International Symposium 2018

URBAN INTEGRATION // From Walled City to Integrated City

Worldwide, Metropolitan Regions are changing rapidly to absorb the urban growth expected over the next 20-30 years. While urban transformations in the global south will be dominated by irregular processes of urbanization, the formal regulatory frameworks operating in the global north must also be interrogated to ensure a more sustainable, just and vibrant urban future. Framed by the paradigm shift of the digital revolution, the anticipated impacts of climate uncertainty, and the aftermath of the post-industrial socio-economic regimes, time calls for innovative strategic responses. The complexity of these challenges requires an integrated and transdisciplinary approach that allows for diverse, inclusive and multi-scalar strategies. With an emphasis on urban integration, this symposium approaches the agglomeration of the Ruhr Region as a breeding ground for urban experimentation through the consideration of four principals:
Multi-scale Spatial Models
Diversity and Inclusion
More information >>


From a spatial point of view, polycentric structures of urban agglomeration – like the Ruhr Area – are a promising model for sustainable urban and regional development. Rather than focusing on individual cities, polycentrality emphasizes the connectivity and synergy between urban centers, and the role of smaller units such as neighborhoods and urban quarters. It also requires innovative approaches in land management and land use. An integrated urban development, therefore, must develop strategies to strengthen the identity of – and connectivity between – cities, urban quarters and neighborhoods on different spatial and functional levels.

Multi-scale Spatial Models

Uneven Growth simultaneously occurring at regional and neighborhood scales requires a new model for integrated design able to negotiate a multiplicity of nested scales. Multi-scalar systems are marked by locally divergent development speeds and perspectives within the same agglomeration. Multi-scale models, therefore, need to integrate diversity in spatial and functional dynamics and responsiveness to address the effects of growth and depopulation, centralization and peripherization, and a range of environmental, socio-political and economic dynamics, and break it down to the topic of settlement space management. A new multi-scale model requires innovative mechanisms to link legal frameworks, facilitate new forms of knowledge creation at every planning level, and promote exchange among all stakeholders. The discussion of best practice case studies will expand the knowledge base, and provide further insights for the development of new strategies.


The resilience of cities depends upon the flexibility and adaptive capacity of their strategic infrastructure and planning systems and their socio-ecological components. Key conditions are: redundancy, social cohesion, cultural diversity, and governance transparency and responsiveness. Until recently, the guiding principle of sustainable development has been to achieve stable ecological function. However, profound changes to the human, environmental and technical systems, and its functions, are affected now by heterogeneity, disturbance, and conditions of uncertainty – new parameters for the future institutions of civil society.

Diversity and Inclusion

The phenomenon of migration is accelerating change and generating new social formations. In an increasingly complex urban realm, how can urban design processes, policies and regulations guiding development support integration? From the perspective of the individual and the formation of new community structures, designing inclusive mechanisms and novel institutions to enable the representation and participation of diverse publics. A starting point for new ideas and interventions is a local example – the 2017 “Modellquartier Integration” project in the Ruhr Area.

The International Symposium 2018 “URBAN INTEGRATION: From Walled City to Integrated City” will be held at Zollverein Essen on the 29th of May 2018 . It will facilitate international cooperation among schools from Asia, Europe and North America. During the symposium, participants will share knowledge through presentations contemplating interdisciplinary and multi-scalar design strategies.



++ A big thank you to everyone who participated and supported us in Madaba. We hope you had a great time! ++

The II international conference “Reclaiming Public Space within Metropolitan Areas” took place from the 22.-24. of November 2017 at the main campus of German Jordanian University in Madaba, Jordan

The conference followed the broad themes of:
• Urban transformation and the role of public space
• Nature based planning approaches
• Social and cultural dimension of cities.
More information >>

The conference was organized by the TU Dortmund University/ Spatial Planning Faculty/ Department of Urban Design and Land-Use Planning in collaboration with the German Jordanian University ( GJU) / School of Architecture and Built Environment, and is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service ( DAAD) and the Federal Foreign Office.

