tasty ribbon ruhr: edible and drinkable cycle paths for the ruhr region

tasty ribbon ruhr:
edible and drinkable cycle paths for
the ruhr region

Sustainability is trendy. Especially in the wake of climate change, it is becoming increasingly important to implement long-term solutions. Here in the Ruhr region, too, there are many new ideas. lala.ruhr supports the new project of the food councils of the cities of Bochum, Dortmund and Essen and the initiative “Schwerte pflanzt”: With the “Schlaraffenband Ruhr”, edible wild plants are to be planted along the cycle paths Emscher-Weg, RuhrtalRadweg and the future cycle path Ruhr (RS1), snacking places are to be created and drinking fountains installed. In this way, easy access to sustainable and local food can be created and interesting knowledge about edible plants can be imparted at the same time.

The idea combines the attributes of eating, networking and sustainable in a fairytale way, so to speak: “We don’t have chicken flying into our mouths, but it can be nibbled and the path from plant to plate is very short.” (Quote from EssBO!)

Accordingly, the name was created in reference to the fictional, playful place “Schlaraffenland” from many earlier fairy tales. The chain ribbon stands for the cycle paths that link the region. The pearls form the individual nibbling places. In summary: the concept of a tangible sustainable, edible and drinkable Metropole Ruhr of the future present!

Green infrastructure is increasingly coming into focus in the Ruhr region: the numerous industrial areas are flourishing and the appreciation for nature in the city is increasing. The cycle paths (RS1), Emscher-Weg and RuhrtalRadweg connect the entire Metropole Ruhr from west to east over a distance of approx. 1200 km, thus creating environmentally friendly links between the cities. Edible wild plants such as blackberry, quince, raspberry, apple, thyme, borage and drinking water fountains are to be established along these cycle routes. Citizens can also take care of these urban nibbling oases themselves and make a contribution to the project and to nature in their surroundings; keyword: care through participation. Because: The sense for the origin and value of good food was lost more and more in the late 20th century and is to be strengthened again through this initiative. Environmental education is strengthened through information boards at the respective locations.

The conviction of the initiators: The implementation of the Schlaraffenband Ruhr will promote urban greenery, strengthen sustainable urban planning and transport, and create biodiversity and species diversity. The first pilot projects are to be implemented in the next few years. Until then, in addition to the numerous contributors, we are still looking for further supporters who are passionate about the topic and can identify with it.

So get in touch with:
Nutrition Council Bochum
c/o Griesenbruchstraße 9
44793 Bochum

Only with your support can the Schlaraffenband Ruhr continue to exist in the future and initiate other follow-up projects. Join in, eat, drink, cycle, care for your food and engage in lively exchange with your fellow human beings!

The concept of all participating actors can be downloaded here (in German): Schlaraffenband-Konzept-I06

Author: Stephanie Stiehm

lala.ruhr supports the vision “Schlarrafenband Ruhr”.

Future of City Cetners: Documentation of Cultur-Conference Ruhr published!

cultural conference ruhr:
documentation published!

This was the motto of the Cultural Conference 2021 as a format to which the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) and the state of NRW invite annually in order to offer the cultural scene a stage for regional and cultural-political as well as artistic discourse.
lala.ruhr was also there and explored the question from the perspective of the urban landscape in its own workshop: The future of centres is green, inclusive and productive.

The city centre of Herne as a “laboratory for the landscape”: The workshop explored the green potential of the urban space from different perspectives. The goal: to upgrade the city centre, with a special focus on open spaces and streets, towards a more liveable place. An upgrading of the city centre is by no means exclusively linked to the new construction or conversion of buildings. Outdoor spaces offer potential in many ways, making multifunctional use just as possible as temporary projects and a fundamental green urban development adapted to the consequences of climate change. Sebastian Schlecht of lala.ruhr: “If it’s not about money, but about the quality of the city centre, then a car park can be more than an asphalt surface and a green space more than a mown lawn.” He said it was important to see such places as “opportunities” and to design and use them in a new or different way together with the people – “that has a lot to do with quality of life and a liveable inner city.”

The documentation of the cultural conference has now been published and can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Ruhr Regional Association and ordered as a print edition.

takeover*: the concept of urban metabolism

the concept of urban metabolism

Everyone in the world produces waste: the banana peel as organic waste, the mobile phone battery as electronic waste, the cardboard box as waste paper or the plastic bag as a recycled product. Especially in times of the Corona pandemic, much more garbage/waste was produced in general, which, moreover, could often only be incinerated. The reason for this: Corona viruses potentially adhering to it.

In science, too, many research series are underway that deal with the avoidance of waste and the reuse of materials. Consequently, our cities have an “urban metabolism”, which refers to the transformation of materials and energy in a city.[1]
The term was coined by the German philosopher and economist Karl Marx, as early as 1844 in relation to environmental sociology. Marx made it clear that we humans are dependent on nature and damage it with our economic processes [2]. The basic concept of urban metabolism then goes back to the US engineer Abel Wolman in 1965, who for the first time considered the city as an ecosystem in its own right with its material and energy flows [3].

