lala.ruhr wants to inspire people for the idea of an integrated and inclusive urban landscape. These people speak for the landscape and for the project:

Robert Brears, Editor-in-Chief of Climate Resilient Societies Major Reference Work (Springer Nature): „Understanding the importance of nature-based solutions and tailoring them to the unique characteristics of a particular landscape is key to upgrading our cities to become resilient and sustainable places to live. To promote, discuss and evolve this is the task for urban design professionals and a baseline for all people to understand and shape their environment.”

Prof. Dr. Jens Martin Gurr, University Duisburg Essen: “It is the people of the Ruhr area who tell their story – and this is where the future is created, because a credible “script” for the future of the Ruhr area always has to take into account where we come from and what we have already achieved. lala.ruhr implies a playful approach to setting out into this future. We need such open formats in order to take an innovative and self-confident look at this urban landscape from within the region, to develop solutions without professional and institutional boundaries; this cannot just be navel-gazing, but has to be way of learning in exchange with other regions of the world.”

Chih-Wei G.V. Chang, Landscape Architect, ASLA: „Nature-based solutions are key players to make our cities resilient and livable for tomorrow’s challenges. The concept of high-performative landscapes formulates a holistic approach to urban natural systems, and indicates a pathway of how technical functions can be transferred from grey to green. lala.ruhr can be a great platform in driving this forward in an intelligent and collaborative way!“

Antonia Bogadi, PhDUniversity of Technology Vienna (AT), „lala.ruhr puts the important topic of adaptation planning into a practice at the right time. Nature based solutions are more than relevant for the liveability and resilience of our cities. I look forward to connecting Vienna with the Metropole Ruhr in my research on strategic use of digital participation technologies in green infrastructure implementation.”

Frauke Burgdorff, City Planning Councillor of the City of Aachen: “When landscape gardens become hare fodder, cycle paths become pubs and streets become musical instruments, then you are in the Ruhr area. Is that landscape? Is that city? Or is that already the future? Of course it is.”

Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer of Pittsburgh: “Resilience for cities and regions cannot be achieved without the support of landscape and natural systems. I was deeply impressed by the great work done in Essen and the Ruhr Region – no better place for a Biennial of Landscape Design and for working on future cities solutions!  Designing our cities with the health and wellbeing our people in mind is critical as we build stronger connections to nature”

Lauren Delbridge, Landscape Designer at LandDesign, Charlotte, US, author of ‚rethinking wastescapes‘ “I think this is a wonderful idea. While the region is already doing so much to push the boundaries of site transformation, there is so much that can be still be done to continue exploring and educating. The idea of lala.ruhr is a great approach – starting with the people, but seriously taking it to the next level.”

Andreas Kipar, Landscape-Architect BDLA-AIAPP, LAND Milano Düsseldorf Lugano: “The time is now, and ATTENTION Landscape is neither a threat nor a battle-cry, but rather an exclamation mark at the beginning of a new, Green Decade! Landscape is the platform and the medium for this unique, holistic attempt to reinvent one of the world’s most famous regions in terms of industrial history. lala.ruhr can tell this story!”

M.Sc. Janka Lengyel, University Duisburg Essen: “Since the change of the millennia we often meet the well-known polemic of how more than half of the population is now living in cities and how the urban plays a pivotal rule in deciding upon the future of human beings. A landscape biennale in the Ruhr area, which has been so extensively transformed by human activities, is a unique and amazing opportunity to showcase and discuss the impact of the “urban age” on their hinterlands, as well as to present the ongoing innovative projects and ideas for the symbiosis and mutual respect between rural and urban.”

Sonja Broy, expert journalist and social scientist: “Landscape creates identity and shapes the image of a space. Hardly any other European region is changing more than the Ruhr area – but far too often the external image is still characterised by industrial grey and
tristesse. The time has come for an experimental format of landscape that focuses on interdisciplinary questions concerning transformation and quality of life and develops a supra-regional perception.”

Sally Below, urbanist and curator, Berlin: “Landscape and green are what connects us and our cities, centres and paths. Sometimes it is the cultural landscape, sometimes the landscape park, sometimes it can only be the designed spacing green. All of this will become much more important in the future – and will fulfil many more social functions than today, from organic farming to recreation, from education in nature to the commons”.

