Few industrial heritage efforts have been as catalytic as the Ruhr District’s transformation from brownfields and barren slag heaps to a networked realm of cultural vitality and innovation-based economic growth. On Saturday, October 18, I'm thrilled to be a part of the 2014 Great Falls Symposium, presented by the Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology. With my Being Here colleague Denisha Williams, I'll be presenting a talk that considers Germany’s large-scale landscape of coal mines and steel mills as a model for how social, cultural, and ecological measures can drive urban development rooted in a region’s industrial past—and how the Ruhr can offer a template for the creative reuse of industrial sites in New Jersey and New York.
Pictured: Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park. Image credit: Christoph Schmitz