Rout Lëns, Esch-sur-Alzette’s friendly new neighbourhood

Esch-sur-Alzette is the second biggest town in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with 36,000 inhabitants (2020). The urban conglomeration doubles its population every day by welcoming border workers from France, Germany and Belgium.

It is estimated that 65,000 people will be living in Esch in 2050 (220,000 if we count the whole canton). New facilities are being built to meet this growing demand. For example, a new hospital (CHEM) is planned for 2026.

Rout Lëns fits in perfectly with this dynamic, thanks to its 1,428 homes!

It is ideally located

  • 15
    minutes on foot from Esch train station
  • 5
    minutes from Esch-Belval by train
  • 25
    minutes from Luxembourg by train
  • 22
    minutes from Luxembourg city by car
  • 45
    minutes from Metz by car
  • 16
    minutes on foot from the city hall

An historic new neighbourhood that it’s a please to live in, perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Esch-sur-Alzette’s new neighbourhood builds a bridge between the past and the future, between the urban space and nature. The economic activity based here when it was a “mining basin” is a powerful source of inspiration for this new project.

Supported by this unique industrial heritage, urban planning and architecture are working together to make Rout Lëns a model of resilience and to design a bright future for the area.

Rout Lëns is an extension of the centre of Esch-sur-Alzette. One of its goals is to strengthen the links with the town.

The Allée de la Culture Industrielle, which provides the structure for the whole project, is the iconic avenue for this new cornerstone of the Luxembourg landscape. Fully pedestrianised, it connects the site’s industrial heritage buildings to one another. It thus glorifies what is left of the past, offering them to inhabitants and visitors in the form of welcoming, multipurpose spaces.

The new neighbourhood is designed to connect to its immediate environment, whether built or natural. It is an extension of what is already there. The tree-lined paths wind between the buildings, symbolising the deep connections that bind them together. Playing with light and shade, they offer residents sheltered routes to stroll along and encourage soft mobility.

A friendly neighbourhood with multiple roles

With 131,628m² (81%) of its building area dedicated to accommodation, Rout Lëns meets both local and national needs. However, there is absolutely no question of turning it into nothing more than a commuter town!

That’s why

  • 13,778m² are destined to be used for a school, community services and public services.
  • 9,814m² will be used for shops and private services.
  • 8,006m² have been set aside for offices and shared work spaces.
Find out more about the vision

They say that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and the same is true for Rout Lëns.

The ambitious project has been carefully thought through and planned in sequence. This means that some parts will be fully functional and habitable without having to wait for the end of the whole project, which is due to be completed in 2035. The first accommodation units are expected to be delivered in 2025.

Find out more about the phases

People at the heart of Luxembourg’s new neighbourhood

As with all of our real estate projects, at IKO, we make sure that we putpeople first!

We implement innovative, sustainable solutions to make sure that the living environments we create today will be just as enjoyable and suitable for future generations.

From the first sketch to the last brick, we are building Rout Lëns for you, with this philosophy!

Find out more about IKO Real Estate

Questions about the neighbourhood

  • Obviously this new neighbourhood is also designed to meet the growing demand for housing. The focus is on quality of life as well as on integration into the environment. This means that new buildings are designed to occupy a small surface area in order to free up public space and open spaces and limit soil sealing. The site will offer a number of different housing options, distributed throughout the project. You will see, for example, that there will be “overlapping houses” with some “Émergences” accommodation, “emerging” from the ground and livening up the landscape. As well as this, although our masterplan guarantees a level of consistency, we will also be organising architectural competitions for some plots to ensure architectural diversity. There are 2 tower blocks for the whole site. These will be strategically located to minimise their visual impact on the environment. The new Rout Lëns neighbourhood is destined to become a friendly, enjoyable place to life. That’s why there will be a range of things to do, both during the day and in the evening, and as much during the week as at the weekend. It will be an active, vibrant neighbourhood that will promote intergenerational diversity with a new school, homes available for sale and to let, student accommodation, a retirement home and co-living. The emphasis will be on shared spaces such as community gardens, multi-purpose rooms, public squares, urban furniture etc.
  • The new Rout Lëns neighbourhood has been identified as a priority sector for housing developments in the Housing Plan, so 30% of the housing built on the site will be low-cost in order to respond to Luxembourg’s housing crisis. In addition to this, a huge amount of work has been done on the variety of solutions offered in order to cover all accommodation needs that people will have throughout their lives. So there is accommodation for students; when you get your first job, you will be able to rent an apartment; you start earning more and want to get on the property ladder, so you can buy your first apartment; you start a family, which grows, and then you’ll be able to buy somewhere bigger. The different layers of the neighbourhood mean that we can offer this diversity. So for example, there will be ground-floor apartments, which will be in collective dwellings, but which will be designed for individuals, with a private entrance and a garden. There will also be housing on the higher floors, offering inhabitants the chance to live among the trees. Then there will be apartments on the top floors, where residents will be able to enjoy unobstructed views of the wonderful landscape. So this project is offering a particularly diverse range of solutions, thus meeting everybody’s different needs.
  • Among other things, the project includes a school complex for everybody’s benefit. Working with the Esch-sur-Alzette municipal authorities, this was included from the very start of the project, and will be located at the entrance to the site so that it will connect all the neighbourhoods with each other. It will include a school, a day care centre, a crèche and a gym. Right next to the site, and at the heart of the project, there will be a number of sports and leisure facilities that will complement this offering (football stadium, fencing room, music conservatory etc.)
  • The project has been designed to make sure that the new neighbourhood fits in harmoniously with existing residential areas. The peace and quiet of the Hiehl/Grenz neighbourhoods will be preserved and the new configuration will even offer them better links with town, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, thanks to a temporary footbridge, while the future Bus Rapid Transit line (BRT) is being built. Rout Lëns will also extend the centre of Esch. The shops and businesses it will house will complement those found in the town centre, and in particular on Rue de l’Alzette. The type of shops and businesses in the new neighbourhood will be different, including, for example, local stores focusing on short supply chains (urban farming). It’s not about building a new shopping centre, but rather a local community of shops and businesses, and an urban neighbourhood that it’s a pleasure to live in.

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