6/12/ - 7/12/2021

Future Formats for the Region

Internationaler Kongress zum Abschluss des Projektjahres Grüne Hauptstadt Europas-Essen 2017


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Convention– Future Formats for the Region

The way we live and work and the way we move and supply ourselves are largely dictated by the need to protect our climate. These requirements pose enormous challenges to regions and municipalities – who have already initiated the necessary change all over Europe and around the globe by developing solutions that are often unconventional and set an example for sustainable city planning.

The Ruhr Metropolis and the City of Essen have been leading the way in these efforts for years now and are currently living in the “Green Decade”: The development of the entire region has already been shaped by the Emscher Park International Building Exhibition, the Emscher conversion project, the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, the Innovation City process and the 2017 project year European Green Capital of Essen. But, these projects are far from signalling the end of the forward-looking planning the City of Essen is undertaking to transfigure itself into a polycentric and sustainable Ruhr metropolis!

The convention FUTURE FORMATS FOR THE REGION provides the appropriate platform for an international exchange between experts, decision-makers and citizens. It is based on the realisation that shaping cities of the future that offer high quality of life and sustainability requires constant reflection and optimisation of all steps involved. The goal is to learn from each other – across borders and across topics. Wide acceptance of the measures is not possible without democratic participation.

This is why we invite you to discuss, ask questions and listen: at an event that is already the third of its kind in an established series of conventions that emerged from the format European Green Capital – Essen 2017. The convention will have a hybrid format for the first time. It will be possible to attend in person on site as well as online – naturally, in real time and in interactive fashion. All contributions will be translated simultaneously into English or German.

What you can expect: Highlights of our schedule

A large variety of local, regional and global participants from the realms of politics, business, science and culture will discuss contemporary issues, highlight innovative projects and illustrate perspectives of change.

We would like to take the evening of December 6, 2021 as an opportunity to follow up on the RUHR TALKS and join with you and our speakers in discussing the question: “How do we talk about the future?” On that evening, we will use examples taken from the research project “Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures”, conducted by Duisburg-Essen University, and from the portfolio of the metropolis writers contributing to the Brost Foundation to talk with you about events relating to the future of the region as viewed by researchers and authors.

We will kick off the day on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, by welcoming Thomas Kufen (Mayor of the City of Essen), Ursula Heinen-Essen (Minister for the Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia), and Professor Dr. Hand-Petter Noll (Chairman of the Zollverein Foundation) and by giving an introduction to the upcoming lectures and discussions.

Svenja Noltemeyer (Die Urbanisten e.V.), Jörg Förster (German University Sports Federation) and Professor Dr.-Ing. Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy) will detail and discuss “Forces of Transformation”.

To add a regional perspective, we will ask Horst Fischer (IGA Ruhr Metropolis 2027), Christina Zollmarsch (Greentech.Ruhr/ Business Metropolis Ruhr GmbH), Peter Köddermann (Baukultur Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V.) and Melanie Kemner (lala.ruhr) in the second part of the day to present formats that have already proven successful in the region.

The question we want to pursue in the third part of the day is how cities worldwide manage to master today’s challenges. Hosted by Dr. Lars Grotewold of the Mercator Foundation, the discussion will be joined by our sister city of Grenoble and by the cities of Glasgow, as the site of the COP 26 summit, and Pittsburgh, in their capacity as partner of the Urban Transition Alliance. Last, but not least, Professor Dr. Jens Martin Gurr of the University Alliance Ruhr will shed light on the transatlantic transfer of municipal development concepts.