Workshop on Structural Change in the Rhenish Lignite Mining Area




Agnes Förster

Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development


+49 241 80 98480



RWTH Aachen is coordinating the REVIERa networking platform which seeks to connect all players in structural change in the Rhenish Lignite Mining Area. Ideas and opportunities for transformation were now discussed in a project workshop.


Germany's plans to phase out coal, among other developments, have initiated a period of structural change in the Rhineland's lignite mining region. The overall aim is to turn the area into a model region for CO2-neutral energy supply, largely closed resource loops, and an attractive mixture of residential, work and leisure spaces.

This requires comprehensive spatial and landscape restructuring processes. The REVIERa transformation platform initiated by RWTH Aachen University takes these complex design and development tasks into account and aims to connect the University, which seeks to contribute to this change process with its key areas of expertise, with stakeholders in the Rhenish mining area.

REVIERa is intended as a platform for dialog and exchange with the aim of identifying and coordinating opportunities for innovation and transformation. The platform was initiated in mid-2019 by an interdisciplinary group of RWTH researchers.

Following a kick-off workshop in February 2020, which initiated an active exchange between stakeholders from research, politics, administration, industry, and society and identified various spheres for action, RWTH hosted a digital follow-up workshop in October. In the run-up to the workshop, 57 project ideas had been collected, which served as a basis for discussion among the 145 workshop participants. The key idea was to present the state of ongoing projects as well as to initiate collaborations, identify innovative opportunities for transformation, and provide a common denominator for the various actors involved in advancing the region’s structural change.

The project workshop was jointly organized by professors Agnes Förster, Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development, Peter Letmathe, Chair of Management Accounting, and Stefan Böschen, Chair of Society and Technology at RWTH’s Human Technology Center, HumTec.

Involving different RWTH departments and disciplines, REVIERa will coordinate support for the transformation process and contribute to shaping the future development of the region through research and consortial activities. The initiative and the exchange it fosters seeks to integrate, and think holistically about, technologies, space, the individual, and society and involve citizens of the region in developing tailored measures at the societal, geographical, and economic levels.