Matthias Krentzek, Creative Entrepreneur, Essen & Gelsenkirchen: “In the morning I cycle along the old railway line to work in the coworking space – along the Ruhr, past winding towers and slagheaps to the workers’ district of Ückendorf, which is currently reinventing itself. Continuous change is the norm for us in the Ruhr area. High time to talk about it even more. Let’s talk! Let’s think landscape!”

Rebecca Wessinghage, Transition Concepts Officer, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability: “It is remarkable how the successful structural change of the Ruhr Area is also tangible in the landscape. In future, it will be crucial to reduce social inequality in landscape issues as well. An innovative exchange format such as lala.ruhr is an ideal platform for bringing together landscape design, climate protection and social inclusion.”

Melanie Kemner, mk Kommunikation: “Good solutions are created together and interdisciplinary. From the c/o-room for cooperation we develop the landscape for cooperation: a biennial for the landscape in the Ruhr – where else!”

Katja Hellkötter, Constellations International, Berlin, CITYMAKERS China-Europa: “In the sense of ‘Back to the roots!’, the starting point for sustainable urban development must be nature. Personally, I have long been fascinated by the concept of landscape and I have worked with it as tool for qualitative analysis for the field of city making and urbanisation trends between China and Europe. Not without reason ‘Landscape is all of us’ was the title for the launch of the CITYMAKERS-Ruhr network in 2019. I am looking forward to a further exciting collaboration with the Ruhr area, my first home, and to lala.ruhr!”

Kerstin Kuklinski, Kunstmuseum Bochum: “The perception of nature and the contemplative reception of art mutually reinforce each other. A walk becomes a course of education, this has already been formulated by the life reform movement of the 19th century. For 10 years now, ‘A Day in the Park’ has been held in Bochum’s city park. The walking stick rental service helps here: “Borrow a stick and you’ll experience more!

Christoph Stark, kitev Oberhausen: “KITEV as a collective is concerned with new forms of artistically participatory urban design and appropriation of space. We promote and demand diversity – also with regard to questions of landscape and built space. Here we still see great deficits and a need for discussion: prestige projects and cathedrals of industrial culture have been realized, but there is still a lack of inclusive formats and meeting spaces in the neighborhoods.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt, Kulturexperten: “Change is the opposite of stagnation – the Ruhr Area remains a region in motion. The idea of lala.ruhr comes at the right time. With the Green Decade and the IGA2027, landscape is the big theme for the coming years. For this we need the right formats and the right people! lala.ruhr can put this decade on the right track, such initiatives are important”.

Dr. Ilka Mecklenbrauck, urban planner, TU-Dortmund: “City and space are in a constant state of change. This is not the first time that the landscape has come into focus in planning, especially in the Ruhr area. The requirements of the future are clear, the landscape is an important part of the solution – and creative “thinking outside the box” is more in demand than ever!

Nicole Thorpe, founder of Cultinova, Munich: “What is the city, but the people?” is one of my favourite quotes from William Shakespeare. Unfortunately, we still too often forget that it is the citizens who give the city its characteristic. I see it as our responsibility to design cities in a way that makes all inhabitants feel comfortable and safe. I like the inclusive approach of lala.ruhr very much. “Green is the new grey” and should not be lacking in any urban space in the quest for resilience and high quality of life.”

Ruud Reutelingsperger, artist group Observatorium, Rotterdam NL: “The world is changing at an enormous speed, just like thinking about landscape. People, their stories and dreams are leading the way on how to go on without knowing what the world will look like in 20, 30 or 100 years. However, the language of fantasy is timeless and is needed again and again to take the next step. Landscape and fantasy belong together like, in this century, a new marriage between flora, fauna and people. lala.ruhr: the next obvious step!”

Oliver Becker, Managing Director of the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband Bochum und Herne: “People and their living environment are the focus of my work. Everyone needs easy access to well-designed open spaces. The landscape is a symbol for this, but it should definitely start right at the front door! Here I see great potential and a future task for the development of the neighbourhoods in our cities.”