Departmental Bulletin Paper The Image Study of Ruhr-Region


The Ruhr-region, located in the north of State of Nordrhein Westfalen, had been the heavy industrial center of not only Germany but also in European Continent for the last 150 years.The name of the region is well known worldwide, however, the geographical image of Ruhr-region is somewhat vague. In order to understand how people image the region’s spatial structure, and also to grasp what kind of image people have toward the region, the author has conducted some questionnaire survey including the image map study to 61 students in Dortmund Technology University.The survey consisted of three parts; adjective study, important city study, and the image map. The study result implies that the concept of Ruhr-region still have difficulties creating physical image to people to this date. Most of respondents had the image of regional structure by rivers rather than highway or railway network. The lack of landmarks illustrated in the image maps implies that there are few spatial components that help to reorganize the spatial image of this area except rivers.The adjectives that respondents thought that best described Ruhr-region were “diverse (vielfaltig)”, “industrial (industriell)”, “cultural (kulturell)”, and “green (grün)”. The latter two words (cultural and green) indicates that the projects such as IBA Emscher Park (1988-1998) and the events such as European Capital of Cultural City in 2010 being held in Essen may have contributed young people’s perception toward the region being transformed to more cultural and more environmentally friendly ones.The new post-industrial image of the Ruhr-region is more or less understood conceptually, but not in a tangible sense. With some limitation to the study, the author still believes that the result of this survey does raise some issues associated with the regional image of Ruhr-region.
JOINT RESEARCH: The Study of Shrinking Cities in Germany 

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