The Conference formed the culmination of a three-year project by the two universities that explored the role of public space as a catalyst of urban transformation, taking a critical and comparative stance on the conceptualization and the role of public space and public urban nodes in urban integration, giving special focus to contexts of industrial areas, renaturalization of neglected ecological components, and integration of critical social groups such as the Syrian Refugees. Parallel lessons were taken from the Ruhr Region in Germany and from the districts of Marka and Sahab within the geographical expanse of Amman/ Jordan. The Conference will showcase the products of the Project, in form of student work, research projects and knowledge exchange that occurred among the German-Jordanian counterparts; it will showcase the role of major stakeholders envisioning and enabling urban transformation in Jordan; and will act as an international platform to discuss new ideas and create the opportunity to initiale a dialogue with esteemed colleagues and global intellectuals.

Conference Group Foto


Fotos: Basheer Almufleh

Intercultural Dialogue Towards Reclaiming Public Space Within Metropolitan Areas

The DAAD (German exchange service) funded research project “Intercultural Dialogue towards reclaiming Public Space within Metropolitan Areas”, an initiative between the TU Dortmund and the German Jordanian University GJU started in January 2015 and is now in its last running year.

The joint project strived for finding prerequisites to a new theoretical conception of how to restrain and alleviate the segregation between the social groups in the public spaces that are reflected on the urban tissue of the cities of Dortmund and Amman. It aimed at producing development outcomes on different levels:


First, on the educational level, where it promoted the quality of education through the intercultural dialogue between the different partners based on joint students’ projects. They were elaborated and surveyed by all groups of students from the two countries through exchange. Thus, students have got acquainted with multicultural arenas and environments that endorse their future visions and careers.

Second, on the community development level, where the project intended and strived for providing the cities and the concerned governmental organizations with practical and tangible strategies and action plans that stand for reclaiming the public space for the community and therewith, more socially inclusive communities and sustainable development of the countries.


International Conference I


++ Ein großes Dankeschön an alle, die uns auf Zollverein besucht und unterstützt haben! Wir hoffen ihr hattet eine tolle Zeit! ++

Der umfassende Transformationsprozess der Agglomeration Ruhr – die einstmals von der Kohle- und Stahlindustrie geprägt war und sich zu einer Dienstleistungs- und der Wissensgesellschaft zugewandten Region weiterentwickelt – schreitet bereits seit Jahrzehnten voran. Weitere Informationen >>

Akteure aus Wissenschaft und Praxis begleiten diesen Transformati- onsprozess und treiben die Erneuerung in unterschiedlichen Handlungsfeldern voran. Die internationale Konferenz ‚POLYCENTRIC CITY REGIONS IN TRANSFORMATION – The Ruhr Agglomeration in International Perspective‘ vom 11. bis zum 13. Juni 2015 thematisiert diesen regionalen Transformationsprozess und richtet die Aufmerksamkeit auch auf international vergleichbare Regionen. Gemeinsame Herausforderungen von polyzentrischen Stadtregionen betreffen unter anderem den wirtschaftlichen Wandel, die Weiterentwicklung von technischer und grüner Infrastrukturen sowie Landschafts- und Freiräume, veränderte Mobilitätsanforderungen, soziale Veränderungsprozesse und planungskulturelle Aspekte. Für eine zukunftsweisende und nachhaltige Gestaltung sollen die Kernthemen identifiziert, Strategien und Instrumente angepasst und entwickelt werden. Insbesondere für diese Themen wird die Konferenz eine Diskussionplattform bieten, den internationalen Austausch fördern und Impulse für den regionalen Umgang mit den räumlichen Herausforderungen generieren.



Unser Forschungsnetzwerk bringt Partner aus Wissenschaft und Praxis zusammen und will:

  • Das Wissen um die Gestaltung von Transformationsprozessen in Stadtregionen erweitern.
  • Den internationalen Erfahrungsaustausch fördern.
  • Das gegenseitige Lernen fördern.
  • Gemeinsame Forschungsthemen identifizieren.
  • Forschungsprojekte

Unser Netzwerk ist offen für neue Mitglieder und verwandte Themen. Wenn Sie Interesse an einer Mitwirkung haben, kontaktieren Sie uns!


