Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region
|Largest cities|| Cologne |
|• Metro||7,268 km2 (2,806 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||494 m (1,621 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|• Metro density||1,469/km2 (3,806/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region (German : Metropolregion Rhein-Ruhr) is the largest metropolitan region in Germany with over 10 million inhabitants. A polycentric conurbation with multiple major urban concentrations, the region covers an area of 7,268 square kilometres (2,806 sq mi), entirely within the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region spreads from Dortmund-Bochum-Essen-Duisburg (Ruhr Area) in the north, to the urban areas of the cities of Mönchengladbach, Düsseldorf (the state capital), Wuppertal, Leverkusen, Cologne (the region's largest and Germany's fourth largest city), and Bonn in the south. The location of the Rhine-Ruhr at the heart of the European Blue Banana makes it well connected to other major European cities and metropolitan areas like the Randstad, the Flemish Diamond and the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region.
The metropolitan area is named after the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, which are the region's defining geographical features and historically its economic backbone.
The largest cities in the Rhine-Ruhr area are Cologne, with over 1 million inhabitants, followed by Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Essen, which each have a population of over 500,000.
There are many different sub-definitions of what belongs to the Rhine-Ruhr area, but the metropolitan area itself has officially defined borders with Hamm in the east, Mönchengladbach in the west and Bonn in the south and the small city Wesel as its northernmost point. The northern border is similar to the border of the Ruhr Area.
The table below shows an unofficial summary of regions. In the official definition the metropolitan area is much smaller.
|Ruhr Metropolitan Region||4,435 km2||5,172,745|
|Düsseldorf Metropolitan Region||2,404 km2||2,944,700|
|Cologne / Bonn Metropolitan Region||2,920 km2||2,818,178|
|Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region||9,759 km2||10,935,623|
Eurostat's Urban Audit splits the Rhine-Ruhr region into six Larger Urban Zones (LUZ). These six Urban Zones do not cover the cities of Remscheid and Solingen nor the district of Rhein-Kreis Neuss.
|Larger Urban Zone||major cities||area||population|
|Ruhr Larger Urban Zone||4,434 km2||5,172,745|
|Düsseldorf Larger Urban Zone||1,200 km2||1,525,774|
|Mönchengladbach Larger Urban Zone||170 km2||258,251|
|Wuppertal Larger Urban Zone||168 km2||351,050|
|Cologne Larger Urban Zone||1,627 km2||1,899,930|
|Bonn Larger Urban Zone||1,295 km2||918,248|
|Rhine-Ruhr Region||8,894 km2||10,125,998|
Historically, most of the Ruhr area was for the most part characterized by heavy industry since the age of industrialisation in the late 19th and early 20th century. Since the Middle Ages, Cologne, Dortmund and other cities were important regional trading cities, but during the 19th century the city of Düsseldorf grew to become the administrative center of the region and since 1945 its political capital.
Today, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region accounts for roughly 15% of the GDP of the German economy, which would place it as the 2nd largest GDP of metropolitan area in the European Union. Despite this size, the Rhine-Ruhr region as a whole often lacks international competitiveness because it lacks a unified presentation. Cities and urban areas within it often pursue separate investment policies against each other.
From within, Düsseldorf, Essen and Cologne are by far the largest economic centers,with specialisation in financial/high tech and insurance/multi media services respectively. Other major economic centers are Bonn and Dortmund. The region is home to twelve Fortune Global 500 companies, among them E.ON AG, Essen, Deutsche Post AG, Bonn, Metro AG, Düsseldorf, Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn, ThyssenKrupp AG, Essen/Duisburg, RWE AG, Essen, Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Duisburg, Evonik Industries, Essen, Hochtief AG, Essen and the Henkel Group, Düsseldorf.
The Rhine-Ruhr area's climate is characterized by having the warmest winters in Germany, especially its western part at the Lower Rhine area. Classified by Köppen-Geiger climate classification to be oceanic (Cfb).
