Klimaquartier Arrenberg: Something big is happening

Over 5,000 people in the Arrenberg neighbourhood live in an area that had been caught in a downward social spiral for decades. The "Aufbruch am Arrenberg" (New Start in the Arrenberg neighbourhood) association now wants to get their quarter into shape regarding energy efficiency, following the example of the former "Villa Media" slaughterhouse. Today, the historical building complex is home to an event and media location, which is operated to be virtually energy self-sufficient.

Villa Media is symbolic of the new start in the Arrenberg neighbourhood. More than 15 years ago, Managing Director Joerg Heynkes dared to take his first step into the world of the media at the former slaughterhouse. Today, 15 companies from the industry are based here. Since 2012, it has been energetically modernised. Today, the building complex produces more energy than it needs itself ("Energy Plus"). This is provided by six PV solar power systems on the roofs and two CHP units – one of which operates on the basis of a fuel cell. The investments in building equipment are well worth it. According to the operator's calculations, the total investment in the various renewable energies will have been amortised after seven years...

Engine for progress:

  • event location is already 70 per cent energy self-sufficient
  • old slaughterhouse complex converted into an Energy Plus complex
  • 120 members in the "Aufbruch am Arrenberg" association
  • neighbourhood network, consuming energy as required locally
  • citizens' information at the Energiewendezentrum.NRW

1 of 8

Photo: Heynkes

At the end of the 1990s, the Villa Media media location was developed by Jörg Heynkes. Today, more than 15 companies in the event and communications industry work in the three listed villas of the former slaughterhouse and the former guard house, within an area of about 4,000 square metres. At the same time, the historical look and feel were preserved.

CO2-free mobile

Villa Media would like to use its energy surplus efficiently itself. That is why it has purchased four electric vehicles. It would be ideal, if the rechargeable vehicles could be used as energy stores that could redeposit the electricity into the building network when required. In order to support research into this, Villa Media is participating in a research project funded by the German government. The vehicles will be tested as part of an intelligent networked energy system. They will be charged when there is an electricity surplus in the grid and will redeposit the electricity into the grid in the case of greater demand.

A new start in the Arrenberg neighbourhood

The enthusiasm for a new start has, in the meantime, spread far beyond Villa Media. The efforts are combined under the umbrella of the "Aufbruch am Arrenberg" (New Start in Arrenberg) association. The association was established in 2008 by entrepreneurs and residents in Arrenberg and sets the tone for regional commitment by small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition to a number of different citizens' projects, the association also runs a neighbourhood office. Since then, the quarter has lost its air of descent and newcomers are specifically choosing Arrenberg as the new centre of their lives. Through this commitment, the quarter has received state support and become a role model throughout the region and beyond.

CO2 neutral by 2030

The association is now planning to convert a lively residential area with multi-dwelling buildings and business premises in the centre of Arrenberg to carbon-neutral. If it works, the whole Arrenberg neighbourhood should be CO2 neutral by 2030. In order to provide assistance, the "Energiewendezentrum.NRW" (Energy System Transformation Centre) was established on the premises of Villa Media. A permanent exhibition shows innovative technologies and a consultant provides information on action and funding opportunities.

Video: KlimaExpo.NRW

Photo: Heynkes

"All of the relevant technologies for a CO2-neutral energy supply and sustainable mobility are available. Each of us can make a contribution. This is why we do what we can at VillaMedia and in the Arrenberg neighbourhood. We want to make our contribution to maintaining this planet in its wonderful form for humanity!"

Jörg Heynkes, VillaMedia

Partners and sponsors

  • Klimaqurtier Arrenberg
  • Neue Effizienz
  • Bergische Entwicklungsagentur
  • Effizienz-Agentur NRW
  • Transzent und Wuppertal Institut
  • Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz (MKULNV)