Bottrop 2018plus - Towards a Sustainable and Resilient Economic Structure / Bottrop2018+

Goal and Task

Jointly with the City of Bottrop and the Faktor 10 Institut für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften, the IAT conducts an interdisciplinary and application-oriented research project on "Sustainable Transformation of Urban Spaces" within the framework of the BMBF funding program "Social Ecological Research". Targeting sustainable and resilient development of the urban space, this project focuses on the transition of urban economic structures in Bottrop favouring a long-term transformation. To this end, innovative governance models, which have already been tested in other fields, are transferred to business promotion. Their applicability shall be improved and the sustainable and resilient development of the site promoted.

Permanent, cooperative and strategic governance structures including stakeholder management shall be established along with the three defined future-oriented fields of action "Retail", "Crafts" and "Leisure Industry & Tourism" and the development of strategic alliances. In real world labs, new instruments of economic promotion are tested and implemented. Sustainability and resilience are permanently integrated into the actions of all stakeholders. Through the strategic alliances and real world labs, new forms of participatory economic promotion are envisaged to establish in Bottrop. By recoupling the gained insights from these processes into urban economic promotion structures, it is strived to change these structures into a sustainable and resilient direction.


The small-scale or sector-specific impact of new cooperative control types in Bottrop’s business promotion are explored towards resilience and sustainability. New forms of managing urban economy are tested. In addition to the strategic alliance platform - serving as a control and exchange instrument - strategic alliances based on non-hierarchical and lateral management are set up in the three fields of action "Retail", "Crafts" and "Leisure Industry & Tourism". Herby the actors are permanently and mandatorily integrated into transition and design it by themselves to strengthen transformative forces and initiate bottom-up innovations. Sustainability and resilience serve as guidance also for the evaluation of the project.

In addition, the interaction of urban-relevant actors is analysed, evaluated and further developed in a broad stakeholder process. Obstacles or drivers are also identified to gain insights into a continuous transition strategy of local economic promotion. Such a strategy takes into account both organisational and instrumental as well as new forms of collaboration. Concretely, the following questions shall be answered: How does the urban economic development agency have to develop in the future in order to effectively initiate and support participatory transition processes? And how will these self-controlled processes be integrated into a holistic urban strategy of long-term sustainable and resilient urban development?

In the three real world labs, the strategies developed in the strategic alliances are operationalised. Therewith urban conditions as well as changes in the sectors or consumer requirements are taken into account. A small-scale, cooperative form of trade, production and leisure activities is contemplated in the economic zone related to the city quarters. In this way, synergies and sustainability gains can be achieved both within the fields of action as well as between them. Through the establishment of cooperative production sites in the crafts sector and hybrid forms of retail, a contribution to a sustainable and efficient use of space within the inner city area shall be obtained. By this the potential and creativity of the city residents and their groups are included. Innovative forms of cooperation shift the boundaries of design, production and consumption. Resources are saved through exchange based on the division of labour within and between the real world laboratories. The project concept is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Concept of the joint project Bottrop 2018plus

Concept of the joint project Bottrop 2018plus
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The project work plan is divided into nine work packages (AP) to be elaborated integratively: Findings or results from individual work packages flow into others or correlations occur.

As a basis for the further implementation of the project, the economic structure of the City of Bottrop, including the theory-based deepening of the research strands "sustainability", "resilience" and "cooperative economic promotion" will be analysed in AP1. A guideline with recommendations for the transition of local economic promotion towards sustainability and resilience will be developed in AP2. AP3 serves the stakeholder analysis and its management. For this purpose, a business unit will be set up at the regional development agency of the City of Bottrop to manage and support the platform strategic alliances (AP4), the three strategic alliances (AP5) and the real world labs (AP6). Within AP 4, the platform strategic alliance and the three thematic strategic alliances «Retail», «Crafts» and «Leisure Industry & Tourism» will be developed and managed as a new, innovative instrument for local/regional economic promotion based on participation and self-organisation. AP5 then includes the operationalisation of the strategic developments of the three strategic alliances. This involves the identification and activation of participants as well as the management of the content and technical design of the individual real word labs «Retail», «Crafts» and «Leisure Industry & Tourism». Focusing a sustainable and resilient urban economic (structural) development in the respective field of action and the City of Bottrop, a monitoring and evaluation instrument including necessary indicators will be developed in AP6 and tested in AP4/5. The project activities are accompanied by an evaluation of the overall process (AP7), the knowledge transfer of project results (AP8) as well as public relations and project coordination (AP9).