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Overview regional studies in Luxembourg

Regional Studies in the small Grand Duchy of Luxembourg benefits from a great functional need of its politically unique cross-border setting, with its capital being a magnet for a huge influx of daily commuters from its neighbours Belgium, France and Germany, and from the country’s distinct geo-political situation at the heart of the EU, correspondingly hosting a number of EU institutions. The latter encompass, for example, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, Eurostat, the European Investment Bank, and the European Investment Fund, but also the General Secretariat of the European Parliament and funded programmes like the European Territorial Observatory Network (ESPON).

There are primarily two institutions, that is, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Luxembourg (UL) and the Department of Urban Development and Mobility at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), which operate in complementary areas in both higher education and research. Researchers in both labs have developed distinct complementary profiles in border studies, housing and land market policies, sustainable spatial development and green finance, urban governance, economic geographies of financial centres, mobility, migration, urban modelling, smart cities, and health geographies, on which they work using a broad methodological toolbox. Further, and due to the country’s quasi-missing regional level, Luxembourg’s communities enjoy much planning autonomy. Hence, planners are influential and have recently become organised in the Association des Aménageurs et Urbanistes du Luxembourg (AULA).

Regional Studies are of considerable importance in Luxembourg. The University of Luxembourg offers master’s degree programmes in Geography and Spatial Planning, in Border Studies, and in Architecture with a focus on European and Global Urbanization. It also offers executive teaching programmes for practitioners in planning and policymaking, as well as a Doctoral School. LISER’s profile is strongly influenced by its long-standing expertise in applied and commissioned research, mainly from policy-makers in Luxembourg’s Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Housing. All these groups form a diverse and rich community of Regional Studies in Luxembourg.