How the Ruhr area can emerge from the crisis – Economy

For 35 years, companies in the “Initiative Ruhr” have been supporting the crisis-hit region. The heads of the association explain where the Ruhr region should develop and how the Olympic Games could help.

As early as 1988, there was a crisis in the Ruhr area: mines and steelworks were on the verge of collapse, the mood was bad. The then head of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, who himself comes from Essen, proposed a broad entrepreneurial initiative to promote the region. A year later, the “Initiative Ruhr” got started, and a few months later Herrhausen was murdered by the RAF. Today, 35 years later, the association has more than 70 members: corporations from the Rhine and Ruhr, foundations, the churches. The initiative group supports cultural and educational projects, among other things, and is based in a neat yellow house in the Stadtgarten, a park in Essen not far from the main train station. Rolf Buch, head of the housing group Vonovia, and Andreas Maurer from the Boston Consulting Group have been leading the initiative group as so-called moderators since 2021 – and have big plans for Germany’s largest metropolitan area.

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