Luxembourg emerges as a very attractive cross-border regional metropolis leading to increasing residential migration and longer commutes. Empirical evidence shows that current urbanisation trends toward suburban and more remote periurban areas favour urban sprawl and car dependence. Urban sprawl is a very important territorial challenge to be addresses by policy makers since it is often associated with overconsumption of land and energy, fragmentation of natural habitats, difficulties in the provision of public services and increased residential segregation.
In Luxembourg, the awareness of the role of spatial planning for the implementation of sustainable development has led to the developing of an integrated planning concepts, called "IVL" (Integratives Verkhers und Landesentwicklungskonzept), involving several Ministries. It promotes an integrated spatial development woch joins number of assumptions of the New Urbanism Theory. More precisely, the IVL concept assumes that polycentric development based on functional mix and high density could promote a model shift towards public transport, while maintaining a good level of accessibility. The main objective of the MOEBIUS project is then to assess the sustainability of this planning scenario (IVL/"New Urbanism") comparing to the current urban sprawl.
Further understanding the social and environmental impacts of both the residential mobility and the daily mobility of households is at the core of our research project. We will deal with the complexity of the issue by using spatial simulation tools that are hybrids from agent-based and cellular-automata. This simulation platform prototype will integrate land use, residential mobility and daily mobility, within the cross-border metropolitan area of Luxembourg. because of its complexity, this platform will be devoted to a particular population (I.E. workers employed in the Grand-Duchy and living inside or outside the country) and involve expertise from different disciplines (urban planning, geography, psychology, economics, mathematics, and computer sciences). We will develop a small, simple and transparent model that includes new theoretical components, by using beief theory, residential choices (E.G. externalities) and determinants of daily commuting specific to Luxembourg.
We aim at simulating (i) the future urbanisation (based on demographic forecast and residential choice modelling) in the commmuting area of Luxembourg, and (ii) the future daily mobility (commuting pattern and travel model choice) for different planning scenarios. When assessing those scenarios, particula attention will be put on how they can provide a good trade-off between, economic growth (via the provision of attractive and affordable living places) and environmental and social sustainability (modal split, land take, accessibility...)
Because our simulation model is spatially explicit, we can take into account the specificities of Luxembourg, e.g. the urban network and the cross-border setting. In addition, we have access to unique datasets (e.g. the cross-border transport & mobility survey (2009) or Social Security longitudinal data) and we can build on the empirical knowledge based on the MOBILLUX outcomes (FNR project on the link betwwen daily and residential mobilities in Luxembourg).