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Administrative structure in the regional association Ruhr; Administrative districts of Münster and Arnsberg in the LWL, Düsseldorf in the LVR
Settlement structure in the regional association Ruhr

The name Ruhrstadt stands for unrealized plans to merge the cities and municipalities of the Ruhr area . So far there has been an overarching cooperation between eleven independent cities and four districts of the Ruhr area with the Regionalverband Ruhr .

After the initiative Ruhrstadt the name should Ruhrstadt promote the team spirit of the cities of the Ruhr area as a first step in this direction possible. The name Metropole Ruhr primarily promotes the cultural cooperation of the Ruhr area cities. This term originated in 2005 as a word creation from regional marketing, but remained strange and did not enter into people's everyday language. For 2010, the Ruhr area (and the city of Essen as a representative) received the title of European Capital of Culture ( RUHR.2010 - European Capital of Culture ) in order to highlight the cultural heritage, in particular the industrial culture of this area, and to look at itself as an “unconventional metropolis in the making “To draw attention. The Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH (regional economic development for the Ruhr area) also refers to the idea of ​​the Ruhr area as a metropolis .


The Ruhr area is the largest metropolitan area in Germany and part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region . In general, the term Ruhr area nowadays means the area of ​​the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR).

The administrative division of the Ruhr area can be traced back to the Prussian provinces of Jülich-Kleve-Berg and Westphalia , founded in 1815 . In 1815, when the province of Westphalia and the forerunner of the Rhine province was founded, Prussia aligned itself with the old tribal borders between Franconia and Saxony .

The borders ran through what was then a sparsely populated and agricultural region. With industrialization, especially hard coal mining and steel production, the old Hellweg cities and the villages in the Emscherland grew into large cities. Since then, the old borders have led through the middle of the Ruhr area, which leads to administration by the three district governments in Münster , Arnsberg and Düsseldorf .

The Ruhr Coal District Settlement Association took on coordination tasks , from which the Ruhr Area Municipal Association or today's Ruhr Regional Association emerged. The region is subject to constant structural change, which raises the question of more coordination and cooperation instead of a competitive situation, for example when advertising for business locations.

However, the individual large cities of the Ruhr area often lead a life of their own and are reluctant to unite to form a Ruhr city. The wing cities in particular refer to the structures that have evolved over time.

Solution models and interim solutions

A city

As early as the 1920s, the Ruhr Coal District Association (SVR) was of the opinion that the Ruhr area should be separated from the Rhineland and Westphalia and become a unit under administrative law. The successors of the SVR, the municipal association of the Ruhr area (KVR) and today's RVR also called for such a Ruhr city to remove the fragmentation and remote control of the "district" from outside.

This most far-reaching solution, the establishment of a polycentric regional city ​​encompassing the entire city region , was demanded by the Greens and the Pro Ruhrgebiet association . These demands are particularly controversial with the two regional associations Rhineland (LVR) and Westphalia-Lippe (LWL).

Four cities

A possible interim solution would be a four-city model , according to which the other cities in the core Ruhr area are allocated to the four large core cities of Duisburg , Essen , Bochum and Dortmund . In this model, the city ​​of Mülheim an der Ruhr could, for example, become a district of Essen and the city of Oberhausen a district of Duisburg. Corresponding plans already existed in the 1920s, e.g. B. to the Ruhr estuary city around Duisburg.

For the reorganization of the Ruhr area on January 1, 1975, the then North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior, Willi Weyer, presented a city ​​association model to the public on October 18, 1972 . It provided for the formation of four city associations (Duisburg, Essen, Bochum and Dortmund) with more than one million inhabitants each. Because of the fear that this was a preliminary stage for the formation of four megacities in the Ruhr area, the model was rejected at that time.

Several cities

An alternative model for the incorporation of the smaller cities into core cities would be the unification of the smaller cities. Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen or Gelsenkirchen and Herne could be merged into new cities. This model is similar to the basis of the territorial reform measures of the 1920s.

Such city ​​mergers and the creation of new cities have numerous models not only in the Ruhr area (e.g. Gelsenkirchen, Wanne-Eickel , Duisburg ), but also in the Rhineland ( Wuppertal , Leverkusen , Krefeld , Mönchengladbach ) and in the rest of Germany ( Greater Berlin , Greater Hamburg ). The incorporations in 1975 ( Wattenscheid , Kettwig , Glabotki , etc.) are not actually counted as part of the city mergers, as the city that was created never had a double name.

Introduction of regional directorates

There are currently no political majorities for the aforementioned models. However, it seemed realistic to create a separate “Ruhr district” in order to politically strengthen this largest urban region in Central Europe. In the coalition of CDU and FDP that ruled after the state elections in 2005 , the creation of a Ruhr district was on the agenda. By 2012 the two landscape associations and the five administrative districts in North Rhine-Westphalia should be abolished and replaced by three regional directorates. In addition to the Rhineland and Westphalia, the Ruhr area should also have its own regional directorate. The seat of government should be the Ruhr area city of Essen.

With the associations RVR, LVR and LWL the resistance grew, because they should be dissolved after the state planning.

These plans were abandoned by the Rüttgers government in 2009, before the state elections of the following year.

Web links

Commons : Ruhrgebiet  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Ruhrgebiet  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  3. Navid Moshgbar: Marketing Flop - Why almost nobody says “Metropole Ruhr” . Article from March 7, 2016 in the portal , accessed on July 12, 2020