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Arnsberg goes back to nature

The city of Arnsberg has renaturalised a 10-km stretch along the Ruhr river. With this natural adaptation to climate change, the city in the Sauerland region has taken an exemplary approach that benefits both people and nature. The state-based initiative KlimaExpo.NRW has therefore included the measure in its list of qualified projects.

Merely reacting can sometimes be both dangerous and expensive. This applies in particular in the case of flooding where warning comes at short notice. Because of this, the city of Arnsberg made a bold decision and has renaturalised a total of 10 km along the Ruhr to date. With this natural adaptation to climate change, the city in the Sauerland region has taken an exemplary approach that benefits both people and nature.

Engine for progress:

  • successful prevention of flood damage
  • increase in the quality of life for the population
  • restoration of healthy ecosystems
  • exemplary model for other municipalities

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Photo: Bezirksregierung Arnsberg


A better flood situation, greater biodiversity and a new experience of nature and leisure

The Ruhr renaturalisation is a large community project that the city is realising both methodically and over the long term together with active citizens, schools and the state. "The Arnsberg renaturalisation project is so pioneering, primarily because the measure achieves various important goals simultaneously", explains Dr Heinrich Dornbusch.

The Arnsbergers are adapting the river to the consequences of climate change in a natural manner. The banks have been levelled and the river bed has been widened. This lessens the consequences of flooding considerably. Local biodiversity has also benefited. Numerous animal species have recently settled in the area. "Furthermore, renaturalisation clearly reinforces how the citizens identify with 'their' Ruhr", says Mayor Hans-Josef Vogel. Small islands in the water, the broad, natural course of the river bed and the many new identifiable animal species make the Ruhr in Arnsberg attractive to both locals and visitors alike.

"The quality of life on the Ruhr has improved significantly and the experience of nature is phenomenal", says Vogel. This is also confirmed by the development along the river bank: New restaurants are opening up there and environmental and art projects are being initiated. "We hope that our award will inspire further participants to bring similar initiatives to life", says KlimaExpo.NRW Senior Managing Director Dr Heinrich Dornbusch.

Arnsberg responds to consequences of flooding project video

Video: KlimaExpo.NRW



Photo: KlimaExpo.NRW

“This project is far more than just a climate protection project. It has brought about a change in attitudes and has generated an entirely new awareness of nature and the region.”

Hans-Josef Vogel, Mayor of Arnsberg



Partners and sponsors


Partners:
  • Umweltbüro Stadt Arnsberg
Sponsors:
  • Land NRW