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.