The Socially Integrative City in NRW

Since time immemorial cities have been areas of experimentation and nodal points of business and social life. In the European awareness they are places for dwelling and working, driving forces of wealth and integration. There are, however, urban areas which have been particularly adversely affected by the economic and social structural changes of the last decades and which therefore currently perform these functions only to a limited extent.

These urban areas in particular exhibit a marked need for renewal in numerous respects: the need for the development and implementation of urban and ecological improvement within such neighbourhoods is generally accompanied by social and economic problems, since predominantly members of disadvantaged population groups are concentrated within them. Such a situation can easily lead to a downward spiral. On the other hand, these neighbourhoods often also show great potential, e.g. an attractive mixture of different functions, location close to the city centre, committed residents and a young population.

For many years, the federal state and the municipalities have now been engaged in the programme ‘Socially Integrative City’ in these neighbourhoods. The input of financial funds and work capacities is meant to stabilise the neighbourhoods and to provide stimuli so that they can link up with the development of the city as a whole again.

The ‘Socially Integrative City in NRW’ is a part of urban development funding and started in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in 1993. The programme runs under the aegis of the Ministry of Building, Housing, Urban Development and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

By 2013, more than 90 neighbourhoods in 55 municipalities will have been part of the programme. Since 1999, the programme ‘Socially Integrative City’ has been a part of a scheme jointly financed by the Federal government and the federal states and covering cities from all over Germany, in which so far more than 600 neighbourhoods have participated.

The central basis for obtaining funding is an Integrated Local Action Plan in which all of the measures serving the purpose of improving housing, working and living situations in the neighbourhood are co-ordinated strategically and time-wise. An essential principle of the ‘Socially Integrative City in NRW’ is the bundling of different funds and resources which are appropriately linked with one another in different fields of activity.

The programme ‘Socially Integrative City in NRW’ is to be understood as a learning programme in which ideas and experience from different towns, cities and players come together and complement and fertilize each other. This is one of the reasons why you can find a broad range of publications, papers and articles about this programme today – and some have been published in English. Here you can find comprehensive information about the structure and basis of the programme as well as an insight into fields of activity and projects in the context of urban renewal:

   

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