Green Infrastructure Strategy

The future vision for the Ruhr area

The regional strategy for green infrastructure is to be established as an informal, planning basis for the further development of green infrastructure in the Ruhr area.

With the GI strategy, the further development of the Ruhr Metropolis into the 'greenest industrial region in Europe' is to be achieved in a participatory development process. The strategy leads to the implementation and (further) development of targeted activities and projects that are supported by all those involved. In doing so, an optimal balance between individual interests and the common good is achieved and a clear added value is achieved for the region. Beyond the regional identity of the residents of the Ruhr Metropolis, 'the greenest industrial region in Europe' is also perceived as such by outsiders.

Entwurf für das Freiraumleitbild. © RVR/Team 11-1

Good to know

Green infrastructure connects people, nature and space and stands for a network of near-natural, multifunctional areas and ecosystems.

At the same time, the term includes an integrated planning approach in which actors from various specialist disciplines and institutions work together and jointly develop innovative solutions for complex societal challenges (e.g. climate change, growth and shrinkage processes, land use, species loss, digitization).

25-50-25 grau

► Why is the region striving for a GI strategy?

The future GI strategy of the Ruhr area...

  • ...serves as a narrative of a metropolitan region on the way to a resilient, sustainable, socially fair, livable and climate-adapted region.
  • ...names regionally developed and agreed visions and goals for the green infrastructure.
  • ...acts as a strategic bracket to promote existing and newly developed 'green' projects, processes and measures in a targeted manner.
  • ...offers a stage for initiatives through systematic communication and networking and makes visible existing large and small projects and activities in the region.
  • ...offers an opportunity for organized exchange and networking between actors.
  • ...consolidates the reputation of the Ruhr Metropolis as a model region for green transformation.
  • ...complements existing formal planning.

► What are the components of the GI strategy?

The GI strategy of the Ruhr Metropolis consists of three sub-products:

  • a (spatial-, actor- and field of action - related) analysis of the potential of green infrastructure in the Ruhr Metropolis,
  • a "Green Charter" consisting of goals and a mission statement
  • and an implementation concept that names operable goals, instruments and measures.

► How should the development process of the strategy be structured?

Since the GI strategy is to be developed 'from the region - for the region', the key to a successful development process is the participation and cooperation of all GI-relevant stakeholders in the entire region. For this purpose, different formats are are taking place, which enable both a broad discourse and depth of content.

► What does the GI strategy do for the region?

The GI strategy is intended to achieve the further development of the Metropole Ruhr into the 'greenest industrial region in Europe' in a participatory development process. The strategy leads to the implementation and (further) development of targeted activities and projects that are supported by all stakeholders. Attention is paid to an optimal balance between individual interests and the common good. At the same time, a clear added value for the region is achieved by strengthening the regional identity of the inhabitants of the Metropole Ruhr. In addition, the region is also perceived by outsiders as 'the greenest industrial region in Europe'.

Project timeline of the green infrastructure strategy © RVR

Green infrastructure criteria


GI is multifunctional due to its large number of possible ecosystem services and can thus combine different functions/uses with each other. Measures on topics such as nature conservation, leisure and recreation, nature experience, climate adaptation, etc. must be combined in the best possible way and with the greatest synergy effects.


Green infrastructure connects green, open and water spaces physically and functionally with each other. In this way, network systems are developed with different components that offer a combination of different ecosystem services. The existing GI components (cores, connections, supplementary individual elements) must be identified and linked to the implementation projects that act as new GI components in a meaningful way.


Green infrastructure is understood to be integrated and coordinated and has physical and functional references to other concepts and strategies (e.g. climate protection, biodiversity, sustainability, etc.) and other infrastructures such as transport infrastructure, buildings and the water management system.

Multi level approach

GI requires the assessment and planning of the spatial configuration of landscape features and ecosystems and how they relate to each other at multiple spatial scales. In this way, networks are formed on all spatial levels, which in turn are connected to one another. This way of thinking forms the basis for making the appropriate area selection for measures in order to identify in advance where important components of the GI system lie and where further ones should be developed.


Tino Wenning

Referat Klima und Umweltschutz
Teamleiter Grüne Infrastruktur und Klimaneutralität

+49 201 2069-357