  • Department of Urban Design & Land Use Planning, Faculty of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University
  • Kobe Design University, Department of Environmental Design, Japan
  • ETH Zürich, Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, Switzerland
  • ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Dortmund
  • Ruhr University Bochum, Geographical Institute, Chair for Urban and Metropolitan Studies
  • Ruhr University Bochum, Institute for Social Movements
  • Peking University, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, China
  • London South Bank University, Department Urban and Environment Studies, Great Britain
  • Roma Tre University, Dipartimento di Architettura, Italy
  • CUJAE University, Facultad de Arquitectura, Instituto Superior Politécnico, Havana, Kuba
  • TU Vienna, Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Planning, Austria
  • TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture
  • University of Michigan, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, USA
  • University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculuty of Buildings Sciences, Institute for City Planning & Urban Design, Essen
  • Technical University of Munich, Chair for Sustainable Urbanism
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment & Energy
  • TU Berlin, Department of Architecture, School VI Planning Building Environment, Habitat Unit 



Challenges & Topics:
  • Structural Change/ Decline

  • Industrial Landscape and Identity

  • Population Growth/ Decline

  • Economy and Social Perspectives

  • Productive Landscapes

  • Energy, Mobility and Sustainable Development

Instruments, Strategies & Formats:
  • Formality/ Informality (Planning Culture)

Processes of Regional Planning & Cooperation: 
  • Monocentric/ Polycentric Structure

  • Communication of planning contents/ partizipation

  • Urban Redevelopment

  • Two-Scale Urbanism



Am 16. Und 17. Oktober trafen sich im Rahmen des Transforming-City-Regions-Network Experten aus verschiedenen Regionen, um das Thema Polycentric City Regions in Transformation – The Ruhr Agglomeration in International Perspective in Dortmund zu diskutieren.

Die Experten aus sechs polyzentrischen Stadtregionen sprachen dabei über die gemeinsamen Herausforderungen, Planungsinstrumente und Strategien und tauschten sich zu ihren Erfahrungen im Bereich des Managements von Stadtregionen aus. Dazu kamen Experten aus den folgenden sechs Stadtregionen zusammen:

  • Ruhr Agglomeration, Germany
  • Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, Germany
  • Detroit Metropolitan Area – Metro Detroit, USA
  • Kansai Metropolitan Area, Japan
  • Greater Zurich Area, Switzerland
  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France 

Ziel des Workshops war es, die Grundlagen zum Vergleich von unterschiedlichen Stadtregionen zu definieren, gemeinsame Themen zu erarbeiten und Forschungskooperationen anzustoßen. Ebenso sollte die international Konferenz im Juni 2015 auf Zollverein vorbereitet und diskutiert werden.

In dem zweitägigen Workshop wurden insbesondere die zukünftigen Herausforderungen, planungsinstrumente, Strategien und Formate der Regionalentwicklung besprochen. Dabei zeigten sich zahlreiche Parallelen und ähnliche Ansätze und Interessen, vor allem im Bereich des institutionellen Lernens , neuer Planungsansätze und Partizipation in Planungsprozessen.

Hier geht es zur Dokumentation


Agglomeration Ruhr

The Agglomeration Ruhr has a polycentric structure without a clear dominant centre. Consisting of numerous cities of different sizes, the Agglomeration Ruhr has no formal administrative unit. As a result there are many interior borders between the different cities. Also typical of the Agglomeration Ruhr is the great number of internal fringes which separate settlement areas. These areas include industrially used areas, areas for storage and logistics, paths of energy supply or one of the regional green belts crossing the region. The building and settlement structure of the Agglomeration Ruhr is the result of a historical process. In only about 100 years an agricultural region turned into a highly productive industrial landscape. A dense network of roads connects smaller and larger cities, each with its own identity. Therefore it was always difficult to regard the region as one, with consistent interests. The interests of the numerous large, medium and small cities are too diverse. The whole region is a mosaic of different areas that fulfill specific functions and represent their own individual interests. Figures illustrate that local governmental structures remain of great importance in the Agglomeration Ruhr. The Area has two Landscape Associations, 20 institutions for economic development, 24 traffic enterprises and 6 chambers. Regardless several achievements in structural change during the last decades, the Agglomeration Ruhr is facing tasks of managing future development towards a socially balanced and economically strong region. The current 'Regional Discourse' initiated by the Ruhr Regional Planning Association (RVR) aims at the establishment of a legally binding regional plan until 2020. Therefore all 53 municipalities participate in the discursive creation of the Ruhr Planning Association Assembly and the Ruhr Parliament as the main political powers of the region, and respecting local and regional governance structures. Contentually, it is touching the topics of regional spatial development, especially settlement area, landscape or traffic management, connecting it to further issues such as social and economic cohesion and development of strategic fields of innovation.

Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region

The Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region is one of eleven metropolitan regions in Germany and the second largest agglomeration after the Rhein-Ruhr metropolitan region. It consists of the capital city Berlin and the surrounding area of Brandenburg. Unlike many metropolitan regions, which are polycentric and based on morphological measures, Berlin/Brandenburg region is to a large extent centric. Nevertheless, even under the dominance of Berlin, it follows functional polycentricity and interdependence between cities of the region. Like the most cores of metropolitan regions in Germany, Berlin witnesses population growth and therefore facing the challenges of meeting the demands of new housing projects and social-and-physical infrastructure. Berlin city as an autonomous federal state consists of central city government and city wards. Despite its population growth, the region is facing challenges of maintaining social cohesion and global economic position. In the current years, real investment boom and population growth has resulted into Gentrification, increasing rents and real state costs and Social segregation and peripheralization of poor people. A general task becomes the governance issue: how to participate citizens in strategic plans needed to steer the fast inner urban redevelopment induced by the real estate boom as well as the task to re-establish its federal capital function.

Zurich Metropolitan Area

Zurich metropolitan Area is the largest of three metropolitan areas in Switzerland and one of Europe’s strongest economic centers. It includes the canton of Zurich and a six neighboring regions. The metropolitan region of Zurich follows a morphological and functional polycentric pattern and interconnections including nodes and corridors of development between the regions’ many municipalities. managing spatial development of the booming region within the limited space is one of the main planning challenges in Zurich metropolitan region. It calls for alternative governance polices that incorporate the local, regional and metropolitan dimensions.

Nord Pas de Calais

A cross-border metropolitan region located at the crossroads of key infrastructures for transit of goods, and so linking the major metropolitan areas in North-West Europe (Paris, London, Randstad Holland, the Rhine-Ruhr basin in Germany). Nord Pas de Calais is the fourth most populous region of France nine metropolitan regions. Just like the Ruhr region, Nord-Pas-de-Calais contributed substantially to the mining, steel and textile industrial development until the middle of the 20th century, with many of its coalfields now classified as a UNESCO world heritage sites. Nord-Pas de Calais currently still suffers the consequences of the decline of its industrial history, with net outmigration, a high unemployment rate and enduring social difficulties. The last two decades have witnessed major planning attempts of industrial restructuring and attraction of newer industries based on substantial public investment incentives.

Detroit metropolitan area - Metro Detroit

The greater Detroit metropolitan region is located in the southeast Michigan and has one of the largest spatial footprints for cities of comparable inhabitants' numbers. In contrast to the classic perpendicular “grid pattern”, the road system that defined Detroit was the alternative “hub-and-spoke” radial net¬work. The region is characterized by significant patterns of spatial economic and social division. While the Detroit city area faces serious economic challenges caused by the car-production based industrial economy decline resulting into public budget difficulties, massive enduring housing vacancies due to inhabitant outflux during the 1960ies and 1970ies and connected societal issues, the wider metro area counts to wealthiest regions in the US. Currently, selective revital¬ization in the central area of Detroit city has produced “bubble urbanism,” reinforcing the already highly uneven urban land¬scape. Innovative planning strategies and long-term planning process are at the head of the aims of the regional planning of Detroit metropolitan area. Strong competition between cities of the region as well as relatively weak regional governmental structures count to the current challenges of endeavor to reestablish evenly the regional stability.

Kansai Metropolitan Area

The Kansai region is the second largest metropolitan region in Japan after the Tokyo metropolitan area. Kansai has long been the political, economical and cultural center of western Japan and the East Asian region until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1868 and became gradually the concentrated global center. Similarly to the Ruhr region for Germany, Kansai contributed to the prosperity of the modern Japanese industrial state. Beginning with textile production, its central area at the Osaka bay became an industrial centre of the country in the 19th century, followed by steel and chemical production during the first half and the electric machinery industry during the second half of the 20th century. Despite it continued to lose its growth position on Tokyo, the Kansai region remains under the 20 largest regional economies worldwide. Today`s challenge is the stabilization of regional economy through high-tech innovation and the demographic change. The high competition between the regions’ cities and the reaction to the slowing growth leads into individual centralization strategies, leaving peripheral parts of the regional metropolitan area with slower development pace. A task is thus an establishment of regional governmental structures of a regional management for coordination of strategic development tasks.


