Countries: Luxembourg , France
Regions concerned: Lorraine region (France); Canton of Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg)

A large project is underway in the SaarLorLux Greater Region: the development of a major new centre for jobs, housing, and other activities (economic activities, higher education, culture, leisure) focused around Esch sur Alzette (Luxembourg) and Audun-le-Tiche (France), situated on the France-Luxembourg border.

Initiated by the Luxembourg government, the project began with the reconversion of a steel-making site at “Belval-Ouest” in southern Luxembourg. Involving a portion of French territory, the project has many cross-border implications, including French and Luxembourgish cross-border public transport, and employment (the project envisions the creation of around 20,000 jobs).

Therefore, with the aim of boosting the north of the Lorraine region and redressing the balance of the project between Lorraine and Luxembourg, the “Alzette-Belval” Ecocity development project was launched, in 2009, by the Community of communes of the Pays Haut Val d’Alzette. Designated as an “ecocity”, it was recognised as an Operation of National Interest (OIN, Opération d’Intérêt National) by the French authorities in 2009. It forms part of an approach aiming for excellence in environmentally-conscious development.

On 6th March 2012, the Alzette-Belval Public Development Agency (Etablissement Public d’Aménagement – EPA) opened its doors. This body is an instrument for cooperation with the company AGORA, which is managing the development of the Belval site on the Luxembourg side. The establishment of the “Alzette-Belval” EGTC, on 8th March 2013, provided the local authorities with a single body with legal personality and the financial autonomy necessary for the successful completion of the project.