REMUP (2011-2012)

Real Estate Markets and Urban Planning in Metropolitan Regions: the Example of Luxembourg

The project tries to bring together 'financial matters' and the production of the built environment at the interface of planning, geography, and economics, since the actions of real estate sector players are crucial in their function as 'city builders' in the way the built environment develops and progresses. In Luxembourg, as one hub in the international financial system, the significance of highly advanced service activities becomes considerable. With their demand for office space these service activities influence both the office rental and investment markets. Nowadays, and as one result of the liberalisation of the national financial systems, powerful global investors seek alternative investment opportunities, e.g. in real estate office markets.

Theory suggests that by accommodating 'neoliberal' forces, the withdrawal of the (local) state or urban area government is attended by the alliance building with private capital to promote the local economy and compete for economic growth. Central in this process in urban areas are the sub-economies of finance and real estate, though in the context of urban economics, knowledge of their activities and strategies is still underexposed. However, it is argued that inflexible real estate markets can hamper a city's competitive financial market strategy (Lizieri 2009).

Applying an inductive and historically informed approach to Luxembourg, the project will analyse the intertwined nature of a) the adjustment of urban planning philosophies towards fiscal and politico-economic agendas, and b) the ways these are linked to the real estate office activities in Luxembourg's city, the Kirchberg, and Cloche d'Or, since this financial market oriented behaviour is assumed to aid the susceptibility to crisis of the local real estate markets and thus also of the urban development/city planning in Luxembourg.

Lizieri, C. (2009): Towers of Capital. Office markets and international financial services. Chichester.

07/2011 - 09/2012

Dr Sabine Dörry

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