A circular district with a positive impact

The Kirchberg Fund has developed an urban design charter that sets out the objectives and non-negotiables of urban and landscaping design for the “Kuebebierg” area, the last major land reserve for development, belonging wholly to the Fund.

Revealing the geography and the natural and urban landscape: the project draws its essential components from the characteristics of the natural and urban environments. The primary structure for the urban design, defined in the schedule of non-negotiables, comprises a framework of public spaces connecting the Kuebebierg to the surrounding developed spaces and to the natural landscape, a mobility framework arranged around a new, high-performing public transport offer, and a biodiversity framework enabling the future district to be articulated with its wooded surroundings.

Towards co‐mobility, as an alternative to individual car use: Mobility is thought of in terms of diversity of demands, in order to reduce the share given over to individual car use, whilst not limiting the options for mobility. All alternatives to individual car use are encouraged and promoted in the public space. This approach requires an integrated vision to respond to today’s challenges in relation to traffic movements and environmental concerns.

A city of short travel routes: The city of short travel routes aims to offer a full complement of nearby services, facilities and spaces, making it possible to lead a pleasant daily life whilst favouring active modes of transport. The tramway link also makes it possible to develop complementary options, on a city-wide scale. The offer of a mix of mobility services also facilitates different geographical options, independent of the car.

A economical approach to resources, in an eco-system infrastructure: The project, through its design, set-up, forms and materials, seeks to make best use of the available resources (sun, wind, water, soil permeability, etc.) to reduce the needs of the buildings (heat, cold, light) and of urban spaces (lighting, utilities, etc.) and, simultaneously, to offer optimum living conditions (comfort, health) for residents.

Towards a social mix and urban vitality: The aim of the project is to build an environment promoting a social and generational mix and, more generally, facilitating diversity of lifestyles.

A dynamic strategy: The ambition of the project is to create together the conditions needed to achieve the social, environmental and landscaping quality objectives. The breadth of the project and the lead time for realising it require definition of a dynamic global strategy and intermediate objectives. This needs to take account of the progressive maturation of the urban offer, whilst ensuring desirable balance is achieved as urban development is progressed across the whole sector. The challenge is therefore to construct a time strategy which simultaneously takes account of the long-term objectives, the intermediate phases, the dynamics generated by the sector’s various transformation phases, changes in lifestyles during the urban development, and the possibility of urban changes beyond the current programme. Implementing the urban project, and its success, call for infrastructures to be created from the initial phases, along with the resources needed to ensure a balanced situation during the interim period and at the end, particularly with regard to local resources for everyday needs, together with mobility options.

In parallel, the Fund has adopted a “cradle to cradle”-inspired approach, aiming to generate positive impacts at the social, environmental and economic level, while putting individual well-being at the centre of these initiatives, which has led to a definition of a global vision: Living well in an urban setting in symbiosis with its environment. 

Based on this, in November 2019 the Fund launched a restricted paid tender for urban designers, landscape designers and urban sociologists, looking to devise an urban development plan based on studies conducted in advance (mobility, water management, energy, environment and ecological mitigations, economics and viability). The result is due to be announced in 2022.

The objectives by themes

Mobility and public spaces: creating the city of short travel routes

Encouraging active mobility

  • Creating direct and safe axes, to develop an attractive network in line with the aim of a “city of short travel routes” on the Kuebebierg
  • Diversifying mobility modes and services for people
  • Implementing a new tram line

Restricting car traffic

  • A single vehicular access to the district
  • An ambitious ratio of 0.5 cars per home
  • Enforced width restrictions for individual motorised transport, “shared spaces” for multiple types of mobility, and speed zones calmed to 20 or 30 km/h.

Offering local spaces, services, shops and facilities

Creating grouped car parking

  • Creating car parks with parking spaces for the needs of residents and visitors, and offering mobility services as car-sharing, bikes and others (the “smart mobility hub” concept)

Offering local spaces, services, shops and facilities

Promoting resident well-being

  • Promoting social exchanges
  • Creating an identity for the district
  • Finding a balance between density, quality of space and privacy
  • Creating an environment on a human scale
  • Facilitating integration of green spaces and leisure spaces


Maximising the production of renewable energy

The energy strategy for the district is based on these four pillars:

  • Using energy efficiently
  • Producing the maximum renewable energy on-site
  • Storing energy to cover the maximum energy needs on-site
  • Exploring innovative and groundbreaking solutions 


Reusing the water cycles

  • Limiting the use of drinking water to situations when high quality is required (food, hygiene)
  • Using rainwater and treated grey water for irrigation, cleaning, toilet flushing and other uses, to reduce wastage as far as possible.
  • Rainwater: 
    •  Minimising the impact of urban development on the local environmental context. Retaining the potential energy of the water as much as possible throughout its journey (cascading).
    • Retention on roofs, inside the islands and in the nodes of the public space, and in the water retention basins en route to the drains system.
  • Limiting ground sealing

Natural environment

The Kuebebierg plateau is part of a sensitive environment defined by the topography and framed to the south (Märtesgrond valley), to the west (western edge of the plateau) and to the north (Grünewald forest) by protected areas which partially overlap (Natura 2000 area and Kuebebierg protected area of national interest).

Developing urban planning that respects these protected areas

  • Respecting the natural elements present on the site (e.g. by retaining the existing orchard)
  • Keeping developed areas at a distance from protected areas by creating buffer zones and leisure spaces in the district
  • Creating north-south corridors (connecting the protected areas and creating corridors for fauna, including birds and bats) and ecological networks
  • Creating spaces optimising climatic conditions and air quality
  • Limiting soil disturbance, to encourage natural run-off of rainwater and preserving the quality of the natural soil

Promoting environmentally-friendly development in the district

  • Choosing plantings of indigenous species (creating grasslands in place of lawns, self-seeding vegetation, lines of trees, copses, shrubs, etc.) adapted to the site
  • Greened façades and roofs
  • Introducing a city farm:
    • Participating in the city of “short travel distances” strategy, via local production and sale
    • Allowing agriculture to be maintained on the site, and retaining the farming heritage
    • Education and awareness-raising about where our food comes from
    • Putting together a bid for maintaining the public green spaces in the district


Technical file

Area: 33 ha

Number of dwellings: 3,127

Approval of the first PAP NQ, corresponding to the first-phase urban development of the Kuebebierg: 2025

Completion of the new structural axis (Boulevard Kuebebierg): 2027

Tram taken into service: 2028

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