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Regenerative Sustainable Development of Universities and Cities

Regenerative Sustainable Development of Universities and Cities

The Role of Living Laboratories

Edited by Ariane König

Now that the Earth has reached the limits of its biophysical carrying capacity, we have to change technologies, social practices and social norms relating to material production and consumption to ensure that we do not further jeopardize the functioning of our planet’s life support systems. Through research, education and civic engagement, universities have a pivotal role to play in this transition. This timely book explores how universities are establishing living laboratories for sustainable development, and examines the communication networks and knowledge infrastructures that underpin impact both on and beyond the campus.

Chapter 13: Building a sustainable university from scratch: anticipating the urban, regional and planning dimension of the ‘Cité des Sciences Belval’ in Esch-sur-Alzette and Sanem, Luxembourg

Tom Becker and Markus Hesse

Subjects: education, education policy, geography, cities, politics and public policy, education policy, social policy and sociology, education policy, urban and regional studies, cities


This chapter discusses the case of the University of Luxembourg, which is currently constructing a new university campus on a brownfield site located on the territory of Esch and Sanem (Belval). Whereas a lot of research has been done on the contribution of universities and research institutions in creating knowledge economies in cities and regions, and these contributions cast a certain light on how innovation, technology transfer and creativity can generate wealth and economic competitiveness in a city or a region, universities can also contribute to the redevelopment of a given territory. Hence, this chapter addresses two different perspectives: the regional economic, ‘knowledge-based’ development perspective, on the one hand, and particularly the urban development and planning dimension, on the other. In terms of regional economic, ‘knowledge-based’ development, there exist high hopes concerning job creation, wealth and innovation, not only for a specialized few (those who will be working there) but also in broader terms of urban and regional impact.

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