A new tourism strategy for Esch

A new tourism strategy for Esch

In the framework of its cultural and economic development, the City of Esch commissioned the elaboration of a touristic vision and strategy and turned to Lia Ghilardi who had been working with Esch before to develop the City’s Cultural strategy.

Lia Ghilardi is a creative polymath, based in London. She is the founder and director of Noema, a UK-based organization working internationally to deliver place mapping and strategic cultural planning projects. Internationally recognized as a leader in the field of cultural urban development, she has worked for more than twenty years with civic leaders, urban designers, architects and arts organisations to provide creative and integrated solutions to the challenges of place making in contemporary cities.

What was your first impression of Esch as a city? What makes it unique?

My first impression of Esch is of a bustling city with a positive attitude towards getting things done. Esch has a strong personality and its industrial tradition has been inspiring innovation in products and services on a scale rarely seen in a city of this size and importance. Such blend of past and present, you can read it in its unique variety of architectural styles and urban texture, as well as in the way many culturally diverse communities live side by side harmoniously. Esch is a tolerant city.

“Esch has a strong creative capacity”

Lia Ghilardi

What are the key elements of the tourism strategy you developed for the city of Esch?

Creativity is the spice of life, and Esch has a strong creative capacity. In order to attract new types of tourists we have imagined a strategy, which is about mobilising landscape, topography, diversity, architecture and heritage of work, design and industry, mixed together with cultural institutions and those creative individuals that live here.

We aim to improve economic prospects by combining offers that can tempt the traditional types of tourists and added new and edgy types of experiences for those that are more adventurous and seek memorability and authentic engagement with the local community.

What can you tell us about Esch’s development in terms of eco-friendliness?

Esch is very advanced in its Transition approach towards a low carbon world. Achieving green growth across the city and beyond is one of our targets and we want to help the city create more opportunities to develop new green industries, jobs and technologies, not only for the local community but also for a new type of tourist: those that seek to travel and live more responsibly.

“The city has so many hidden gems.”

Lia Ghilardi

On a more personal note: what are some of your personal favourites in Esch? Why would you say Esch is worth a visit?

From specialist and independent retail, to culture, cuisine and sports, to music and nightlife, there is a lot to discover in Esch. Moreover, because the city has so many hidden gems, it is hard to single out a particular example. Of course, Belval has its own beauty, but the architecture of some city centre housing, and that of public buildings is truly unique (take Maison Mousset or the Library building for example). Events such as La Nuit De la Culture or the Urban Art Festivals organised by KUFA are equally exciting.