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Duisburg-Marxloh is one of the exemplary cases of integrated urban regeneration and development in deprived neighbourhoods which started with URBAN I and combines various activities, stakeholders and sources of financial support within an area-based approach. Based on community involvement, the practice clearly shows the effects of a long-term integrated strategy and confirms the urban dimension as crucial.

Executive summary

Sustainable urban development as understood in the article 8 principles of the ERDF regulation is consistent with cross-sector and participative urban development as set out in the Acquis Urbain. In the German regulatory framework, in this case in the OP of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the promotion of sustainable and integrated approaches for urban development, particularly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, has been the logical continuation of a long-term regional strategy based on a mix of interdepartmental coordination, bundling of resources, and multi-level governance for decision-making with an area-based approach.

Marxloh is one of the principal examples in North Rhine-Westphalia, and in Germany as a whole, of an integrated approach to urban renewal. It started in the middle of the 1980s, linking different funding programmes to pursue a common strategy. Long-term practical experience together with accompanying studies and evaluations have led to a shift in perspective from single projects to sustainable urban development.

The practice of ‘neighbourhood renewal in Duisburg-Marxloh’ is exemplary for this kind of approach. Investments to improve physical and environmental living conditions by creating a green belt are connected to an overall participative strategy of participation, networking and capacity building among the residents and actors involved.

The physical intervention has to be accompanied by an intense and continuous dialogue process on the future of the whole neighbourhood. Stabilisation and sustainment strategies are necessary in a context of decreasing funding. That is why the practice has been planned and funded in an integrated way for a period of eight years with a consistent part of the budget for stabilisation activities.

The population of the whole neighbourhood of Marxloh will benefit from the renewal activities, which will bring them better environmental quality and a better connected open space system. For the residents of the target area, who are affected by demolition and displacement, tailor-made solutions are being developed in order to minimise the negative impact. The active neighbourhood networks (e.g. round table, local business associations) are being closely involved in the long-term stabilisation discussion, and will be increasingly involved as partners in the co-production of sustainment strategies. Local economic actors such as migrant start-up entrepreneurs and other small businesses will also benefit from the improved image of the neighbourhood.

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Technical information


Involving the community in neighbourhood renewal

Member State and Region

Germany - North Rhine-Westphalia - Duisburg

Duration of project

96 months (01.01.2008 – 31.12.2015)


Total budget: 3 674 400 € - ERDF contribution: 1 435 312 €

Cohesion Policy Objective


Managing Authority

Regional Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Building, Housing and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Department (Referat) IV.1, Düsseldorf

CCI nr of OP



Brigitte Grandt, Entwicklungsgesellschaft Duisburg mbH – EG DU (Duisburg Urban Development Agency Ltd)

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www.eg-du.de (in EN and DE)

www.gruenguertel-nord.de (in EN and DE)


Urban renewal, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, Empowerment and participation