A lot of residents have migrated as a result of several decades of industry fitting. The situation of the cities in the Ruhrarea and ambiance is going to be more and more dramatic. Recently, reports about the dramatic financial situation of the communes provoke panic, now the statistic prediction about the demographic development till 2020 indicates that there will be a considerable decline of human population.
The cities that had evolved around the Ruhrarea are worst concerned: Hagen are going to have 16.3% less population, Wuppertal 14.3%, Gelsenkirchen 13.2%, Krefeld 11.4%, Essen 10.8% and Duisburg 10.2%. In the whole area it will be 6% and countrywide 0.6% less population.
What is the reaction from policy? They discuss about immigration law, conversion of social system and a flexible working time politic. Always wander from the subject. The contemporary condition of the city in the Ruhrarea shows that a past industrial community is not viable and is in a die-back process. First the productive industry will be destroyed and then the infrastructure will be disappearing. The condition of the streets declined, because no money is provided, the local passenger traffic is going to reduce more and more and the German train company (Deutsche Bahn) ties routes down. The social infrastructure get more less- libraries, swimming halls, sport halls, youth centers and other important social facilities are closed. Many companies begin to retire. One demonstrative attribute is the closing of the post office, then the big banks began to cancel their agencies and finally the bus has no stop station there. It is a progressing process and can be observed since several years. In summary in the politician’s opinion why this happens, this is due to less reduction in the social area, too short working time, too high working wages and too long study period and bad image of the city. Everything is a mistake, but not the failed economic policy.
The first big wave of destruction productive workplaces and infrastructure with ensuing emigration took place during the mining and steel crisis in the 1960s and 1970s. A lot of young people were leaving the area that time to get a job somewhere else. Thereof the Ruhrarea never get recovered.
One look at the facts of employees in the district efficiency shows the coverage of deindustrialization and the real reason for the slowly city dying in 1980 till 2001. In 1980 3.05 million people are employed, in 1992 2.85 million and nine years later 2.18 million. The dying of the industry is getting faster dramatically. A lot of profitable companies drifted away in the east, because of lower working wages, which is one of the reasons why the Ruhrarea is dying.
There is a big need of politics to think about solutions. Maybe it can be a renaissance of the Ruhrarea and new technologies, but first the politicians must have to face the truth. You can hear a lot of highbrow speeches, but all of them avoid the extinction of the Ruhrarea. The sufferers are the domestic people, who can´t do anything to stop the process.
Written by Deirdre Schmidt, Kristin Reinhard, Florian Rützel, Marius Zentgraf