Decarb Lux! Towards Territorial Transition – Transforming Luxemburg into a Zero-Carbon Nation

Why (relevance):
Decarb Lux! explores spatial strategies, concepts, and approaches for shaping large-scale transnational developments in architecture and urban planning towards decarbonization and ecological transition. We will investigate the interactions between urban and ecological (resource-related) systems and explore potentials to counter the threats posed by climate change and a potentially ensuing social crisis.

Where (study object):
Luxemburg is a country on the scale of a metropolitan region, known for its carbon addiction, with the cheapest fuel prices in Europe, the largest gas station in the world, a territory characterized by suburbanization, shopping malls and tax breaks that drew purchasing power away from its larger neighboring countries. Yet recently, Luxemburg has been aiming for radical change: The country plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050. It has raised fuel prices and is offering free public transportation throughout the country. Against this backdrop, the ambitious, internationally tendered state project ‘Luxemburg in transition’ was launched in 2021.

How (methodology and class structure):
Six notions of territorial transition – territory, scale, transition, resources, platform and uncertainty – are introduced and discussed. In addition, comparable large-scale, international reference projects of territorial transition will be presented by external experts. By review 1 and prior to the field trip, groups of 2-3 students will explore and map different pathways to a decarbonized territory, e.g., a radical redistribution of infrastructures or a zero net land artificialization. By review 2, these pathways will be individually translated into concrete spatial interventions.

What (assignments):
The outcome of the group work is a mapping of the current situation and the formulation of future development strategies for each selected transition pathway at the territorial level. The results of the individual work will be defined together with the students in terms of scale, scope and level of detail, as well as the representation techniques.

When (schedule):
The studio consists of in-person meetings and video tutoring during the remote weeks. Instruction hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-6 p.m. (GMT-4), unless otherwise arranged with students. A field trip to Luxembourg is tentatively scheduled. There are two midterm meetings with invited guests.