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Germany: the industrial transition is now data-driven across the entire Ruhr Region

Team Wed, 10 January 2024

Once the heart of the German coal and steel industry, the Ruhr Region has a bold objective: to become the 'greenest industrial region in the world'. Boasting over 5 million residents, Ruhr is a role model, balancing the relationship between civic well-being and economic vitality.

Towards Germany's 2045 climate neutral objective, the Ruhr Regional Association is redefining itself as a pioneer of 21st-century civic administration. With help from one mutual technology platform, the 53 municipalities, such as Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg, will let data-driven decisions support the chartering of a new course over the next five years. 

The Ruhr municipalities are collaborating in an integrated regional model that is transparent, economically resilient, and citizen-centric, supported by the platform. This platform, based on transparent data and co-created methodology, guides the development of innovative scenarios, encouraging agile collaboration among stakeholders, developed by the Swedish company, ClimateView. 

The Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), functioning as a networker, coordinator, initiator, project sponsor, and local partner, is at the forefront of this progressive initiative. RVR introduces a digital tool to assist municipalities in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and financing of their innovative goals. Each municipality can develop a dynamic public governance and civic administration action plan, steering the transformation path using data. 

Nina Frense, RVR representative for environment and green infrastructure, emphasizes:
“The member municipalities of the Ruhr Regional Association can now plan climate protection digitally and calculate the impact in scenarios, thanks to federal funding. The platform makes networked municipal climate protection planning possible for the region. This collaboration takes us as a region a good step further towards becoming the greenest industrial region in the world.”

Continuous monitoring ensures the effectiveness of measures and investments, with active engagement from all stakeholders. Dortmund leads the way, having embraced the platform in 2020, setting a precedent for the remaining 52 municipalities. This collective effort establishes a new regional standard, promoting transparency and facilitating inter-municipal learning processes. With the potential of publishing the platform's governance dashboard, society and stakeholders would be able to actively participate in the transformative process, enhancing communication with administrative units, local entities, and state and federal authorities.

The Ruhr Metropolis sends a resounding signal by investing in innovative civic administration with political, administrative, and industrial actors seamlessly working together, even in areas beyond municipal influence, such as nationwide governance decarbonization and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. 

The kick-off event for the five-year collaboration between Ruhr municipalities and ClimateView occurred on December 4 in Essen, with over 70 municipal officers and partners in attendance. 

Commencing January 2024, the platform will be available to municipalities, marking the inception of the journey towards redefining civic administration practices for the 21st century.