From the open-cast mining landscape to open spaces worth living in Open space concept for structural change in the Rhine district of Neuss

Freiraumkonzept Visualisierung © 2022 gruppe F | Freiraum für alle GmbH

Freiraumkonzept Visualisierung © 2022 gruppe F | Freiraum für alle GmbH

The Rhine district of Neuss is one of the most densely populated lignite mining areas in Germany. Its open spaces are in a constant state of change. Lignite mines are moving, slag heaps are being filled in and areas are being recultivated. Structural change will result in further changes to the landscape, for the design of which visions are being developed in an open space concept.

With the open space concept, we are building on existing concepts and plans that have been compiled in six thematic maps to characterize the district. We link these foundations with the ideas and needs of citizens, municipalities and local stakeholders.

In spring 2022, a stakeholder workshop was held to involve representatives from the municipalities, district, regional and state administrations as well as stakeholders from business, planning and nature conservation associations. The municipalities of Grevenbroich, Jüchen and Rommerskirchen are particularly affected by structural change. They are the focus of the concept. Representatives from the municipalities and local experts were involved in workshops on various work steps. The process is also supported by a multi-faceted coordination group. It serves as a content control body.

Over a period of three months, almost 500 residents of the district contributed their ideas for a liveable development of open spaces in a map-based online participation process. Participants marked important routes for walking, hiking, jogging, cycling and horse riding. We also wanted to know what qualities they see in open spaces. What goals should the district set itself for the development of its open spaces? Among other things, special places and ideas for the district's open spaces were marked on the map in 1954.

Development goals for the open spaces and the strengthening of their functions were formulated on the basis of the participation results. Open spaces have great potential to improve the quality of life for people in the district. At the same time, a contribution to increasing biodiversity can be made here. There is also room for innovations in climate protection and agriculture. This is followed by visions that provide an insight into the future of the district. How could the typical open spaces of the district develop, the edges of settlements, the open landscapes and the open spaces shaped by lignite mining? Presented in narrative graphics, the visions are easy to understand, even for those unfamiliar with planning.

Pilot projects are intended to turn the visions into reality in the short term and have an impact on the entire region. The ideas for the pilot projects were coordinated with the municipalities based on the results of the participation. In a "Future Open Spaces Workshop", the residents of the district made a recommendation as to which pilot projects should be developed in greater depth. This will be fleshed out in a further workshop.

In addition to the pilot projects, the concept also outlines further realization paths for implementing the visions. Completion of the concept is planned for 2023.

Read more +

Planning offices

gruppe F | Freiraum für alle GmbH

Project period
2022 - 2023

57.644 ha

Rhein-Kreis Neuss

Show project location on map

Project type
Landscape plans, landscape framework plans, expert contributions
Regional development concepts