Liege,Belgium The Story of Urban Renewal and Community Transformation


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Wallonia’s Jewel: Liege’s Transformation Initiatives

Contributions and Roles of Member Cities in the Eurocities Network: Spotlight on Liege, Belgium

Innovation and Sustainability

As a member of the Eurocities network, Liege is committed to fostering innovation and sustainability. The city actively pursues initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions and promote green technology. By setting ambitious goals, Liege strives to lead by example in the fight against climate change.

Goals to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Liege has set targets to substantially lower its carbon footprint by promoting the use of renewable energy sources, enhancing energy efficiency in buildings, and encouraging sustainable transportation options.

Promotion of Green Technology

The city is also a hub for green technology innovations, supporting startups and businesses that contribute to a greener future. This includes investment in smart grids, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable urban infrastructure.

Official City Website:

Smart City Initiatives

Liege leverages advanced technology to improve urban living conditions, focusing on areas such as environmental sustainability, public health, and efficient city management.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Implementation of IoT sensors for real-time monitoring of air and water quality.
  • Development of smart traffic management systems to reduce congestion.
  • Use of digital platforms to enhance healthcare delivery and availability of services.

Cultural and Social Projects

Liege engages in numerous cultural and social projects to bolster community spirit and support vulnerable groups. These initiatives aim to create an inclusive environment where all citizens can thrive.

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Organizing community festivals and cultural events to celebrate diversity and local heritage.
  • Providing support services for homeless individuals and low-income families.
  • Offering programs to integrate refugees and migrants into the local society.

Urban Planning and Development

Significant urban development projects in Liege focus on enhancing livability and addressing climate change. These projects aim to create a more sustainable and resilient urban environment.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Revitalization of the Meuse riverfront to create green public spaces and recreational areas.
  • Development of eco-friendly public housing projects with green roofs and solar panels.
  • Upgrading public transportation infrastructure to reduce reliance on private cars.

Youth and Education

Liege places a strong emphasis on creating vibrant environments conducive to learning and professional development for students and young professionals. This includes offering various educational and recreational opportunities.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Collaboration with universities to provide research and internship opportunities.
  • Establishment of youth centers offering extracurricular activities and workshops.
  • Support for innovation hubs and co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

By being part of the Eurocities network, Liege benefits from shared knowledge, best practices, and collaborative projects with other European cities. This participation helps strengthen the city’s capacity to innovate, provide better services to its residents, and tackle common urban challenges effectively.

City Name: Liège


Liège is located in the eastern part of Belgium, in the Wallonia region. The city lies at the confluence of the Meuse River and the Ourthe River, surrounded by a series of hills, giving it a picturesque landscape. It is situated near the border with the Netherlands and Germany, making it a strategic location for cross-border transportation and commerce.


As of the latest data, Liège has a population of approximately 200,000 residents. The city boasts a diverse demographic makeup, with a sizable portion of international residents, mainly due to its strong educational institutions and vibrant economy.

Economic Overview

Liège is an economic hub known for its diverse industries. Key sectors include manufacturing, logistics, and technology. The city has a rich history in steel production, although this has declined in recent years in favor of more modern industries. Liège’s economy is also bolstered by its robust transport and logistics capabilities, facilitated by its central location and excellent connectivity. The city’s GDP reflects a healthy economic environment with a focus on sustainable development and innovation.

Historical Significance

Founded in the early Middle Ages, Liège has a rich and storied history. It was once the capital of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, a significant political entity in medieval Europe. The city played a pivotal role during the industrial revolution, becoming one of the first European cities to industrialize. Historical landmarks, such as the Prince-Bishops’ Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral, attest to its historical grandeur.

Cultural Attractions

  • Grand Curtius Museum: A sprawling museum complex showcasing art and historical artifacts from the region.
  • Liège-Guillemins Railway Station: Designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, this modern marvel is both a transportation hub and a piece of art.
  • Fêtes de Wallonie: An annual celebration that includes parades, concerts, and cultural events celebrating Walloon heritage.
  • Opéra Royal de Wallonie: One of Belgium’s leading opera houses, offering world-class performances throughout the year.

Education System

Liège is home to several prestigious educational institutions. The education system comprises primary, secondary, and higher education levels, all providing high-quality education.

  • Université de Liège: A major public university offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs and being a center for cutting-edge research.
  • Secondary Schools: Notable secondary schools include Athénée Royal de Liège 1 and Collège Saint-Barthélemy.

Transportation Infrastructure

Liège boasts a well-developed transportation network, making it easy to navigate the city and connect to other regions.

  • Public Transit: The TEC (Transport En Commun) network operates buses and trams, ensuring comprehensive coverage across the city.
  • Liège Airport: An international airport providing flights to various destinations in Europe and beyond.
  • Rail Connections: Liège-Guillemins Railway Station offers high-speed train services (Thalys and ICE) connecting to major cities like Brussels, Paris, and Frankfurt.

Urban Development Projects

Liège has several ongoing urban development projects aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life. Notable projects include:

  • Médiacité Complex: A mixed-use development combining commercial, residential, and cultural spaces to rejuvenate the city’s urban core.
  • Rives Ardentes: A large waterfront redevelopment project designed to transform former industrial areas into vibrant, eco-friendly neighborhoods.

Environmental Initiatives

Liège is committed to environmental sustainability through various initiatives:

  • Green Spaces: The city is expanding its parks and green areas to enhance urban biodiversity and provide recreational spaces for residents.
  • Renewable Energy: Investment in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power is a priority, aiming to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
  • Public Transportation: Efforts to improve and expand the public transportation network are aimed at reducing vehicle emissions.

