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Cultures, Communities and Design

Protecting, Integrating & Allocating Agriculture in Urban Design and Planning Using Luxembourg as a Case Study
I. Weichold
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


This paper concerns a renewed dialogue between the urban and agriculture and their manifestation in urban design and planning. Luxembourg, a country with a rapid economic and demographic growth rate and an ambitious agricultural agenda, has been chosen as an example for examining this complex area. Though the Luxembourg region has recently been subject to various sustainable, governmental development studies (Rifken report 2015, National Urban Farming strategy 2019 and Luxembourg in Transition competition 2020), spatial-urban planning and agriculture remain largely separately. This project focuses on these subjects based on the conviction that planning should be rethought from an agricultural perspective under the current ecological crisis. Thereby, it introduces the notion of an Agri-Urban Design that aims to develop land instead of against the agricultural landscape. This hypothesis questions the existing dichotomy of built and non-built land to imagine a new form of design, an Agri-Urban Design. One of the reasons to do this is to define a common definition between the scales of development to avoid business-as-usual development. In order to verify this hypothesis, this paper is unfolding around three tiers: Land & Soil, Space and Governance. The goals are to understand and explore i.) Luxembourg’s land development by respecting agriculture and its physical condition of landscape and soil fertility ii.) Implementation and sustained governance in the planning trajectory. Against this background, the development of a holistic multi-scalar and interdisciplinary research design was necessary, which underlines the complexity of the different strands of urban and agricultural. Applied research with a mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative studies was chosen for this research study. However, this paper tries not to give a blueprint solution. Instead, it takes Luxembourg developing landscape as an opportunity to define a new planning strategy, which incorporates and accommodates the conflictual conditions between ecology and urbanism, all combined in an Agri-Urban Design. In this regard, this paper will offer a new perspective of an Agri-Urban portrait of Luxembourg with prospective developments in such a direction.


Dr. Ivonne Weichold is an architect and urbanist working in the intersection of architecture, urban and territorial design. Her research breaks open the duality of thinking in urban and rural environments to investigate the role of agricultural land, production and planning in wealthy economies. She completed a PhD at the University of Luxembourg, where she is also working as a lecturer in the programme Architecture, European Urbanization and Globalization. As an Architect and Urbanist, she has worked on different scale projects in Belgium and Germany for over a decade.