Das Verständnis und die Aufarbeitung der historischen sowie der aktuellen räumlichen Entwicklung des Ruhrgebiets kann für den Transformationsprozess wichtige strategische Anhaltspunkte liefern. Im Vergleich zu den meisten anderen deutschen Metropolräumen nimmt die Agglomeration Ruhr eine Sonderstellung ein: sie ist eine polyzentral organisierte Stadtregion ohne dominanten Kern, mit einer Vielzahl lokaler und regionaler Institutionen. Sie ist zugleich gekennzeichnet von vielschichtigen strukturellen Brüchen und Widersprüchen in nahezu allen Schlüsselbereichen, insbesondere der räumlichen, wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Entwicklung. Seit Jahrzehnten wird die regionale Transformation und Erneuerung von unterschiedlichsten Akteuren vorangetrieben. Obwohl umfassende Veränderungen stattgefunden haben, dauert der Transformationsprozess an. Dieser Prozess wird auch durch verschiedenste Planungsaktivitäten befördert.

Mit der Neuaufstellung ihres Regionalplans und einer dialogorientierten sowie in- tegrierten Entwicklungsstrategie ist das Ruhrgebiet prädestiniert, einen internationalen Diskurs über die Zukunft der polyzentrischen postindustriellen Stadtregion voranzutreiben. Mit der Internationalen Bauausstellung Emscher Park (1989- 1999), der Europäischen Kulturhauptstadt RUHR.2010 und vielen weiteren Initiativen hat die Region unter Beweis gestellt, dass sie innovative Formate der Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung gemeinsam auf den Weg bringen kann. Um eine bleibende Resonanz und Wirkung zu erreichen, zielt die Tagung auf eine möglichst unvoreingenommene Bilanz der bisher verfolgten Ansätze und Formate. Der internationale Kongress, der sich mit Transformationsprozessen und Strategien urbaner Erneuerung von polyzentrischen Stadtregionen auseinandersetzt, hat folgende Ziele:

  • Bündelung und Erweiterung des Wissensstandes zu regionalen Transformations- prozessen anhand des internationalen Vergleichs von Strategien und Konzepten im Umgang mit verstädterten und postindustriellen Räumen.
  • Erforschung der Chancen und Herausforderungen polyzentrischer Regionen für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung.
  • Das Netzwerk „Ruhr 2020+.Hochschulen und Region“ soll um internationale Partner aus Wissenschaft und Praxis erweitert werden, um die themenrelevante For- schung in vergleichbaren Räumen stärker zu vernetzen und gemeinsame Aktivitäten durchzuführen.

Eine international vergleichende Perspektive soll dazu beitragen, den Wandel des Ruhrgebiets in einen breiteren Kontext einzubetten und zugleich seine objektiv vorhandenen Spezifika einzuordnen. Der Kongress findet vom 11.06.2015 bis 13.06.2015 auf Zeche Zollverein in Essen statt. 



Structural Change & Transformation: Trajectories, Practices, Leitmotifs

This panel aims at reflecting on the past and exploring the current state of older industrial regions from an international, comparative perspective. The transformation of these regions reveals a highly diversified picture, with some cases offering obvious narratives of success, while others are blocked for various reasons. However, nothing changes radically in the short term. Hence, we wish to better understand the longer-term dynamics and trajectories of regional change (measured, for instance, in terms of economic recovery, employment, urban redevelopment, knowledge generation) by presenting cases of transformation that stretch over a timespan of two to three decades.

In so doing, the panel does not wish to uncover what worked, what did not and who was responsible. Instead of searching for the apparently objective ‘truth’ within and behind regional transformation, the panel is particularly concerned with the ways in which the regional problem was framed, contextualised and subjected to strategic action and day-to-day practices. This sort of institutional constellation will then be confronted with the more material, persistent and structural properties of regions (the role of property, political fragmentation, shadow coalitions, urban perforation, infrastructure) that may still be at work and which are likely to block change, create inertia and undermine open discourse.

