Sustainability & Smart Territories : focus on 3 student projects

2023-2024 seminar at HEC Liege

At HEC Liège, the year 2023 ended on a sustainable note for some of its Master 2 students. Last November and December, just over 80 students followed the seminar entitled "Sustainability and Smart Territories" organized by Prof. Nathalie Crutzen and the Smart City Institute (SCI). This was an opportunity for them to take a closer look at the Smart Mobility theme, in particular by reflecting on practical projects in Wallonia. During the final presentations in January, the SCI team selected 3 projects that particularly stood out. Here is an overview.

1. Secubike

Groupe Secubike - seminaire SCI 2024Groupe Secubike - seminaire SCI 2024.
By Yasmine Ousetta, Martin Dengis, Perrine Dumont, François Kreemer, Louise Pilate and Aymeric Rulli

Secubike is a project conceived around the region of Namur, dedicated to the strengthening of intermodality, and more specifically to the use of bicycles. Through a survey, the students highlighted the main obstacles to public bicycles renting: the process is considered to be complex, dangerous and not much fun. To address these issues, the group then proposed a secure bike rental system via a mobile app. The difference with current models that appealed to the jury? Firstly, the guarantee of permanent availability of bikes at the city's main access points. In addition, the proposition of a helmet that clips easily onto the saddle once the journey has been completed. This project also stood out for its level of professionalism.

2. Revitalizing Angleur station

Groupe Angleur - seminaire SCI 2024.Station Angleur
By Lisa Andre, Iman Ajdamova, Line Bonfond, Phuong-Vy Do, Edwige Filot and Fanny Jamblin


A second group focused on a project to revitalize Angleur train station (Liège), a station with busy platforms but a building that remains closed to travelers. Their proposal for improving this third-location facility for commuters and local residents was to set up a café or restaurant, a healthy takeaway catering service (in collaboration with BioFagnes), a Bpost parcel point and an ironing/pressing depot. With a strong focus on combining research and exchange, this group has particularly distinguished itself by its willingness to interact as much as possible with experts and players in the field (cities, companies, researchers, etc.).

3. Midi Melody

Groupe Midi Melody - seminaire SCI 2024.Groupe Midi Melody - seminaire SCI 2024
By Morgane Aendekerk, Antoine Baré, Juliette Huberty, Tiomthé Müller, Mathilde Renson and Lena Sonoo

This 3rd group was also interested in the theme of third places. In this case, the students decided to look at the diversification of activities in and around Brussels-Midi station. Their proposition? To set up a music recording studio within the station, accessible to all at low cost, with an access to a lounge where commuters can come and listen to recordings in progress. A creative and surprising approach that the Smart City Institute team particularly welcomed.

Students as agents of change

Historically, Professor Nathalie Crutzen - SCI's Academic Director - has always offered a seminar to students at HEC Liège to raise their awareness of sustainability and smart territory issues. It is also one of the oldest missions fulfilled by the Smart City Institute, as Smart Region reference: What role for the Walloon ecosystem ?référent académique Smart Région de la Wallonie.

Sustainability and Smart Territories

We believe it is essential to make tomorrow's professionals aware of these issues so that they can be the vectors of change for organisations to become more sustainable.

Nathalie Crutzen, Academic Director of the Smart City Institute


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