Achieved outcomes and impacts:
The result of the Park concept is a very unconventional nature park, which is characterised by a regional network of green spaces and paths resulting from 178 completed projects and 248 further planned projects. The Park is considered "the green heart of the Metropole Ruhr". Most of the industrial land was 'forbidden land' for many years. After the shutdown of industrial production and (partial) redevelopment, the areas, which have a high level of biodiversity, were jointly promoted for public use through the industrial nature trail. The areas now serve as part of museums and parks and are seen as being among the most attractive places in the cityscape of the Metropole Ruhr. The area offers improved access to urban green space for leisure, culture and nature experiences and promote human well-being through recreation close to nature. Cultural and historical heritage (landscape and infrastructure) is protected in a sustainable way and the sense of place identity, memory and belonging is promoted. The areas also offer increased opportunities for education and scientific research. Alongside the large-scale redevelopment of the landscape the networking of the different projects into a single park system has been internationally recognized as an outstanding achievement. The concept was awarded the National Prize for Integrated Urban Development and Building Culture by the Federal Ministry of Transport in 2009. The project was awarded the European Garden Award in the category "Large-scale Green Concept" in 2016.
Success factors and lessons learned:
The Emscher Landscape Park 2010 Master Plan which was jointly developed from an early stage gave the park a planning foundation and was key to its success. It defines the area of the park, compiles an overview of the projects and names the main themes of development (location, ecology, infrastructure, culture, urban agriculture and forestry, development and vegetation management). Strategic planning and coherent policy development were crucial in building this successful project, as well as the high degree of collaboration from an early stage with the affected cities and districts.