Intergenerational project for a region with a future
The face of the Emscher region is changing once again. It is more than a hundred years since a sparsely populated agricultural landscape was transformed into an industrial metropolitan area, and the naturally flowing Emscher became a manmade system of open sewers. With the decline of mining, a further structural change has set in, with the traditional heavy industry making way for high technology and the service sector. The end of mining subsidence now also makes it possible in our region to drain wastewater in closed underground sewers, and step by step to transform the river and its subsidiary waterways into near-natural bodies of water – an intergenerational project.
The Emscher Conversion not only offers the chance of a century to give a new face to the urban landscape between Holzwickede and Dinslaken. The aim is to decisively enhance the value of the Emscher region through projects that extend far beyond the waterway, sustainably changing the living and working environment of the population. The planning basis for this is the Emscher Future masterplan, published in 2006. Many of the ideas it drafted out have today become reality, the Emscher Present. This can be experienced in many places, e.g. along the converted Emscher and at Phoenix Lake in Dortmund, in the Berne Park in Bottrop and at the Emscher Experience in the Oberhausen Kaisergarten. Through its updates, the masterplan will now contribute to bringing together the experience of the water management sector and the latest requirements for the development of a future-proof Emscher region.