We invite contributors to propose any cases of regions in transition that fit here. We are also interested in learning about cases that were as extensively studied and subjected to political therapy as the Ruhr region without providing the desired success. The interesting questions in this case are how long the present lasts for and whether the newer (rather than the older) industrialised regions alone turn out to be the winners.
Panel Supervisors:

Prof. Dr. Markus Hesse (University of Luxembourg)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Siedentop (ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development)


Two-Scale Urbanism – Between Strategic-Regional and Project-Oriented Local Urban Design Approaches for City Regions

In today’s urban and regional planning, there are challenges which carry weight at a national or global scale and at the same time can only be solved and imparted to the citizen at a local scale. These include topics such as the development of settlements and the landscape, sustainable mobility and the multi-coded use of infrastructure, especially in post-industrial regions such as the Ruhr valley. Due to the structural change that has been taking place for decades, the area is still undergoing a transformation process. The connection

between the regional level of spatial planning and the specific local urban design projects therefore play a significant role in forming and strengthening a local and regional identity. The panel deals with two-scale urbanism. On the one hand, this means that the strategic guidelines of the region are developed and respected. On the other hand, specific projects that are implemented locally within the framework of the regional guidelines are considered. The focus of the panel should be on the implementation of these projects. Preferably, papers submitted for this panel should outline the connection between these two levels of planning by referring

to a project that can either be in the planning stages or already have been implemented. Thus, one strategic and one spatial level of consideration always exist. In order to outline the connection between the two levels, a structured description of the instruments, strategies and formats existing in the region is of great significance.

Panel Supervisors:

Prof. Christa Reicher (TU Dortmund University)
Prof. Dr. Hisako Koura (Kobe Design University)


Planning Culture – Effective Governance Regimes in Polycentric Metropolitan Regions

Today, polycentricity seems to be the dominant spatial pattern in many metropolitan regions. However, polycentricity is a diverse concept, and we usually distinguish between at least two different forms. Intra-urban polycentric regions used to be dominated by one large city, but strong processes of suburbanisation and metropolitanisation resulted in a more dispersed settlement structure with growing secondary cities. The metropolitan areas of Frankfurt/Rhine-Main and greater Milan are cases in point. Inter-urban polycentric regions such as the Ruhr valley never had a dominant core city, but rather consist of several larger cities that are more or less equal in size. Compared to intra-urban (or formerly monocentric)

metropolitan regions, such regions are at a disadvantage, because the regions and the cities therein lack visibility and a clear profile. However, certain advantages may also exist. The absence of a large core city results in a more balanced settlement structure, with ampleor the Randstad are far from given. Therefore, can polycentric metropolitan regions balance the ambivalence of cooperation and competition in order to create a collaborative advantage? In some polycentric metropolitan areas, several medium-sized cities successfully follow a cooperative strategy in order to balance this disadvantage and join forces. We invite theoretical as well as empirical papers that address the following questions:

> Which kind of governance regimes can we observe in polycentric regions?
> What are the factors for success, and what are the obstacles?
> Can we point to positive examples of functional differentiation or synergetic regional development?
> Which formats and instruments are used in planning and governance?
> What are the implications for the practice of regional planning as well as for regional planning institutions?

Panel Supervisors:

Prof. Dr. Karsten Zimmermann (TU Dortmund University)
Prof. Dr. Uta Hohn (Ruhr University Bochum)


Industrial Heritage and Identity

This panel discusses the influence of industrial heritage on the construction of regional identities in deindustrialising regions and aims defining the concept of “industrial cultural landscapes”. Its focus is on coal-producing and/or steel-producing regions. The following questions will be discussed within this interdisciplinary framework: what was the motivation and intention behind the production of industrial heritage sites? Who/what were the historical agents in

the making of industrial heritage? How has industrial heritage affected the public representation of the region? How do locals perceive and interact with industrial heritage, and how does it affect their personal identity? How has industrial heritage changed the shape and meaning of urban spaces over time? Can industrial heritage prolong working class identity in the course of deindustrialisation? How does the (post-)industrial representation of the region compete with alternative images in the regional identity repertoire? Which

regional specifics – socioeconomic, political, cultural and historical – support or work against industrial heritage? Which features are essential in defining a region as an “industrial cultural landscape”? How have these landscapes been built and preserved? The comparative perspective on regions around the world will raise these as well as new questions in the fields of social and historical sciences.

