DAZWISCHEN - Future-oriented structural change in the Rhenish mining area

  Map of the Rhenish Mining Area Copyright: © städtebau

Map of the Rhenish Mining Area



Andreas Klozoris

Academic Staff


+49 241 80-95038


  Copyright: © städtebau

Future-oriented structural change in the ‘Rhineland District‘

The “Rhineland District”

The " Rhineland District” is the study region of the "DAZWISCHEN" project and includes the districts of Düren, Euskirchen, Heinsberg, Rhein-Erft-Kreis and Rhein-Kreis Neuss, the city region of Aachen and the city of Mönchengladbach.

At around 55 billion tonnes, it is the largest lignite depository in Europe and is therefore unique in its size and effect. For decades, the slowly moving open-cast mine edges have subjected the area to far-reaching infrastructural and spatial restructuring, which has left a strong landscape- and economic imprint on the area. By the middle of the, the end of the decarburization of the mines Inden (2030), Hambach (2040) and Garzweiler (2045) should be reached, which means that a rethink is now required at all planning levels.

The Project

The project "DAZWISCHEN - Future-oriented structural change in the Rhineland District" is being carried out by the joint partners of the Faculty of Spatial Planning at the TU Dortmund University, the Chair and Institute for Urban Design at the RWTH Aachen University, the Institute for Applied Social Science GmbH infas, as well as the Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier GmbH, the district of Euskirchen and the city of Düren, and sees itself as a laboratory for adaptation of the structural changes that will come to the area once the open-cast mines have reached the end of their decomposition.

In the course of the first two years, the central structural changes are to be identified on the basis of multi-level analyses. Based on the analyses, future-oriented and sustainable development strategies and models will be developed to stimulate a far-reaching energy turnaround in the region. In doing so, regional economies, mobility and settlement development are to be conceived as sustainable, climate- and resource-saving as possible and closed material cycles and recycling economies are to be implemented.

To this end, the project will distinguish between the three areas and scales of the Rheinland district as a whole, the district of Euskirchen and the city of Düren. With the help of real-life laboratories, an interdisciplinary process will bring together and allow the worlds of science, business, politics and interested citizens to cooperate.

During the first project phase (years 1-3), sub-regional development strategies were presented and a beta version of a digital multi-hierarchical spatial information system was developed.

From the fourth year onwards, in the second part of the project, the implementation of the action strategies will be ensured with the practice partners. The spatial information system will be stabilised in this phase and made available to the region as a monitoring tool.


phase1: 2020 until 2023
phase2: 2023 until 2025

Cooperation Partners

  • Institute of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, Prof. Dr. Stefan Greiving
  • Chair of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning, TU Dortmund, Prof. Dr. Diet- wald Gruehn
  • infas Institute for Applied Social Science GmbH
  • Future Agency Rheinisches Revier GmbH
  • District of Euskirchen
  • City of Düren

Funding body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research, "Stadt-Land-Plus

External Links