Integrated urban renewal in Duisburg
The processes of structural change during the past decades have affected the city of Duisburg and the neighbourhoods Bruckhausen, Marxloh and Hochfeld on which the old industries left their mark to a particular extent. The disappearing economic base caused massive social and cultural change in these neighbourhoods referred to as 'disadvantaged neighbourhoods'.
Building upon the endeavours already initiated in Duisburg-Bruckhausen in 1991 to effectively counter the problems on an inter-departmental basis, by the clustering of promotion funds and with the on-the-spot involvement of those concerned also in Duisburg-Marxloh since 1994, in Duisburg-Hochfeld since 2000 and in Duisburg-Beeck since 2001 such integrated action plans have been developed and implemented.
With massive aid from the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Construction and Transport which included these four neighbourhoods in the 'Socially Integrative City - NRW' programme, as well as with support from the Federal Government and from the EU, in the specific neighbourhoods the economic, social, urban planning, infrastructural and ecological situations of the areas affected are at the same time being improved within the scope of the respective urban renewal activities.
Within the scope of an overall urban development concept for conversion of the city by means of which sustainable structures are to be created in the areas affected, the city of Duisburg is dealing with the structural problems which are becoming increasingly visible and are demographically induced.
In this case, the city receives financial aid from the 'Urban Conversion - West' programme which was developed in 2004 on the basis of the 'Urban Conversion - East' promotion programme originally aimed at building demolition/reduction and recycling measures in the new Länder (or 'Federal states') of the Federal Republic of Germany.
All of the measures are organisationally clustered in 'EG DU Entwicklungsgesellschaft Duisburg mbH' (EG DU) founded as of 1.1.1999, which has continued the successful work of its predecessor companies and projects in Bruckhausen and Marxloh on the spot and is also present in Hochfeld, Beeck, and the Dichterviertel (Poets' Quarter) with its neighbourhood offices.
In view of further identifiable needs for action within the area of the city of Duisburg the different studies and conceptions already available (Development Concept for Urban Conversion) and/or are currently being prepared (e.g. 1st Duisburg Social Report, Infrastructure Analysis) were grouped together in a 'Working group on neighbourhood development' set up under the auspices of EG DU in 2006.
An essential task of that working group is the development of a small-area monitoring system on the basis of which continuous identification of existing and/or future need for action in urban renewal is possible and on the basis of which transparent selection of areas requiring support can be made.
According to the current status of quantitative and qualitative analyses, there are indications that cumulating problematic situations affect a large number of city quarters with small areas below the neighbourhood level. In this case, a suitable flexible set of instruments is necessary that permits the earliest possible and simultaneous intervention.