Published on July 20, 2020

Restructuring Europe’s rustbelt: The Case of the German Ruhrgebiet. (paper)

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This article analyses the case of the German Ruhrgebiet. This region is perhaps Europe’s most well-known example of an old industrial area in which structural change has been occurring for about forty years.The article gives a rough sketch of the Ruhrgebiet and its economy, then goes on to study re-industrialisation strategies that have been pursued in the Ruhr as well as the associated problems caused by regional lock-in. This is followed by a look at the bottom-up approach of regional neo-industrialisation and an assessment of the restructuring efforts of the Ruhrgebiet and the area’s future. In the end, the authors draw a few lessons from the German case.