Panel Supervisor:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger (Ruhr University Bochum)


Productive Landscapes

Urban landscapes in polycentric agglomerations, such as the Ruhr region or the Rhein-Main region, are characterised by a patchwork of open spaces and settlement areas. These landscapes are multifunctional und multiproductive. A variety of different forms of agriculture or horticulture and forestry can be found in these spaces. Moreover, there exists a variety of urban greenspaces, such as traditional parks or private gardens as well as priority areas for ecological protection.

This green infrastructure is essential to ensure the quality of life and attractiveness of urban agglomerations. This includes climate protection, climate adaptation, rainwater treatment, renewable energies and recreation and healthcare. A greater share of open spaces and the linkage of these spaces with settlement areas in polycentric city regions provide significant advantages for

urban resilience. The sustainable development of these areas into urban cultural landscapes will be a task for the future. This task includes different forms of production and design, and can support the value production chains throughout the whole agglomeration.

Panel Supervisor:

Prof. Dr. Jörg Dettmar (TU Darmstadt University)


Economic and Social Perspectives

Polycentric city regions are going through transformation processes driven by a number of different cumulative factors. These factors all have in common that long-established economic and social structures are being replaced by new ones, in either an evolutionary or a revolutionary way. Sectors that have dominated for many decades are as much affected by this as is the structure of the population, which is influenced by demographic change or migration. In the Ruhr region, the unemployment rate and the number of welfare recipients is comparatively high. In terms of economy, the spatial structure of the Ruhr In the Ruhr region, the unemployment rate and the number of welfare recipients is comparatively high. In terms of economy, the spatial structure of the Ruhr

region is very diverse. Many large business parks exist and are typically located on the outskirts rather than in the city centres. These business parks reflect the traditional way of dealing with trade and industry in Germany and the Ruhr region. However, especially in this region, a number of detailed structures such as gap sites exist, which are of great importance to specific economic sectors. These sites are particularly appropriate for and favoured by creative sectors. The initiative Kreativ.Quartiere Ruhr therefore tries to find suitable sites for artists and creative minds. Socially speaking, the Ruhr region is a mosaic of smaller and larger city centres with their own identities. Apart from this, the lifestyles in the region are

very diverse. Due to the history of the region, the working class is highly developed, while the upper class – which is dominant in other German cities – is less developed.

This scenario results in challenges that can be met in different ways. This panel will investigate the ways in which different means of transformation are particularly successful and which aspects of this can be transferred to other contexts.

Panel Supervisor:

Rasmus C. Beck (Business Development Metropole Ruhr)
Prof. Dr. Rolf Heinze (Ruhr University Bochum)


Energy, Mobility & Sustainable Development

In terms of urban development, every polycentric region emerged differently from others and has another structure. Thus, polycentric regions are not sustainable per se. At first glance, it cannot be determined whether they are sustainable, energy-efficient or climate-friendly. Instead, it has to be discussed which polycentric regional structure requires which features in order to be sustainable, energy-efficient and climate-friendly. When the polycentrically structured Ruhr region developed during the 19th and 20th centuries, the present-day sustainability criteria were not in the foreground.

In the quickly growing industrial region, priority was given to the economy, while less attention was paid to the exploitation of nature. In the Ruhr region, the guiding principles of the 21st century can hardly be implemented within a short period of time. Nevertheless, structural change – including economic and demographic change – could provide an opportunity for future-oriented, climate-sensitive, energy-efficient and sustainable development. However, the realisation of such a process will take more than two generations. Therefore, a clear guiding principle is required in order to achieve a transformation of the complex regional system. This principle

must be in place for a long period of time and must not be susceptible to short-lived trends. Polycentric structures demand regional polyvalent action – equal values for the whole region decelerate the processes of transformation in some sections and equalise existing advantages with severe disadvantages.

