ESSEN 2017


The Emschergenossenschaft

Balancing the different utilisation requirements that businesses, residents and nature bring to the Emscher in a sustainable and acceptable manner – this is the fundamental task of the EMSCHERGENOSSENSCHAFT as the river manager for the Emscher. For more than 100 years, we have been responsible for all matters relating to the Emscher and its subsidiary waterways. These include waterbody maintenance, flood protection, wastewater disposal, and stormwater and groundwater management, as well as the renaturalisation of the Emscher and general planning, consulting and implementation of all measures that are required for the Emscher Conversion.

The EMSCHERGENOSSENSCHAFT was founded on 14 December 1899, as the first German water management association. This served as a model for a whole series of further water associations, including the LIPPEVERBAND, which was founded on 18 January 1926. The EMSCHERGENOSSENSCHAFT and LIPPEVERBAND cooperated closely from the start, and work together under the single roof of a harmonised organisational structure.

Ruhr Regional Association

The Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), with its offices in Essen, is the regional hub of the 11 independent municipalities and four districts of the Ruhr Metropolis with its approx. 5.1 million inhabitants.

The Ruhr Regional Association is responsible for the regional planning for the Ruhr region. It is the sponsor of significant infrastructure project such as the Industrial Heritage Trail and the Emscher Landscape Park. The Ruhr Regional Association has been working on improving the quality of life in the Ruhr region for more than 80 years. It maintains and preserves green open spaces for recreation and leisure.

Its legal functions also include the regional business and tourism development, as well as public relations for the Ruhr Metropolis. Together with its municipal partners it carries the seven Ruhr region and leisure parks.

The Ruhr Regional Association also collects geo and climate data about the region and makes it accessible to its member municipalities, amongst others for planning reasons.


With around 1,000 water management facilities, including 13 large lakes and more than 60 wastewater treatment plants, the Ruhrverband ensures sufficient volumes of excellent quality water are available to supply the 4.6 million people in the Ruhr Area and beyond. The Ruhr and its subsidiary waterways are managed as a unit, independently of political and administrative boundaries. Only in this way can a fair balance be achieved between the various uses and interests in the rivers and lakes. This reduces costs and benefits both the population and the environment.

The Ruhrverband will be getting actively involved as a partner in the activities relating to “Essen 2017 – European Green Capital”, with its projects “Swimming in Lake Baldeney”, “Building a Fish Ladder at the Baldeney Weir”, and the presentation of the historical Ruhr water management collection at St. Annental in Essen.

Runder Umwelttische Essen (RUTE)

In 1993, environmentally interested members of the public from various groups met for a first informal discussion of their experiences at the Bethesda Hospital in Borbeck. The Essen Environmental Round Table (known by its German acronym RUTE) was thus born, a special voluntary structure that made an early start at preparing the way for the Green Capital 2017. Today there are well over 20 national and international organisations here, including Greenpeace, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), the German Cyclist’s Association (ADFC) and Transition Town. The aims of RUTE particularly consist in coordinating the work of these associations faster, ensuring a better exchange of information, and offering a familiar lobby for nature and environmental protection. The highest principle of RUTE members remains as ever their impartiality, because they discuss the subject of environmental protection with all parties and institutions. As regards the Green Capital 2017, the RUTE association insists on sustainable steps being initiated that extend far beyond the year 2017.