Since the 19th century, cities have become increasingly important because they were and are the engine of economic growth. Cities are an open system that consumes energy, fuels, raw materials, water, food and air. After these resources have been used, waste, pollutants or even waste water are produced, unless they are tied up in infrastructures. The larger a city becomes – whether with the expansion of its area or the increase in population – the higher the demand for resources/materials increases. Due to different factors, however, each city must be considered as an individual. Thus, in order to be able to determine the urban metabolism, the three most common methods are used: Material Flow Analysis, Ecological Footprint Adaptation and Life Cycle Assessment (see blog post on HeimatERBE). The focus is always on the inputs and outputs of a city and the resulting impact on humanity and the environment.

Solutions and realistic goals are needed to tackle the problems created in cities: more efficient use of local resources, use of recycling systems including waste prevention and management strategies, provision of clean air and recreational green spaces, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and urban planning (climate) adaptation strategies. It also aims to end huge exports of waste abroad and use local recycling and closed-loop incinerators. New product designs help to make reusable materials more attractive.
In many places, projects on the topic of “waste” are already being set up in schools to raise awareness of “waste”. Whether it is picking up rubbish or learning how to separate it properly, everything has an effect on our environment. The data collected in this way can benefit science. Through comprehensive mapping, processes for waste avoidance or recycling can be improved.

For a global overview of the different urban metabolic processes, the “Metabolism of Cities” platform is a good place to start. Take a look, discover and accumulate knowledge. Another literature tip: The page of the format “Quarks und Co” on the topic of waste.

Text author: Stephanie Stiehm

lala.ruhr takes over the Instagram account of vier.ruhr, the alliance of Mülheim theatres, for three weeks with the takeover in January 2022. Our theme: the rubbish complex. We’ll take you on a digital journey through the region and beyond – to places where something is created from rubbish or where work is done with what we colloquially call it. We invite you to also think of the urban landscape of the Metropole Ruhr in a circular way and to discover all materials as part of cycles. We present the HeimatERBE company because, among other things, it takes care of the conversion of areas that were previously considered “useless” in the public perception and enables business enterprises to act in an environmentally neutral way.
vier.ruhr is the theatre alliance of Theater an der Ruhr, Mülheim Theatre Days “Stücke” and Ringlokschuppen Ruhr. Funded within the framework of NEUE WEGE by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in cooperation with the NRWKULTURsekretariat.

[1] Oke, T. R.; Mills, G.; Christen, A.; Voogt, J. A. (2017): Urban climates. Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139016476
[2] Bleher, D.; Öko-Institut e.V.. (2017): Resource impact of urban metabolism Results of WP 1.1 within the UFOPLAN project FKZ: 3715 75 122 0. Darmstadt.
[3] Sanches, T. L.; Santos Bento, N. V. (2020): Urban Metabolism: A Tool to Accelerate the Transition to a Circular Economy. In: Filho, W. L.; Azul, A. M.; Brandli, L.; Özuyar, P. G.; Wall, T. (eds.): Sustainable Cities and Communities. 860-867. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-95717-3_117

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Everyone in the world produces waste: the banana peel as organic waste, the mobile phone battery as electronic waste, the cardboard box as waste paper or the plastic bag as a recycled product. Rubbish is part of the “urban metabolism”.

© Broy

Imagine Green Urban Futures - XR in urban planning

Imagine Green
Urban Futures

Imagine Green Urban Futures: This was the motto of lala.ruhr’s programme at the Places VR Festival. Because: We need images for the future of our urban landscapes. Conventional plans and illustrations are difficult for many people to grasp. Extended Reality, on the other hand, makes visions come alive and vivid, as became clear in the programme around Bochumer Straße in Gelsenkirchen.

Three teams created their augmented reality applications especially for the festival, in which they each designed a section of Bochumer Straße – a 120-year-old street in Ückendorf – in a green and visionary way: Via smartphone and tablet, the festival visitors were able to see for themselves how powerful these impulses are when they are not only transported via paper, but become four-dimensional and thus come to life.

The respective offices, or protagonists, had previously qualified through a competition and pursued different approaches:

The respective offices, or protagonists, had previously qualified through a competition and pursued different approaches:

Anja Cambria Oellermann, scenographer from Hamburg, placed the discovery of urban nature and the curiosity of visitors at the centre of her vision for Bergmannplatz, including nature islands, a wildflower field and a small pond.

The Cologne-based firm Greenbox Landschaftsarchitekten invited visitors to discover the “Green Canyon” and transformed the street, which is dominated by car traffic, into a lively spatial installation that can be used on several levels, including details such as integrated photovoltaic elements and a charging infrastructure for e-cars.

The Berlin agency pimento formate focused on edutainment for sustainability and combined elements such as virtual palm trees, flowers and bubbling fountains with information on suitability under aspects of climate neutrality.

In a fourth section along Bochumer Straße, the visitors could become active themselves and not only provide greenery, but also wish for elephants, zebras and sofas.