Panel Supervisors:

Prof. Dr. J. Alexander Schmidt (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy)


Urban Redevelopment Beyond Big Plans

In recent decades urban redevelopment predominantly meant to transform those spaces left behind by the secondary sector: plants, harbors, workers estates and other old industrial developments. All of these spaces have been of large scale and in most cases they were claimed by just a small number of owners and other stakeholders. The transformation of these spaces required enormous efforts in planning, engineering and investment, and quit often such projects reached the status of national showcases: Alexanderplatz in Berlin, HafenCity in Hamburg, the Docklands in London or Kop van Zuid in Rotterdam.

Today we are witnessing a paradigm shift in urban redevelopment: While spaces of the secondary sector are already redeveloped or – if the growth of cities and real-estate markets has cooled down – no longer needed, more and more spaces of the tertiary sector are getting ripe for redevelopment: old office buildings, retail property or logistic facilities and so forth. In addition, our cities need to be adapted to the requirements of demographic, social and climate changes. As a consequence, singular, large-scale and large-investment projects will no longer be a solution. Instead, we have to consider urban

redevelopment as a multitude of interrelated, small-scale projects and interests that have to be orchestrated in order to meet the common goals urban development. The conference panel “Urban Redevelopment Beyond Big Plans” is dedicated to new strategies in urban redevelopment. International guests are invited to discuss examples and ideas for urban transformation, off the beat tracks of large-scale planning and investment.

Panel Supervisor:

Tim Rieniets (Stadtbaukultur NRW)



„About Coal and Miners“ - Denkmalpfad ZOLLVEREIN

The path leads through Zollverein Shaft XII’s authentically preserved surface installations. Apart from the impressive ‘New Objective’ architecture, you discover the technology and work at the loveliest and formerly largest and most productive coal mine in the world. From the shaft hall, where the coal arrived, you follow the coal on its travels through the

screening plant, where the coal was pre-screened, to its preparation and loading is the scrubbing plant. At the same time you discover the traces of miners and get to know their ways of life and conditions of work. Outside the plant you find out interesting facts about Zollverein’s architecture, nature and its multifaceted process of transformation from mine to modern site of art.

Guided Walk by: Kerstin Teichmann / Stiftung Zollverein

Capacity: 60 Persons
Start of the excursion: 10:00 a.m.
End of the excursion: 12:00 a.m.
Meeting Point: Ruhr.Visitorcenter (take a look at the site plan at Downloads)


Renaturalization of the River Emscher - The blue and green backbone of the Region

The decline of the predominant mining and steel industries forced the cities of Europe’s third largest urban agglomeration to search for new perspectives. Anyhow the attempt to attract new clean industries required an appealing surrounding, a certain quality of life. Under its former monostructural hegemony always regarded as the Germany’s shady workbench, the region had no other choice than to perform a fundamental transformation.

The Emscher stream system displays this regional metamorphosis perfectly: once degraded to an open sewage system, it is now determined to play a crucial role in the establishment of a new urban quality. In connection with its surrounding green areas the restored river shall offer regional solutions to the present and future challenges of the conurbation.

The cities’ unsightly back yard turns into a representative front garden, improving a regional quality of life. Additionally the newly established green infrastructure helps the cities to develop resilience in view of the predicted effects of climatic change.
Guided Bustour by: Emschergenossenschaft

Capacity: 50 persons
Start of the excursion: 10:00 a.m.
End of the excursion: around 16:45 a.m.
Meeting Point: Fritz-Schupp-Allee (Bus Stop) (take a look at the site plan at Downloads)


Emscher Landscape Park – Post industrial design for urban landscapes

The excursion „Emscher Landscape Park – Post industrial design for urban landscapes“ gives an overview to different examples of new urban parks and landscapes created in the last 25 years. It includes the transformation of former coal mining and steel sites like Lake Phoenix (Dortmund),

WestPark (Bochum), ERIN & Hoppenbruch (Herten), the Landscape Park Duisburg-North and finally the Rhine-Park in Duisburg. The single projects are important parts of the regional parksystem: Emscher Landscape Park.

Guided Bustour by: Regionalverband Ruhr

Capacity: 50 persons
Start of the excursion: 10:00 a.m.
End of the excursion: around 16:30 a.m.
Meeting Point: Fritz-Schupp-Allee (Bus Stop) (take a look at the site plan at Downloads)



Zeche Zollverein
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen/Ruhr

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