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The area has four international commercial airports, and multiple smaller aerodromes for general aviation.
|Airport||IATA code||ICAO code||annual passenger traffic|
|Düsseldorf Airport||DUS||EDDL||25.51 Mio. (2019)|
|Cologne Bonn Airport||CGN||EDDK||12.39 Mio. (2019)|
|Dortmund Airport||DTM||EDLW||2.72 Mio. (2019)|
|Weeze Airport||NRN||EDLV||1.23 Mio. (2019)|
North Rhine-Westphalia has the densest network of Autobahns in Germany.
The rail, S-Bahn, U-Bahn and bus companies are administered through a consortium of local and regional transport lines, the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr . It offers a rapid transit system which interconnects all cities and their respective local buses, trams, U- and S-Bahn systems, partly under the umbrella of Deutsche Bahn. Their systems are highly integrated where even some subway lines continue from one city to the next (for example between Düsseldorf and Duisburg or Bochum and Herne, which is unique in Germany, as the city border is crossed underground). The region is divided into several urban zones and fares are paid according to the amount of urban areas (or zones) passed through. Tickets include door to door transportation with all forms covered in one ticket with the exception of high speed rail (which only stops in the major cities). Some excursions, theatre and opera tickets as well as museums offer free transportation from any point in the Rhine Ruhr area to the venue and return.
Duisburg Inner Harbour (Duisport) and Dortmund Port are large industrial inland ports and serve as hubs along the Rhine and the German inland water transport system.
The region is host to numerous large events, comprising fun fairs and cultural events like the Cologne and Düsseldorf carnivals (carnival is however a public event in almost all cities and towns of the area), the Cologne Comedy Festival, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, and the RuhrTriennale, as well as gamescom and other trade fairs at koelnmesse—Cologne Trade Fair and Messe Düsseldorf; and Essen Motor Show in Essen. With a capacity of up to 20,000 people, the Lanxess Arena and Westfalenhallen are amongst the largest indoor arenas in Germany.
The region is home to a total of 13 Bundesliga football clubs, of which five are active in the season of 2017–18. The most successful among them are Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1. FC Köln, FC Schalke 04 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The Revierderby is the rivalry between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, one of the most significant in German football. Signal Iduna Park, the stadium of Borussia Dortmund, is the biggest stadium in Germany. The area has planned to bid for 2032 Summer Olympics.
Several tourist destinations within the region attract over 12 million tourists per year. Cologne Cathedral, Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces at Brühl and the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex at Essen are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Other sights include Schloss Benrath in Düsseldorf and several anchor points of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
NRW Forum, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Museum Koenig, Museum Ludwig, Romano-Germanic Museum, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Neanderthal Museum, Museum Folkwang, Museum Ostwall, Lehmbruck Museum, German Mining Museum and Deutsches Museum Bonn are some of the most famous examples.
The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region is home to nine universities and over 30 partly postgraduate colleges, with a total of over 300.000 students. The largest and oldest university is the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), founded in 1388 AD. Other universities include:
The following register lists all municipalities that officially belong to Rhine-Ruhr area. Demographically, these municipalities include 20 cities (German: Kreisfreie Städte), each with more than 100,000 inhabitants, and 11 districts (German: Kreis), each with a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants. Some districts only belong partly to Rhine-Ruhr area. In such a case only the municipalities that belong to the metro area are listed.
|Cities independent of a Kreis|
31 December 2009
|Mülheim an der Ruhr (MH)||167,471||91.29||1,834.49|
North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of Germany. It is the most-populous of the 16 states of Germany.
The Ruhr, also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With a population density of 2,800/km2 and a population of over 5 million (2017), it is the largest urban area in Germany. It consists of several large cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to the west, and Lippe to the north. In the southwest it borders the Bergisches Land. It is considered part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of more than 10 million people, which is among the largest in Europe.
Duisburg is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western German state North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr rivers, Duisburg is one of the largest cities in Ruhr and 15th largest city in Germany.
The Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn is a polycentric and electrically driven S-train network covering the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This includes most of the Ruhr, the Berg cities of Wuppertal and Solingen and parts of the Rhineland. The easternmost city within the S-Bahn Rhine-Ruhr network is Unna, the westernmost city served is Mönchengladbach.
