by

The 4 Pillars | The Place of Nature - Surrounded by plants

Rout Lëns: An urban forest where biodiversity and social life are one and the same thing!

We are delighted to present the first in a series of educational videos designed to illustrate the concepts of the new Rout Lëns neighbourhood. To begin this series, made using Motion Design, we have chosen one of the main pillars on which the project is based: integrating nature.

At Iko, we see plant life as a key component of Esch’s new neighbourhood. We want to create a perfect marriage between humans and nature, one supporting the other and vice versa.

That’s why we’re working to turn the site into a sustainable, resilient and innovative place to live.

The former industrial site “Lentille Terres-Rouges”, to the southwest of Esch-sur-Alzette, has been razed to the ground by a century of steelwork. Since it shut down in 1977, nature has gradually reclaimed the land.

It is now time to focus on the best way to bring plants back to the site. That’s why, as soon as we started to think about this real estate project, we envisioned an ambitious green plan adapted to the demands of climate change.

Rout Lëns: The future, as nature intended 

Here you can see illustrations of how we plan to incorporate nature into the project.

  1. An acclimatisation greenhouse dedicated to exotic plants

In 2023, an acclimatisation greenhouse will be installed in the Halle des Soufflantes. It will host a beautiful range of exotic plants. The goal is to anticipate the future by studying and preparing plant species that will be compatible with climate change.

  2. Creating a harmonious urban forest

To highlight the theme of greenery, lots of local plant species will be planted among the new buildings. The goal is to recreate a harmonious forest that blends in with the new neighbourhood. The species of trees and shrubs will be distributed according to their growth rate and height when fully grown.

  3. Encouraging wild flowers

In order to preserve and consolidate local biodiversity, flower-filled meadows will be planted in a number of locations. They will be found on the edges, as well as on buildings. For example, lawns will be grown on chalky soil on a number of green roofs.

As well as making the neighbourhood look pretty, these flower-filled areas will also provide food and shelter for insects. Honeybees, bumblebees and butterflies will be welcomed back and looked after so that they can pollinate nearby crops in a virtuous circle.

  4. Reptile habitats

The project will be using gabion walls. These metal baskets filled with stones of various sizes have the benefit of creating lots of little holes and tunnels. These offer particularly popular shelters for native reptiles.

  5. 700 trees planted

The creation of an urban forest will also have the advantage of combating the heat islands inherent in concrete environments. This will turn the neighbourhood into a real oasis, a pleasure to stroll around even on beautiful hot summer days. Users will make the most of being able to wander around cool, sheltered spaces.

  6. Rainwater management

An essential aspect of supporting biodiversity is good water management! That’s why rainwater from public spaces will be collected in the basin of the Halle des Soufflantes, as well as different water collection points. A wetland will be maintained to support plant and animal species.

  7. Green roofs

Green roofs and green spaces in the midst of all the homes will contribute to the neighbourhood’s ecology. They will be watered using rainwater collected from the roofs.

Incorporating plant life 

In summary, and as the video illustrates, the “natural” aspect of Rout Lëns incorporates 4 different kinds of plant

  1. Dry grasslands
  2. Recolonised woodland
  3. Forest areas in keeping with the scale of the buildings
  4. Exotic plants

Soft mobility and facilities for everyone

In order to make the most of all of this wonderful nature, to respect the environment and to live in harmony with it wherever possible, soft mobility solutions will be prioritised.

Esch-sur-Alzette’s new neighbourhood will be accessible on foot, bike and public transport. Parking spaces, mostly underground, will encourage cars to be more discreet while facilitating access to the neighbourhood by road.

To the delight of its inhabitants and users, Rout Lëns is also planning to offer:

  • a school
  • local shops
  • work spaces
  • recreational areas
  • housing

and much more!

As you can see, moving to Rout Lëns means you’ll be living in an urban forest where biodiversity and social life are one and the same thing!