1864 - 1986Heartland of Europes steel and coal industries “Black” Age of Rurhgebiet
1986abandonment of steel works and coal mining operations (4 out of 200 mining are still active)
=> Legacy of high unemployment and environmental contamination275000unemployedpeople
Emscher River- 70 kilometers from east to west through the region.- acting as a waste water canal since the end of late 19th century=>for decades- a biologically dead open sewer
Project of Revitalisation1989 – 1999 - regional redevelopment plan"International Building Exhibition (IBA) at Emscher Park”What: ecological, economic, and urban revitalization of the Ruhr Valley and the Emscher River :“to give the region a greener image, and breathe life into the old industrial plants”How: several collaborative partnerships with various agencies and 17 local authorities1999 – 2014 - successor plan "Project Ruhr"What: completing the IBA plan, and cleaning the EmscherHow: taking over the task of management and the entire project series from expired IBA pan
Project of Revitalisation- 800 km2 – the largestrenaturalization project in Europe- "green connector"between 17 towns of the Rhur valley,- following the pathof the Emscher River- using the abandonedindustrial areas as a unique form of greenspace- joining 7 existing but expanded north-south greenbelts
IBA Emsher Landscape ParkParticipating municipalitiesRuhrgebiet
100 subprojects in 5 categories- remedial work on the industrial landscape,- cleaning up the Emscher river system,- new-build commercial and educational facilities,- housing developments,- re-use of derelict industrial installations.
Revitalisation of Emscher river- installation of underground sewers;- re-profiling of the river for better flood management;- changing of part of the rivers course - from a straight narrow concrete channel back to a wide curved pool;- trees and native plants have been introduced along the bank.
Housing25 housing projects (garden city model):3,000 refurbished houses and 2,500 new housing units with sustainable features(75% are public sector rented accommodation) -modern structures with a focus on ecological sustainability
Results- the image of the area has improved dramatically,- around 5000 new jobs have been created,- the project has increased the citizens awareness of the historical significance of their surroundings,- experience for municipalitiesEmscher Park - a symbol for innovation and is an example of how unique opportunities can be identified in a place full of challenges.
Funding> 1.5 billion euro – overall budget of IBA projects:2/3 – public: State Government of North Rhine- Westphalia, European Union,1/3 – private: developers, private companies, non-profit groups and local town governments
ThoughtsCan we change the operations of a whole local culture from the scale of coal and steel to the scale of a future?- not yet known
Shutting down in Germany COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTSPlans for 770 new ones in China and India (2007)