Quality of Living

Liège offers a high quality of living with robust healthcare, safety, and ample amenities:

  • Healthcare: The city is equipped with several top-tier hospitals and healthcare facilities, ensuring comprehensive medical services.
  • Safety: Crime rates are relatively low, with effective law enforcement ensuring a safe environment for residents.
  • Amenities: From shopping centers to recreational facilities and cultural institutions, Liège offers a wide range of amenities that cater to diverse interests and needs.

Quality of Life Indexes

Liège ranks favorably on various quality of life indexes:

  • Livability Rankings: The city is consistently rated high on livability due to its excellent infrastructure, healthcare, and cultural offerings.
  • Health Index: Liège scores well on health indexes, reflecting its high-quality healthcare services and healthy living environment.
  • Environmental Quality Scores: The city’s commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in its positive environmental quality scores.

Mayor Profile: Willy Demeyer


Willy Demeyer

Current Position

Mayor of Liège, Belgium

Political Affiliation

Parti Socialiste (Socialist Party)


  • Degree in Law, University of Liège
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration, University of Liège

Professional Background

Before becoming the mayor, Willy Demeyer had a rich career combining public service and legal expertise. His positions included:

  • City Councillor, Liège
  • Member of the Walloon Parliament
  • Legal Advisor in various capacities for municipal projects

In the private sector, he served as a legal consultant for several prominent law firms, focusing on public law and urban planning.

Achievements as Mayor

During his tenure as the mayor of Liège, Willy Demeyer has overseen numerous initiatives and projects that have significantly benefited the city:

  • Sustainability: Implemented city-wide recycling programs and launched the “Green Liège” project to increase urban green spaces.
  • Urban Development: Led the redevelopment of the Liège-Guillemins district, transforming it into a modern transport hub and commercial area.
  • Technological Advancements: Introduced smart city technologies, including smart traffic management systems and improved public Wi-Fi access.

Vision for the Future

Willy Demeyer’s vision focuses on creating a more sustainable, technologically advanced, and inclusive city:

  • Smart City Initiatives: Continued expansion of the smart grid and IoT-enabled public services to enhance efficiency and connectivity.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Aggressive climate action plan aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure, and promoting eco-friendly public transport.
  • Community Engagement: Establishing more community centers and digital platforms to involve citizens in decision-making processes.

Personal Life

Willy Demeyer is an avid cyclist and enjoys spending his weekends exploring the scenic routes around Liège. He is passionate about environmental conservation and is actively involved in several community garden initiatives. He also enjoys reading historical literature and is a patron of the arts, frequently attending local theater and music performances.

Awards and Honors

  • Order of the Belgian Crown (Officer)
  • European Green Capital Award (Honorable Mention for Liège’s sustainability efforts)
  • Liège Urban Development Award for Excellence

Liege, Wallonia, Belgium: Quality of Life and Cost of Living

Quality of Life


Liege, a city in Wallonia, Belgium, is known for its relatively safe environment, with a safety index of 45.90 according to Numbeo data. While the city has a reasonably secure atmosphere, residents and visitors are advised to remain cautious and follow standard safety practices, particularly at night.


The healthcare system in Liege is highly regarded, boasting a healthcare quality index of 75.61. The city is equipped with modern medical facilities and well-trained healthcare professionals. Several hospitals and clinics offer comprehensive services, ensuring residents have access to high-quality medical care.


Liege’s pollution index stands at 43.61, which indicates a relatively clean environment. Efforts to maintain cleanliness are evident, with the city prioritizing waste management and green initiatives to ensure a healthy living space for its inhabitants.


The public transportation system in Liege is efficient and well-organized, with a transport index of 34.72. The city offers various modes of transport, including buses, trains, and trams, providing convenient and affordable options for commuting within and outside the city. The comprehensive network ensures that most areas are easily accessible.


Liege is home to esteemed educational institutions, such as the University of Liege, which is known for its high academic standards and diverse range of study programs. The city’s commitment to education is reflected in the quality of its schools and universities, making it an ideal location for students and academics.

Cost of Living


Housing in Liege is relatively affordable when compared to other European cities. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is around €650 per month. This makes Liege a cost-effective option for individuals and families seeking comfortable living arrangements.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly groceries cost for a single person: €200
  • Dining out at a mid-range restaurant (for two): €60

The city offers a variety of grocery stores and dining options that cater to different budgets. From local markets to fine dining restaurants, residents can enjoy a range of culinary experiences.


The monthly utility costs for an 85m2 apartment, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage disposal, typically amount to around €150. This relatively affordable utility expense contributes to the city’s overall cost-effectiveness.


The cost of a monthly public transport pass in Liege is approximately €50, making it a budget-friendly option for residents who rely on public transportation for their daily commute. The well-connected and reliable transport system ensures smooth and cost-efficient travel.


  • Fitness club monthly fee: €30
  • Cinema ticket: €10

Leisure activities in Liege are reasonably priced, allowing residents to engage in various forms of entertainment without financial strain. Whether joining a fitness club or enjoying a movie night, these activities are accessible to many.

Overall, Liege’s combination of safety, cleanliness, educational quality, and effective public transport system make it an appealing place to live. As a member of the Eurocities network, Liege plays a significant role in fostering urban collaboration and promoting high living standards. The city’s relatively low cost of living further enhances its attractiveness, providing a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle for its residents.

Source: Data from Numbeo

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