. This avoids digging up areas where it is not necessary, and also avoids increasing the number of surface parking spaces, thus eliminating the presence of cars and offering a better quality of life and a more peaceful neighbourhood for future residents. However, these car parks can still be used for urban logistics and last mile services.

What is being done to preserve biotopes and fauna and flora? 

The project attaches great importance to the presence of nature on the site. 

To do this, we use the principle of "resurgent nature". In concrete terms, this will manifest itself, for example, through the creation of roofs dedicated to limestone lawns in order to reproduce a habitat favourable to the pyramidal orchid (a protected species identified on the site), through the creation of an urban forest in the heart of the blocks, and also through experiments in the Soufflantes and the Magasin TT, which will aim to understand the adaptation of plants to climate change by integrating other, more exotic, plants.

The project plans to plant around 700 trees with the aim of creating a forest atmosphere from the start of the operation. The trees will be of various sizes in order to encourage biodiversity. In the end, no less than 3.5 ha will be renatured!  

Compensatory and definitive measures are proposed to preserve the species identified on the site. These compensatory measures are being implemented by ArcelorMittal and will be extended by IKO Real Estate during the development phases. These include, for example, the creation of bat shelters and the construction of gabion walls that will serve as new habitats for lizards.

Will there be affordable housing?  

As the new Rout Lëns district has been identified as a priority sector for housing development in the Sector Housing Plan, 30% low-cost housing will be built on the site in order to respond to the housing crisis in Luxembourg.

In addition, a great deal of work has been done on the mix of products offered in order to be able to follow the whole residential path that people will encounter in their lives. So if you are a student, there is a student residence; you get your first job, you have the possibility of renting a flat; your means increase and you wish to become a buyer, you have the possibility of buying your first flat; the family grows, you have the possibility of buying a larger flat.
The stratification of the district allows us to guarantee this diversity with, for example, flats on the ground floor, which will certainly be in collective housing but which will have individual values with an individualised entrance and a garden.
There will also be housing on the upper floors which will allow for a life in the "trees", and then there will be housing on the upper floors which will allow for an unobstructed view of the great landscape. So, in this project, we find a particularly diversified offer which allows us to meet everyone's needs.

How will the district fit in with the existing districts? Will it not become enclosed or compete with the existing area?

The project has been designed to promote the harmonious integration of the new district with the existing districts. 

The calm of the Hiehl/Grenz neighbourhoods will be preserved and the new configuration will even allow them to be better connected to the city, particularly on foot and by bicycle via a temporary footbridge, while the future high service level bus line (BHNS) is being developed.

Rout Lëns will also extend the city centre of Esch. Its programming will be complementary to the shopping streets of the city centre and in particular the Rue de l'Alzette. The type of shops in the district will be different, with, for example, local shops focusing on short circuits (urban farming). The aim is not to create a new shopping centre, but rather to create a local offer and an urban district where life is good.

What facilities are planned within the project?

The project includes a school group for everyone. This was integrated with the City of Esch-sur-Alzette from the start of the project and will be located at the entrance to the site so as to link all the districts together. It will include a school, a halfway house, a crèche and a gymnasium

In the immediate vicinity of the site and at the heart of the project, there will be a number of sports and leisure facilities to complement this offer (football stadium, fencing hall, music conservatory, etc.)

Share your ideas and desires for the new Rout Lëns district!