City of Gelsenkirchen - administration
Gelsenkirchen was founded in the eleventh century but became a City first in the 19th century through the industrialisation. Until the 80th steel and mining industry were important fields of economy but since the diminishing of these industries made it necessary to restrucure the economic basis of the city. The number of inhabitants decreased from a peak of 400.000 to less than 300.000 today and the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the region. To combat this development Gelsenkirchen is struggling for a new profile. As metaphor for its former economy it has been called the cities of 1000 fires.
To symbolize the transition process a new slogan has been developed: "From the city of 1000 fires to the city of 1000 suns!" Nowadays Gelsenkirchen is heading to become an important player in the sustainability discussion and development of solar related technologies. Through dozens of measures and projects Gelsenkirchen seriously tries to speed up the transition process and to activate all possible ressources. To prove its seriousness Gelsenkirchen decided to participate in IEA Task 30 "Solar City" and launched an initiative called "Solarstadt Gelsenkirchen" consisting of an dedicated Website (see above) and a local communication process.