Revitalisation of spoil tips and socio-economic polarisation – a case study of Ruhr area (Germany)

Open access


The paper discusses issues about the revitalisation of spoil tips, socio-economic polarisation and social exclusion in the field of municipal recreational activities based on an example of the largest post-industrial region in Europe – the Ruhr area in Germany. Revitalisation of brownfield areas very often leads to the creation of leisure facilities of various types (with a range of entrance fees) and because of this it may mitigate, or exacerbate, the severity of these negative phenomena. In the Ruhr area there are 104 spoil tips of different origins (mine tips, slag heaps, rubbish dumps), sizes and shapes (from conical heaps, through table mountains shaped tips and intentionally shaped for landscape tips, to major tips) and state of preservation. The research has shown that it is possible to use the majority of these spoil tips in the Ruhr area (87 of them) as leisure facilities as they have been changed into green areas, parks, playgrounds, locations for sports activities and tourist attractions after their restoration. Furthermore, they are mostly accessible free of charge and may serve a wide range of people – from locals to visitors, from children to senior citizens etc., regardless of their income. As such they may mitigate the socio-economic polarisation tendencies in the region.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Behr I. Billert A. Kröning W. Muzioł-Węcławowicz A. 2003. Podręcznik rewitalizacji. Zasady procedury i metody działania współczesnych procesów rewitalizacji. Warszawa.

  • Berke W. 2011. Überalle Berge. Der definitive Haldenführer Ruhrgebiet. Klartex Verlag Essen.

  • Chmielewska M. 2010a. Park krajobrazowy Hoheward w Zagłębiu Ruhry – przykład rewitalizacji hałdy pogórniczej. Kształt. środ. geogr. i ochr. przyr. na obsz. uprzem. i zurban. 42: 14-18.

  • Chmielewska M. 2010b. Tourism as a way of revitalization of post-industrial landscape: the Industrial Heritage Trail in Ruhr Area (Germany). Anthropogenic aspects of landscape transformations 6: 11-15.

  • Chmielewska M. Otto M. 2013. The impact of revitalization on the evolution of urban space on former iron and steel works areas in Ruhr region (Germany). Environ. & Socio-econ. Stud. 11: 31-37.

  • Colantonio A. Potter R.B. 2006. City profile Hawana. Cities 231: 63-78.

  • Domański B. 2000. Restrukturyzacja terenów poprzemysłowych w miastach. [in:] Ziobrowski Z. Ptaszycka-Jackowska D. Rębowska A. Geissler A. (eds.) Rewitalizacja rehabilitacja restrukturyzacja odnowa miast. Inst. Gosp. Przest. i Komun. Kraków.

  • Dorling D. Woodward R. 1996. Social Polarisation 1971-1991: A Micro-geographical Analysis of Britain. Progress in Planning 45 2: 63-122.

  • Friedrichs J. Triemer S. 2008. Gespaltene Städte? Soziale und ethnische Segregation in deutschen Großstädten. Wiesbaden.

  • Gale D.E. 1996. Understanding Urban Unrest: from Reverend King to Rodney King. Sage Publ. London.

  • Hamnett C. 1998. Social polarisation economic restructuring and welfare state regimes. [in:] Musterd S. Ostendorf W. (eds.) Urban Segregation and the Welfare State: Inequality and Exclusion in Western Cities. Routledge London.

  • Jarczewski W. 2010. Skala degradacji miast w Polsce. [in:] Ziobrowski Z. Jarczewski W. (ed.) Rewitalizacja miast polskich – diagnoza. Rewitalizacja miast polskich 8. Inst. Rozwoju Miast Kraków: 57-64.

  • Kaczmarek S. 2001. Rewitalizacja terenów poprzemysłowych. Nowy wymiar w rozwoju miast. Łódź.

  • Knox P. Pinch S. 2000. Urban Social Geography: an Introduction. Pearson Edu. Ltd. Harlow.

  • Lamparska–Wieland M. Waga J.M. 2003. Znaczenie hałd poeksploatacyjnych w krajobrazie Górnego Śląska. Arch. Ochr. Środ. 29 2:107-113.

  • Lange D. (ed.). 2005. Atlas der Industriekultur Ruhrgebiet. Regionalverband Ruhr Essen.

  • Lorens P. 2010. Rewitalizacja miasta. Planowanie i realizacja. Polit. Gdań. Wydz. Arch. Gdańsk.

  • Marcus P. Van Kempen R. (eds.) 2000. Globalizing Cities A new spatial organ. Blackwell Oxford.

  • Marcus P. Van Kempen R. 2002. Of state and cities the partitioning of urban space. Oxford Geogr. and Environ. Stud. Oxford Univ. Press.

  • McCarthy J. 1999. Chicago: a case study of social exclusion and city regeneration. Cities 16 5: 323–331.

  • Musterd S. Ostendorf W. 1998. Segregation polarisation and social exclusion in metropolitan areas. [in:] Musterd S. Ostendorf W. (eds.) Urban Segregation and the Welfare State: Inequality and Exclusion in Western Cities. Routledge London.

  • Otto M. Chmielewska M. 2012. Revitalisation for everybody? The Landscape Park Duisburg – North. Acta Geogr. Silesiana 12: 27-40.

  • Otto M. Chmielewska M. 2014. Social Inclusion by Revitalization? The Potential of Disused Industrial Areas As an Opportunity for Mitigating Social Polarization. Quaestiones Geogr. 33(2):115-125.

  • Prossek A. Schneider H. Wessel H.A. Wetterau B. Wiktorin D. (ed.) 2009. Atlas der Metropole Ruhr. Vielfalt und Wandel des Ruhrgebiet simKarten bild. Köln.

  • Reuber P. Krajewski C. 2009. Postmoderne Freizeit – und Erlebnislandschaft. [in:] Prossek A. et al. (ed.) Atlas der Metropole Ruhr. Calbe: 180-183.

  • Sassen S. 1991. The global city - New York London Tokyo New Jersey. Princeton Univ. Press New York.

  • Scholz F. 2004. Geographische Entwicklungsforschung. Stuttgart.

  • Wiegandt C. 2012. Stadtentwicklung in Deutschland. Trend zur Polarisierung. Geogr. Rundschau 64 (7-8): 46-53.

  • Więcławowicz G. 2007. Geografia społecznie miast. PWN Warszawa.


  • Zepp H. 2004. Geomorphologie Paderborn.

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 225 71 2
PDF Downloads 162 66 9