Solutions: How do we want to do it?

Environmental neutrality for Ruhrort is to be realized through a three-stage model. After analyzing and drawing up a life cycle assessment, the next step is reduction, followed by compensation. But what lies behind these processes?


In an initial work phase, experts from the field of life cycle assessment determined the ongoing environmental impact of Duisburg-Ruhrort under the technical supervision of TU Berlin. The analysis process provides an insight into the environmental impact caused by the mere existence of human life in Duisburg-Ruhrort. In scientific terms, the project is based on what is known as a life cycle assessment, or LCA for short. The analysis was completed in September 2023. Reduction potentials and corresponding fields of action for a strategic plan are now being derived from the results.

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In the coming years, over a hundred individual projects are to be carried out in order to reduce the negative environmental impact as much as possible. This phase will be permanently accompanied by socially and economically orientated projects which will integrate the citizens.

These projects will focus on reducing energy consumption, transport and mobility pollution, industrial emissions and private consumption and waste. The unavoidable environmental impacts will be monetized according to European standards, i.e. converted into environmental costs and then compensated 1:1 with the environmental value.

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Negative environmental impacts that are unavoidable are to be compensated for - if possible within the urban district.
Ecologists, landscape ecologists and biologists are already recording the ecological status of Duisburg-Ruhrort as part of Urban Zero and identifying areas, locations and systems where ecological added value can be created to compensate for this: These include houses, facades, roofs, footpaths, wasteland, industrial facilities and watercourses. The aim of the compensation is to strengthen the ecosystem and biodiversity and human health by optimizing existing green and blue spaces and creating new ecologically valuable Biotopes.

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Head mayor Sören Link

Even if there is still a long way to go, the initiative is a unique opportunity for Duisburg to be a role model for other urban areas.

Urban development

Living space:
KfW subsidy (increased energy efficiency of buildings)

Open spaces:
Unsealing and redesign of public and private open spaces


Conversion of roads, promotion of low-emission modes of transport (e.g. cycle lanes)  

Environmental technology and ecology

Systematic renaturalisation:
Generating environmental value by utilizing unused port areas (e.g. Mercator Island, Duisburg Dockyard Harbour)

Energy generation and supply:
Expansion of renewable energies; design of an intelligent local heating network and installation of heat exchangers in the wastewater systems

Education and participation

Events to inform, involve and activate the various target groups, Neighborhood office as a point of contact with a showroom for Ruhrort residents, digital access to information and initiatives.

Educational concepts:
Developing concepts for education in sustainable development involves collaboration with early childhood centers, schools, and private educational providers. For instance, initiatives like Urban Zero-AG at schools integrate sustainability into the curriculum and promote the upkeep of green spaces.

Incentive systems and participation models:
Promotion and introduction of incentive systems to specifically activate sustainable behaviour as well as the design of innovative participation models for the Ruhrort population.

Accompanying research:
Cooperation with various universities and institutions, such as TU Berlin, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the University of Witten/Herdecke and Fraunhofer Umsicht.

Economy & Science

Accompanying research:
Cooperation with the University of Witten/Herdecke on factors influencing sustainable transformation projects.

Various investments:
Utilization of technologies that are being used for the first time in Ruhrort: Heat exchangers, photovoltaic films.