The university town of Louvain-la-Neuve is an urban project initiated by the Catholic University of Louvain at the end of the sixties, following the move of the Francophone section of the Catholic University of Louvain, originally located in Leuven. The placing of the first brick by the King Baudouin on February 2, 1971 marked the moment that the Louvain-la-Neuve project became a reality. At the same time, UCL created the Woluwe campus for its medical school and an important university hospital.
The Louvain-la-Neuve site
From the beginning of the seventies, the meadows, woods and fields of the Lauzelle plateau left a place for a true university town.
The university buildings are dispersed throughout the site
to promote contact between the different users of the urban center. Shops, businesses, administrative premises and housing are mixed together with academic buildings. The districts, mainly residential, are quickly accessible on foot.
Photos: copyright Jacky Delorme
Some city figures
- 10,877 people live in Louvain-la-Neuve, community entity of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve.
- More than 9,000 ‘koteurs’ (“dormers”, UCL student residents)
- 45,000 people welcomed each day, including 12,000 employees
- 920 hectares including :
- the Lauzelle Woods (200 hectares)
- green spaces (168 hectares)
- a golf course (64 hectares)
- a lake (7 hectares)
- a pedestrian center (4 hectares)
- 6 districts: Baraque, Biéreau, Bruyères, Centre, Hocaille, Lauzelle
- More than 300 shops and businesses, including a shopping mall (100 shops)
A multi-secular university
Founded in 1425 in Louvain (Leuven), the UCL is one of the oldest universities in the world, like Oxford, Paris, Coimbra, Salamanca, Bologna or Heifelberg. Celebrities have attended and taught there, including Erasme, Mercator, Vésale, etc.
In the 20th century, important people like Georges Lemaître, author of the Big Bang theory, and Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize winner in medicine, taught at the university.
In 2012-2013, the UCL numbered 28,856 students of 127 different nationalities in 6 different belgian cities, 14 colleges, 21 research units, 5,695 professors, researchers and employees.
Complete figures of UCL
Université catholique de Louvain