Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette –  Urbanization is a transformative way to recreate spaces filled with public interaction. Our society is bonded in such a way that it needs the interdependency of various assemblies through connection of spaces. Thoughtful designing of these spaces in the best interest of the people will be beneficial and productive in favor of humans and health. Small pockets, courtyards, and even public squares are part of this trail. The importance is not only in their existence but also in their location. The connectivity, ease of transport, and nearby services and facilities also play a vital role in the best of their functioning. Each structure is part of that era’s needs and process of evolution. Once past that phase, some modifications and a handful of changes are a must to regenerate the spirit of that space.

As the period changes, the use of that space fades away as the resources and demands change. Some structures lay on the ground without purpose and human visitors called ghost places. Reincluding such part of construction back in society with clever usage of design and aesthetics will be highly accommodating. This initiative is celebrated and supported in many urban planning projects as part of competitions, challenges, or as real-life projects in the goodwill of society. 

Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg designed by Urban Agency and COBE - Sheet1
public pockets_©COBE
Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg designed by Urban Agency and COBE - Sheet2
river edge_©COBE
Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg designed by Urban Agency and COBE - Sheet3
old steel_©COBE

Esch-Sur-Alzette was a formal steel factory with an area spread of 850 thousand square meters. The land was worked as an open space with few residuals of old industrial construction. The place has its importance in times of need. But that time passed a few decades back and the land was no longer familiar with human contact. The initiative of competition to regenerate life back in this vacant steel industry land was won by the partnership of Urban Agency and COBE. Astonishing transformation and additional usage of place in favor of people did set an example for the rest to follow. The prominence of this drive helped in the preservation of culture and art in all parts of the world. Many more such forms came into the picture and resulted in shaping society at once.  

Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg designed by Urban Agency and COBE - Sheet4
modern inserts_©COBE
Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg designed by Urban Agency and COBE - Sheet5
rusty built_©COBE

Best usage of already existing built-up Esch-Sur-Alzette and assigning the functions accordingly in the master layout sorted the design. This made it easier for people to get familiar with the space based on its well-planned cityscape. Urban nature, preservation, and reuse of vehicular free traffic zone streets and an appropriate dense mix of structure and functions are the main focuses of the master plan notion. A mixed-use zone with housing for roughly eight thousand residents with adjacent facilities turned the place into an ecosystem. The facilities included offices, schools, and dedicated workshop spaces, surrounded by a splash green landscape of around 250 thousand sq. m which merges the river facing region. Planning space in the best interest of people with the maximum potential use of the land resource is what today’s needs are. The life of humans has evolved in terms of technology, lifestyle, and resources. Considering this all, the amenities and basic needs of the generation have also evolved. Designers keep the most updated track of the list and produce the design accordingly. 

Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg designed by Urban Agency and COBE - Sheet6
balance with green_©COBE

With the lavishness in terms of facilities we get today, humans are in great need of open and collaborative spaces for interaction. With advancing in the individual fields, man has forgotten the need for bonding and exchange within humans. Allocating such spaces with a dedicated purpose in the planning helps the society shape better and more productive. Early-built structures present in the industrial land once hosted a process and labor-based function. But in today’s time, the same space can be utilized in the best interest of people with the functionality index of a newborn era. As people progress in tasks and management with advanced technology, it also excessively needs open and green space for relaxation. With the importance of sleep in one’s life for the betterment of the work. Similarly, it also needs refreshment in terms of collaboration with nature. This is catered to the lavish spread of green across the site and interactive spaces for fun and well-being. The balance of work and green in life will lead to a healthy lifestyle and a better-associated society. 

use of limited land_©COBE

Old construction buildings contain the potential to turn into heritage sites that need the help of development. This responsibility is shared by designers, planners, and architects. Several old constructions around the globe are gaining their positions in the list of heritage structures with value and preservation. History teaches lessons with stories and songs, and also proves its existence with built and forms. These pieces must be preserved and showcased for future generations with care and art. This ideology is spreading across the globe resulting in the redesigning of such old spaces into public plazas and tourist attractions and considering the land resources in the fixed amount present at the time. One must look forward to using this wisely and reuse this thoughtfully in the future.   


  1. Urban Agency and COBE Design Master Plan for Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg, 2022. Available at –
  2. Urban redesign of former steel site gets go-ahead, 2020. Available at –

Bhakti is in her last year of B.Arch. Having a keen interest in scopes of print media; She is exploring the communicative branches of architecture through various mediums. She enjoys experimenting with intangible interpretations of the relationship between space and people, moving beyond the tangible features of Architecture.