Europe-University Venlo/Nettetal

Oppor­tu­nities for the deve­lo­p­ment of a cross-border urban area
TU Dortmund
Prof. Dr. Othengrafen
Lukas Arntz
Fakultät Raumplanung

More than one third of EU citi­zens live and work in Europe’s border regions. These borders have a direct and indi­rect impact on their lives. Parti­cu­larly in the cross-border agglo­me­ra­tions, the popu­la­tion takes advan­tage of the diverse range of jobs and services, educa­tional insti­tu­tions, cultural acti­vi­ties and leisure faci­li­ties on both sides of the border. This also includes infra­st­ruc­tures and services speci­fi­cally desi­gned for border regions, such as bilin­gual kinder­gar­tens, trai­ning centres and study programs. Commuter move­ments across national borders bear witness to the inten­sive func­tional inte­gra­tion of these areas (BMVBS 2011, 9).

This is also evident in the border area between Nettetal and Venlo. Against this back­ground, the government of North Rhine-West­phalia (toge­ther with the Dutch government) has been discus­sing more inten­si­vely for about a year now the idea of estab­li­shing a Euro­pean Univer­sity in the border area in order to (1) promote the deve­lo­p­ment of a cross-border urban space and (2) expand scien­tific coope­ra­tion between the two coun­tries (so far, Venlo has had the Fontys Venlo Univer­sity of Applied Sciences, where many German students are also enrolled).

The aim of the Master’s draft is to analyse – in close coope­ra­tion with prac­ti­tio­ners (urban plan­ners and poli­ti­cians of the city of Nettetal and the district of Viersen and, if necessary, also regional poli­ti­cians) – the chances for the deve­lo­p­ment of a cross-border urban space by a Euro­pean Univer­sity Venlo/​Nettetal. The following steps are planned for the plan­ning and estab­lish­ment of a possible Euro­pean Univer­sity (and possibly a subse­quent univer­sity district) in the border area between Nettetal and Venlo:

  • Analysis of poten­tial areas of possible loca­tions in question
  • Analysis of further needs (housing, services, trade) that are rele­vant in the context of a new univer­sity loca­tion that may have to be realised; here, great impor­t­ance is atta­ched to the evalua­tion of statis­tical data and also to conduc­ting inter­views with decision-makers (in Germany and the Netherlands)
  • Deve­lo­p­ment of urban concepts (e.g. stra­tegic frame­work plan, urban deve­lo­p­ment frame­work plan, urban design concept etc.)
  • Deve­lo­p­ment of an urban deve­lo­p­ment frame­work plan and an urban deve­lo­p­ment design concept etc.