Innovation City Ruhr: From electric cars, to houses of the future and community workshops

In the middle of the Ruhr region an industrialised city district is undergoing a climate-friendly transformation. The Ruhr Innovation City: long since universally recognised, but despite or perhaps because of this it is something very special.

KlimaExpo.NRW is bringing together a portfolio of projects up until 2022, which illustrate in an exemplary manner the positive effects of climate protection policies on the economy and on society. The first project already officially taking part is the Innovation City. The Bottrop model project is made up of many individual projects, which add up to an impressive total.

Engine for progress:

  • 50 per cent CO2 reduction by 2020
  • interdisciplinary and integrated approach
  • 978 buildings have undergone energy-efficient renovations
  • increase in the local net added value
  • participation by the local population

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Photo: City of Bottrop

The citizens of Bottrop are not “only” active in the area of building efficiency. Bottrop also has a CO2 neutral filling station, roof and facade greening are improving the micro-climate, efficient rain water utilisation is helping to protect natural resources and the creation of clean-air corridors as well as the prevention of heat islands are also helping the quarter to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Industrial location with great potential

A 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, while at the same time improving the quality of life of the inhabitants! The goals the project managers have set are high, but they have already achieved quite a bit. "In 2012 and 2013, we achieved an energy modernisation rate of nearly eight per cent. The nationwide average is only 0.8 per cent," says Burkhardt Drescher, Managing Director of the Ruhr Innovation City, Bottrop. The houses of the future in Bottrop are also unique in Germany. "Following renovation, both a multi-family house and a commercial building have impressed us with their positive energy balance. Pioneering demonstration objects like these are needed to create confidence in new technologies for designers, architects, craftsmen and the general public," remarked Sebastian Weber, Project Manager at KlimaExpo.NRW.

Many individual projects build success

But the inhabitants of Bottrop are not just active in the field of energy efficient buildings. Bottrop also has a CO2 neutral filling station with green roofs that improve the microclimate, efficient rainwater harvesting that saves natural resources and electric cars, bicycles and scooters, which can be taken for a test run free of charge and allow the population to try out mobility options for the future for themselves. It is the social achievements of the Bottrop project that should be highlighted the most in addition to two other areas that address sustainability, economic viability and the environment. In terms of climate-friendly urban redevelopment, quality of life is particularly important. It is not just lower heating and energy bills that make residents happy, but also increased accessibility in the city and the creation of recreational areas as well as avoiding heat corridors and improving air quality, for example.

Bottrop also makes an impressive contribution to the transferability of the project, including a manual to help in the transfer of process steps and methods, which provides other cities with the assistance they need in order to become active themselves. The Innovation City has therefore also scored points through its contribution to social change. Due to the close link with the households, the project creates acceptance for energy transition, encourages inhabitants to participate in the activities themselves and provides a natural way of getting them to engage with new technologies, such as electro-mobility. This results in numerous knock-on effects in terms of learning which has a whole dynamic of its own, ensuring further examples of excellence in climate protection in the future.

Innovation City Ruhr project video

Video: KlimaExpo.NRW

Photo: InnovationCity Ruhr Bottrop

"Since the beginning of the project, 15.8 per cent of all residential buildings in the pilot area have undergone energy-efficiency upgrades. In addition to this, we have been able to release EUR 291 million to date for secured investments up to 2020."

Burkhard Drescher, Managing Director of Innovation City Management GmbH

Partners and sponsors

  • Innovation City Management GmbH
  • Landesregierung NRW
  • EU-Förderung