20 city quarters are to become InnovationCities

• The Land of NRW and the EU provide funds for the rollout process • Initiativkreis Ruhr: Model city Bottrop has reached series maturity • Application phase for municipalities will probably start in late 2015/early 2016

Bottrop/Munich, 5 October 2015 – The climate project InnovationCity Ruhr initiated by the Initiativkreis Ruhr has reached a new milestone: so that this concept successfully tested in Model City Bottrop can be rolled out onto a whole region, the Land of NRW is providing, within the scope of the Land-wide call for projects “Regio.NRW”, funds from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD). This was announced by the regional business alliance Initiativkreis Ruhr and Innovation City Management GmbH (ICM) on the stand of Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr GmbH (wmr) at the ExpoReal fair in Munich. The next step is the application to the competent district government in Münster for the project.

InnovationCity Ruhr has been demonstrating in Bottrop since late 2010 how climate-friendly urban conversion can be implemented jointly with players from business, science, administration, politics and the citizens. “Now the project has reached series maturity“, says Dirk Opalka, Managing Director of Initiativkreis Ruhr GmbH, which is the main shareholder of Innovation City Management GmbH.

Bottrop becomes a blueprint
With the funds available Initiativkreis Ruhr, ICM, wmr, WiN Emscher Lippe and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy want to work out implementable concepts for the renewal and development of a total of 20 quarters in the Ruhr according to the Bottrop example. “I am very pleased that the rollout process is gathering speed and that further municipalities can profit from the results achieved and experience gained at InnovationCity Ruhr“, says Opalka. “Bottrop is thus becoming the blueprint for a whole region. That was from the outset the vision of the members of the Initiativkreis Ruhr, when they launched the future project with a competition and made InnovationCity Ruhr the great energy guiding theme of its alliance. We are now putting this vision into practice. That now also wmr is entering this project of great appeal beyond the region’s borders, is evidence of the good cooperation between industry and regional business promotion.”

“The wmr has in advance for a good 2000 quarters in the Ruhr created a pragmatic and manageable demarcation of quarters. In that way municipalities can start faster and more efficiently on energy-related modernisation and refurbishment of existing properties in the quarter”, says Rasmus C. Beck, Chief Executive Officer of Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr GmbH.

The demand for transfer of the InnovationCity concept is high: all of the urban districts in the Ruhr as well as the rural districts, deputising for their municipalities, have with a “letter of intent” already declared their interest. After the official start of the project the municipalities can probably from late 2015/early 2016 apply with a quarter, selection will then be handled by an expert jury.

Remarks on the rollout
NRW Minister of the Environment Johannes Remmel declares on this, “The increase in energy efficiency by the energy-related modernisation of buildings is an important building block for reducing CO2 emissions. It is all the more important that we transfer relevant best practice examples such as from Bottrop to other municipalities.”

NRW Minister of Economics Garrelt Duin adds, “The InnovationCity rollout is a wonderful example of how the whole of the Ruhr – on the one hand, the municipalities but also the citizens and business – can profit from an approach developed in the Ruhr. In that way we not only increase the energy efficiency across the whole area, but also promote the value added in the entire region.”

NRW Minister of Construction Michael Groschek stresses the necessity of a holistic approach, “In order to sustainably renew and develop quarters a sector-overarching approach is necessary into which all of the local players are integrated. That becomes clear from the success of InnovationCity Ruhr | Model city Bottrop. Therefore I am very pleased that we have now taken the first step towards the broad-based rollout of this approach.”

With more than 200 individual projects from the fields of action living, working, energy, mobility and city at InnovationCity Ruhr | Model City Bottrop for very nearly five years climate-friendly urban conversion has been implemented. In specific terms by 2020 the CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 50 percent and the quality of life is to be enhanced. The project was initiated by the Initiativkreis Ruhr, a grouping of about 70 leading companies and institutions in the Ruhr. By means of extensive activation measures in the project area, an energy-related modernisation rate of over ten percent has been reached there that is thus significantly above the national average.

Besides Bottrop, since April 2015 the InnovationCity Essen | Eltingviertel project has also been underway. In the Essen city quarter, Vonovia (formerly Deutsche Annington), the City of Essen and Innovation City Management are, together with further partners, striving for holistic and sustainable quarter development. At the same time property values are to be safeguarded, CO2 emissions are to be reduced and hence the quality of life and the feeling of well-being are to be increased for the people in the quarter.