Köln Messe/Deutz station is an important railway junction for long-distance rail and local services in the Cologne district of Deutz in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is situated close to the eastern bank of the Rhine and connected via the Hohenzollern Bridge to Köln Hauptbahnhof, the city's main station, which is just a few hundred metres away. The Cologne Trade Fair grounds are directly north of the station, hence the Messe in the station's name. The Stadtbahn station of Deutz/Messe is nearby and connected by a pedestrian tunnel.
Duisburg Hauptbahnhof is a railway station in the city of Duisburg in western Germany. It is situated at the meeting point of many important national and international railway lines in the Northwestern Ruhr valley.
Bonn Hauptbahnhof is a railway station located on the left bank of the Rhine along the Cologne–Mainz line. It is the principal station serving the city of Bonn. In addition to extensive rail service from Deutsche Bahn it acts as a hub for local bus, tram, and Stadtbahn services.
Oberhausen Hauptbahnhof is a railway station in Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The station was opened in 1847 and is located on the Duisburg–Dortmund railway, Arnhem-Oberhausen railway, Oberhausen–Duisburg-Ruhrort railway and Oberhausen-Mülheim-Styrum railway and is served by ICE, IC, RE and RB services operated by Deutsche Bahn, Abellio Deutschland, NordWestBahn and Eurobahn.
The Cologne Bonn Region, also known as Cologne/Bonn Metropolitan Region, is a metropolitan area in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, covering the cities of Cologne, Bonn and Leverkusen, as well as the districts of Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis, Oberbergischer Kreis, Rhein-Erft-Kreis and Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. The region covers an area of 3,839 km² with 3.13 million inhabitants. The city centres of Cologne and Bonn are 24 kilometres apart as the crow flies. At the outer city limits, there are only 8 kilometres between Cologne-Libur and Bonn-Geislar.
The Witten/Dortmund, Oberhausen/Duisburg railway is one of the most important railways in Germany. It is the main axis of long distance and regional rail transport on the east–west axis of the Ruhr and is served by Intercity-Express, InterCity, Regional-Express, Regionalbahn and S-Bahn trains.
Köln-Mülheim is a railway station situated at Mülheim, Cologne in western Germany. It is served by several regional trains, the S6 and S11 lines of the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn and the 13 and 18 lines of Cologne Stadtbahn.
Leverkusen Mitte is a railway station on the Cologne–Duisburg railway, located in Leverkusen, Germany. It is classified by Deutsche Bahn as a category 4 station. It is served by the S6 line of the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn at 20-minute intervals.
The NRW-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Aachen via Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Dortmund to Hamm as line RE 1. The line is operated by DB Regio NRW.
The Rhein-Weser-Express is a Regional-Express service route in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, connecting some of the most important cities in Westphalia with the Ruhr. Cologne, Neuss, Düsseldorf and Duisburg lie on the Rhine while Minden lies on the Weser.
The Wupper-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) running from Aachen via Mönchengladbach, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Hagen to Dortmund. The service is operated every hour by DB Regio NRW. It is the third most widely used Regional-Express line in the area administered by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr with approximately 24,000 passengers a day.
The Rhein-Hellweg-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Hamm via Dortmund, Bochum, Essen, Duisburg and Düsseldorf Airport to Düsseldorf Hbf. It is named after the Rhine and the Westphalian Hellweg.
The Rhein-Haard-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Osnabrück via Münster, Recklinghausen, Gelsenkirchen, Essen and Duisburg to Düsseldorf.
The Rhein-Emscher-Express is a Regional-Express service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), running from Düsseldorf via Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen and Dortmund to Hamm. It connects with the rest of the regional rail network of NRW in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Wanne-Eickel, Dortmund and Hamm. In addition, it connects in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Dortmund and Hamm with long-distance services.
The Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn is an umbrella system of all of the Stadtbahn lines included in the integrated public transport network of Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) which covers the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area in western Germany. It does not include the independent Cologne Stadtbahn and Bonn Stadtbahn systems.
The Emscher-Niederrhein-Bahn (RB 35) is a Regionalbahn service in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It runs hourly between Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg with Mönchengladbach. Its name refers to the Emscher river and the Lower Rhine.
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