In the courtyard of the Quartieroase, visitors followed impulses and panels on digitality in planning on both days. In the adjacent garages, which were transformed into lounges with the help of sofas, carpets and the like, our technology partner for the implementation of AR applications, the Aachen-based start-up Cityscaper, as well as pimento formate with the project “futureleafmission” and the team from Greenymizer with their vision of an app for more digital participation in the Green City of the future presented themselves – a very special reunion, as the team had formed at the hackathon at the Places Festival 2020 and won two awards with a prototype. In addition, a video loop in the Garage Lounge offered the opportunity to get to know other innovative XR projects.

The programme was complemented by a poster exhibition, through which the following international projects and offices were presented with references to the respective project pages:

  • AVP (Düsseldorf): Presentation of complex real estate projects in virtual animation.
  • Anja Cambria Oellermann & Shaouhan Hu: Ensō – Analysis of the Boundary
    between water and land in Japanese temples and in the urban space of Kiel.
  • Form Follows You GmbH (Berlin): Digital Participation Bahnhofstraße Lichtenrade
  • Green4Cities (Vienna): Developing Urban Green Visions
  • Greenymizer: Vision of the app “City Greenymizer” for citizen participation
  • Dr. Nadina Galle (Amsterdam): “Internet of Nature” for building smart green cities
  • Jan Kamensky (Hamburg): Utopia for Bicyclists – Utopian animations
  • LAND (Milan/Lugana/Düsseldorf: CariGO GREEN3 – Digital Landscape. Programme for the territorial development of the landscape Gorizia on the border between Italy and Slovenia
  • pimento formate (Berlin): Futureleaf – AR-Mission on microplastics in the city
  • Katie Patrick (San Francisco): Can Gamification save the planet?

“Imagine Green Urban Futures” was made possible by a grant from the E.ON Foundation and cityscaper, our technology partner for the development of the AR applications.

Sincere thanks also go to our speakers:
Stephan Muschick (E.ON Foundation), Stefanie Hugot (Head of the Department of Urban Planning at the City of Gelsenkirchen), Dr. Volker Settgast (Fraunhofer Austria), Hilke Berger and Immanuel Schipper (HafenCity University Hamburg), Matthias Funk (scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH), Burkhard Drescher (Innovation City Management GmbH), Prof. Dr. Ismeni Walter (University of Applied Sciences Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Ismeni Walter (University of Applied Sciences Hamburg). Dr. Ismeni Walter (Ansbach University of Applied Sciences) & Michelle Adolfs (Team Greenymizer VR), Elle Langer and Markus Mende (pimento formate), BIMa.solutions – Virtual Reality for Architecture, Sebastian Witt, Juliane Ebeling and Robin Römer (Cityscaper Aachen).

Imagine Green Urban Futures – a visitor uses the AR applications. Photo: Places _ VR Festival/Ole-Kristian Heyer

polis AWARD 2021 for lala.ruhr in communicative urban design

polis award:
3rd place for

The lala.ruhr team is delighted about the polis award: we won 3rd place in the category “Communicative Urban Design”, which honours instruments that involve people creatively and at eye level in urban development processes.

1st place went to the online public participation process for the urban open space planning competition “Am Alten Güterbahnhof” in Duisburg, 2nd place to the audio walk of the model project “Rathausblock” in Berlin. Congratulations to all nominees and award winners, also in the other categories!

The polis award of the polis Magazine for Urban Development is presented annually in various categories to projects in urban development and the real estate industry that are based on a spirit of partnership in the development of solutions for the city of the future.

Presentation of the award to lala.ruhr at the polis Convention 2021 in Düsseldorf.

Green Infrastructure Offensive: Handing over the recommendations for action to the RVR

green infrastructure offensive:
handover of
recommendations for action
to the RVR

The time has come: The team of lala.ruhr, commissioned by and in cooperation with the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR), has developed a strategic-conceptual contribution as a building block for the communication offensive Green Infrastructure of the RVR in a process lasting several months. This has now been handed over to Nina Frense (Councillor for the Environment and Green Infrastructure). In essence, the aim was to develop proposals and to win over actors from different areas for cooperation.

The results of the “Festival of Landscape”, which reached over 200 participants in digital space in February, as well as interviews with innovative landscape and urban designers, people involved in non-institutional planning contexts and artistic perspectives were incorporated. Hints and approaches for goal-oriented communication and the involvement of actors in the design of green infrastructure in the Metropole Ruhr were compiled and described in the present recommendations for action, which can serve as a basis for the regional joint project of designing and communicating a sustainable urban landscape.

lala.ruhr would like to thank all those who contributed their expertise – whether as interviewees or participants in the Festival of Landscape or participants of the digital festival formats!

Handover of the recommendations for action to Nina Frense (Deputy for the Environment and Green Infrastructure of the Ruhr Regional Association, RVR, centre) by the lala.ruhr initiators Sebastian Schlecht (left) and Melanie Kemner (right). Photo: RVR/Volker Wiciok