Die Emscher-Lippe region
The Emscher-Lippe region is located in the northwest of North Rhine-Westphalia and forms the northern part of the Ruhr area. Its name goes back to the two rivers Emscher and Lippe, which flow through the area in east-west direction. The region comprises the district of Recklinghausen with ten municipalities in the district and the independent cities of Gelsenkirchen and Bottrop. About one million people live in the Emscher-Lippe region in an area of about 966 km². This makes the region one of the most densely populated regions in Germany.
The Emscher-Lippe region forms the transition zone from the highly compact Ruhr area in the south and the rural Münsterland in the north. The largest cities in the region are Gelsenkirchen, Bottrop and Recklinghausen, each with more than 100,000 inhabitants. These cities are besides Gladbeck, Herten and Castrop-Rauxel assigned to the core zone of the Ruhr. They are characterized by a high building and population density and traditionally focus on industry and trade. In the northern adjoining metropolitan area around the cities of Datteln, Dorsten or Marl some important industrial and commercial settlements are located. On the other hand, the north of the region is increasingly agricultural and has only few industrial uses.
The designation and the self-conception of the Emscher-Lippe region are largely based on the North Rhine-Westphalian territorial reform in 1975 and the subsequent affiliation of the area to the planning area of the administrative district of Münster. The district government of Münster was responsible for the regional planning and the preparation of the “Regional Plan Emscher-Lippe” until the municipal election in 2009. Since then, the regional association Ruhr (RVR) has been responsible for the regional planning in its associated area (according to § 2 LPlG NW). This offers the possibility that regional planning issues for the complex urban agglomeration Ruhrgebiet are now bundled. This includes, in particular, the development of a ruhr-wide, uniform regional plan, the preparation of which is still ongoing. As a result, the regional plans established by the regional councils of the administrative districts continue to apply to the RVR territory. In the Emscher-Lippe region this is the “Regional Plan Emscher-Lippe” of the district government of Münster established in 2004.
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