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By Markus, 24. November 2013

Our last WILDCARD of this special release explores the Ruhr area in Germany. Learn more about the biggest German city, structural changes, the future of Gelsenkirchen, and more…







The Structural Change

As Europe’s leading area for coal mining and steel smelting, the Ruhr area had to face (and still has) a huge challenge in changing its structure from heavy to service industry. The Ruhr area has now developed the highest concentration of universities in Europe, and a unique form of industry culture by conservation of the former industry sites. Gelsenkirchen has become a solar city with the Wissenschaftspark as one of it’s landmarks.

The Biggest German City

The Rhine-Ruhr area, with over 5 million inhabitants, is the largest conurbation in Germany. The inhabitants here feel more like Ruhr-people than people of individual cities, such as Gelsenkirchen. There are 53 cities in the ‘Ruhr Metropolis’ and the boundaries of all merge into one another, but each city has its own backyard (and associated thinking). The people are open and welcoming and always tell you directly what they feel at heart.

Ambient Assisted Living

While the general forecast for Gelsenkirchen shows a downward trend (unemployment rate is high and still rising/ population is shrinking), there are future-oriented projects in the solar sector and in the field of
elderly research. Gelsenkirchen is seen as an international research lab for the care of elderly people.

Interesting Fact 1

Gelsenkirchen is internationally known by Schalke 04, the local
soccer club. With over 120,000 supporters, it is one of the most followed teams in the world. In general, first-class soccer has its home in the Ruhr area in many different cities.

Interesting Fact 2

‘Gelsenkirchen Barock’ is the name of a very special design style which originated in the 1930’s. Ironically, it praises the bold and round-edged furniture and the false historic house facades. Gelsenkirchen takes it with pride and humour.


WILDDESIGN new visual identity part 1: our new color system


Markus writes about design- and innovation management, creativity methods, medical design and intercultural branding. More about...

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