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“The Crucial Decade”: Future study by the RAG-Stiftung creates momentum for rejuvenating the Ruhr region

On 20th June, the RAG-Stiftung in Essen/Germany presented a future study that is setting the wheels in motion for the further development of the former mining regions and triggering a debate on the rejuvenation of the Ruhr region. The RAG-Stiftung also plans to work in close collaboration with other partners to develop initiatives for transforming mining areas in the Ruhr and Saar regions.

In the presence of Hannelore Kraft, Minister-President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Werner Müller, Chairman of the Board of the RAG-Stiftung, presented the study to the public. The platform for the presentation was the future forum hosted by the RAG-Stiftung and RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Herne/Germany, which was attended by around 400 guests from the world of politics, economics, science and media at the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen.

Minister-President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Kraft, who accepted the study on behalf of the state government, praised the study for its welcome contribution to the debate on the future of the mining region. The initiative by the RAG-Stiftung is a mark of the optimistic mood in the area.

During the presentation, Werner Müller outlined the key results of the study, namely that the next ten years will decide whether the Ruhr region will be one of the winners or losers in the competition for global urban centres. The title of the study series, „The Crucial Decade“, is designed to make people think and is something of a call to action.

One of the primary conclusions of the study is that the Ruhr region needs more decisions to be made from the perspective of the younger generation. This is because vital urban centres attract young people by providing them with opportunities for the future. The study also indicates that mega-trends such as globalisation, digitalisation, demographic change and social inequality have a huge impact on urban centres such as the Ruhr region. In all areas, from politics and society to science and education, the experts who were interviewed see that there is a clear need for action in the region. At the same time, they have identified various opportunities for shaping the region‘s future. With the highest density of higher education institutions in Germany, extensive experience in the field of industrial transformation and an internationally renowned and valued cultural landscape, the region has much in its favour.

In a series of seven pointed theses, the future study by the RAG-Stiftung identifies the most important areas of action for the further development of the Ruhr region. It not only creates momentum for public debate, but also outlines the action to be taken by the RAG-Stiftung over the coming years in terms of funding activities, including in collaboration with regional and national partners. (RAG-Stiftung/Si.)