Project Spurwechsel Zollverein

Project Lead

Svenja Feuster (dynamis)

Involved JUS-members

Institut für Mobilitäts- und Stadtplanung (imobis)


2019-2020 (First phase)



Logo Innogy Stiftung

For almost 140 years, what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site lay as a closed, inaccessible space within a constantly developing urban structure. By opening up and converting the site of the former Zollverein colliery and coking plant, 100 hectares of land, in the middle of a residential area, have become a freely accessible public space. With around 1,300 jobs on the site and an average of 1 million visitors per year, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is right in the middle of the urban environment and the reality of life for around 52,000 residents in Essen's district VI.

After more than 30 years of structural change, the Zollverein colliery and coking plant are now an international example of the transformational power of an industrial monument. Zollverein, with its diverse structure of use, is today not only a cultural and tourism location, but also a business and education location in equal measure. The Zollverein Foundation wants to shape processes of social change at this innovative site and provide impulses for the positive development of the entire district.

For the purpose of scientifically recording the social practice of sustainable mobility solutions in the context of a digitalised, decentralised energy transition, dynamis has initiated the project Spurwechsel Zollverein together with the Zollverein Foundation, the Mercator Foundation and the RAG Foundation under the scientific supervision of Imobis.

Spurwechsel Zollverein aims to find out which form of mobility people choose and for what reasons, and how a socially just change in transport can be initiated in a sustainable way. The central question of how a change in mobility behaviour can be achieved is addressed with special consideration of behavioural economics. Expressed preferences are taken into account as well as political goals and systemic requirements in order to develop a sustainable, user-oriented mobility offer. Within the framework of the project Spurwechsel Zollverein, approaches for the area-wide implementation of a sustainable mobility turnaround are to be identified using the method of the real experiment. The presentation and visualisation of current mobility needs as well as accessibility analyses and the elaboration and development of innovative methods taking into account user perspectives are the focus of the project.

Based on a target group-specific, scientific analysis, a joint mobility vision is to be developed in a collaborative, interdisciplinary process, with the involvement of civil society, in order to change mobility behaviour in favour of environmental transport in the long term through attractive offers.

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