the belval site

industrial wasteland reconversion

Having been the main driving force behind regional development for almost a century, the steel industry went through a prolonged recession in the 1980s-90s. Belval was no exception: the last of the blast furnaces was shut down in 1997. The west half of the site, including the casthouses, was abandoned. The dismantling process began in 1998. It was only the blast furnaces, the Highway, the Blasting Hall, the “Möllerei” and a few adjacent buildings that were spared.


In total, 1,200 hectares of land in the southern part of the Grand Duchy had become wasteland as a result of the steel industry restructuring. At that time the Luxembourg government decided to proceed with the reconversion of 650 hectares, in order to ensure balanced regional development. This vast project included decentralising infrastructures and creating initiatives for innovative sectors, in order to restore economic prosperity and relaunch the image of an entire region.

With its 120 hectares located between two districts, Belval has great potential and has therefore become the first redeveloped industrial wasteland. The Luxembourg government is putting its efforts into creating the right conditions to regenerate the region, by investing 1 billion Euros in a major construction programme for the “Cité des Sciences” (City of Science).


The redevelopment of the West Belval industrial wasteland is being carried out based on the plans of the Dutch architects’ firm Jo Coenen & Co, winner of the Agora development company urban design competition in 2001. The project divides the urban area into four neighbourhoods – the Blast Furnace Terrace, the Square Mile, Belval Park and the “Quartier Belval” (residential area) – offering an exemplary quality of life by virtue of a combination of services, businesses, scientific and educational institutions, sports infrastructures, recreation and cultural centres.