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15.03.2019 12:12 Age: 2 yrs
By: Kiese

Another Tale of Two Cities

Urban Management Students from Rotterdam Explore Structural Change in Dortmund and Bochum

Field trip group on the Phoenix-West Skywalk

Field trip group on Mark 51°7

After a day in Cologne, a student group from Erasmus University Rotterdam visited Dortmund and Bochum on Tuesday, 12 March. The international group of graduate students from the Urban Management Programme was led by Prof Frank van Oort. Prof Matthias Kiese and Elena-Franziska Schlich led the tour on that day, which covered five sites and gave the students the unique opportunity for a twofold comparison between Cologne and the Ruhr, and between the neighbouring cities of Dortmund and Bochum. Despite their common background in coal-mining and steel industry, both cities represent different trajectories, and different approaches for coping with structural change. The tour started with the old greenfield technology park and center in Dortmund, and continued with the new technology park on the former steel mill site of Phoenix-West, where the group climbed the Skywalk to visit a former blast furnace. The trip continued to Dortmund’s flagship redevelopment project, Lake Phoenix and its surrounding residential and commercial property development on another former steel mill site.
In the afternoon, the group was hosted by Jürgen Schauer and his assistant Lisa Peys, a student in RUB’s master programme in Geography, for a presentation and walking tour of Mark 51°7. The informative presentation and lively discussion was overshadowed by an accident on the site, in which two demolition workers were killed. The programme finished with a short stop at the Health Campus, where Prof Kiese outlined the site’s transition from a once-planned Biomedical Park, the interdependence between competing developments in both cities, as well as the importance of first-mover advantages and localisation economies. From there, the group returned to Rotterdam, with many lively impressions of structural change in action.

Fotos: Cao Yixin, Erasmus University Rotterdam