Martin Braun



2022 2022 Winner Project | Engage Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage)

The structural change in the Rhenish mining area is of outstanding importance to the region, its neighbouring conurbations, and the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its intended transformation towards becoming a source for carbon-neutral energy, sites for closed resource cycles, and new attractive residential, work and leisure opportunities serve as a model for Germany and beyond.

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University has commited to actively accompanying the change process. For this purpose, REVIERa was founded as an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty platform that seeks to address long-term perspectives of structural change in the Rhenish lignite mining district – in a dialogue among equals with our partners and the various stakeholders in the area.

The REVIERa transformation platform aims to address the complex challenge of shaping the lignite phase-out as well as far-reaching social, spatial, and technological change processes. To guide these processes, main goals are to develop perspectives – and provide impetus – for this transformation in an interdisciplinary exchange between researchers at RWTH and together with stakeholders in the mining region, including non-experts and society.

Knowledge of the subject matter, process knowledge, and dialogical expertise is developed and interwoven in a holistic process and as a platform. REVIERa combines local transformation activities with global sustainability goals and strengthens a cross-disciplinary, multi-actor approach to shaping the Rhenish mining area as a model region.

Agnes Förster, Dr.-Ing. architect and urban planner, is head of the Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development at RWTH Aachen University. She researches and designs processes from the urban quarter to the region and is co-initiator of the Collaborative Research Network Making of Housing and the REVIERa Transformation Platform at RWTH Aachen University.

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