Luxembourg's surface measures 2,600 km, which is less than l/1000th of the total European Union (EU) surface area. In this smallest among the EU member states live about 400,000 persons, one third whom are foreign residents. An important national government instrument to allow interference in municipal planning and policies is the national planning vision. This is a long term vision, which strives for a coherent use of specific policies, in order to avoid unbalanced development. It aims for balanced national and regional plans. The Grand Duche of Luxembourg is considerably smaller than larger European cities. Hence it is no surprise that national urban policies specifically directed to large cities have not been developed. The national spatial pattern shows a sparsely populated rural north and east part, and a rather urbanized area in the south, comprising the capital city Luxembourg-Ville and the industrial area of the canton Esch-sur-Alzette.