Between 2nd and 6th of October AHK Romania organized a delegation on theme of city regeneration and revitalization in North Rhine-Westphalia. Romanian participants were especially representatives of the local public authorities.
We have chosen this region of Germany because even since the 1990s it has faced the structural transition. From a region with a strong focus on mining, heavy industry and steel processing, in the last 20 years, Ruhr area had to completely redesign both the economy and the office and living spaces.
From meetings with city administrations of Dortmund, Duisburg, Bochum or Essen to visits of city regeneration projects, the participants from Romania had a broad experience exchange with their German counterparts, learning from their long experience.
Welcome were also the meetings with the Economic Promotion Agencies of various cities from Ruhr area or with the agencies responsible for the whole Ruhr Metropolis, the 3rd largest and most important economy in Europe after London and Paris.
Discussions were very specific: beginning from the abandoned industrial areas, what is to do with them, how these can turn into appealing spaces for city inhabitants. How new workplaces can be created instead of those 500.000 workplaces from the primary sector, how can the new created area be marketed, what funds are at disposal and how can be the citizens integrated into these projects, how to determine them to accept the project proposed by the local administration.
On the sites of abandoned industrial areas new residential districts have been built, in which the citizens can live and work, having a handful of possibilities to spend their free time. The success examples that we visited during our delegation were the new residential district Phoenix See form Dortmund, the residential district 51 from Essen, Mark 57’1 from Bochum, located on the site of ex-Opel factories, and many others.
Other important aspects which have been discussed were the importance of social inclusion, protection and integration of disadvantaged citizens into various projects financed by the EU or by the Federal Government.