Philip K. Dick
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Worlds out of Joint

Ruhr Area    download pdf here

Dortmund is located in Germany┬┤s Ruhr Region. The region has gone through

multiple transformations in the past two centuries: from an agglomeration

of smaller villages in the mid-19th century to a center of heavy industry with

coal and steel as most important resources, then on to a cultural center investing

into the knowledge economy and environment-friendly technologies. Visitors to the

region are often surprised how green the area is, and how the face of the Ruhr

has changed through the successful conversion of formerly industrial facilities

into cultural hotspots.

The "Dortmunder U", a former brewery gone creative center, and "Zeche Zollverein",

a former coal mine that today - as part of UNESCO world cultural heritage - houses

a center for design as well as a museum, are just two examples of the impressive

transformation that started with the International Building Exhibition Emscherpark

(1989-1999) and gained the region the title "European Capital of Culture 2010".

The Ruhr of today is a laboratory for mapping new strategies of dealing with future

challenges: demographic change, climate change, efficient transportation and logistics.

Dortmund, home of the German soccer champion 2011, with two universities and several

research institutions, is at the forefront of innovation and structural change. Its cultural

scene is vibrant and diverse: the concert hall, established in 2002; the theater, following

a participatory model focused on the audience; several museums and parks alongside

cafes and bars; regular film- and literature-related events, and the yearly Juicy Beats

electronic beats outdoor festival contribute to its character as a fun-loving and open-

minded city.

In the Nordstadt, multiethnic and multilingual, Dortmund? creative subculture has found its

home in the former brownfields, always inviting newcomers to take part in a jam-session or

poetry reading.