PROJECT: Phoenix see


  • Dortmund, as well as many other cities in the Ruhr area was  particularly affected by the slow decline of the coal and steel industries.
  • In 1997, the last existing steel company in the Ruhr area, the Thyssen, decided to abandon their plant in Dortmund - Hörde after joining up with Krupp as ThyssenKrupp.
  • In January 2001, the ‘Hörde Torch’ was demolished.  This marks the end of one of the largest dismantling in the industrial history.
  • The former capital of industry was confronted with a high number of unemployment and brownfields scattered all over the city, separating living quarters and public space.
  • In June 2000, the Dortmund Project was implemented.


  • Transform from an industrial and manufacturing location to an international science and technology location.
  • Use the collapse of the economic structures as an opportunity to completely redesign the city.
  • Increase the quality of life substantially in the city making it attractive for potential companies and investors.
  • To increase the quality of life substantially in the city, make itself attractive for companies and investors. So the city can attract employees that are productive and economically qualified.
  • Attract new stable populations.


  • An abandoned old industrial site in the Southern urban area in the district Hörde in Dortmund.
  • The western part of the Phoenix area is being developed as a priority location for Micro- Nanotechnology, Production Technology, Information Technology and Business Services.
  • On the abandoned industrial sites in the Ruhr area arises ‘spontaneous nature’, so called Industrial nature.


  • McKinsey Development Strategy: The city of Dortmund should focus its strength for the next ten years on the bundled settlement of the growth industries of information industry, telecommunication technologies, Nano-technology, microsystems technology and logistics. 
  • After the demolition and removal of industrial parts and underground foundations along with the decontamination of the terrain, flooding started in 2010 with a big festival with the participation of 55000 people to celebrate the turning away of Dortmund’s industrial past.
  • Create two new living areas at the South and North shore of the Phoenix See with in total app. 1000 residential units focussing on attracting and keeping middle- and upper class citizen within the city boundaries.
  • Using an attractive landscape as an asset attracting business and people. 


  • In 2001, the Phoenix See Development Corporation was established.
  • To promote the architecture of the residential development and to attract buyers and builders, the city of Dortmund held an exhibition ‘Building at the Phoenix See’ where 52 designs were presented.
  • In December 2009, the Emscher returned to the surface and reconnected Phoenix East and West. 
  • With several initiatives and investments the city of Dortmund tries to upgrade the urban area of the district Hörde (improvement Clarenberg, improvement infrastructure and alteration of the station).


  • The district Hörde plays an essential part in relation between the ‘new’ and the ‘old’ Dortmund. The district Hörde remains a difficult social and urban situation. 
  • The urbanization added a new dimension. The planning brought the privileged and the disadvantaged together and this created the situation in which the population of Dortmund socio-economically and socio - culturally   are increasingly growing apart. Polarization and segregation tendencies are becoming bigger.

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Project info




2001 - Ongoing


Demonstratively saying goodbye from their industrial past. New employment. Gentrification.




DSW21, PHOENIX SEE Develop Management Group, Municipality Dortmund.