April 8, 2019

Press and Media

About The Future of My City

The transatlantic project brings together students and experts from the Ruhr Area in Germany and the Rust Belt of the United States.

The project participants develop innovative solutions to drive the urban, economic and socio-cultural transformation of both regions.

After submitting the project results by May 31st, they will be evaluated by a jury. The most innovative ideas will be rewarded with a trip to the Rust Belt or the Ruhr Area.



93 Students

19 Groups


45 Experts

> see experts


13 Universities

> see all universities


9 Organizations


The Future of My City was developed by the New York Liaison Office of the University Alliance Ruhr in cooperation with the German American Chamber of Commerce New York and is part of the Year of German-American friendship.

More about the team working on The Future of My City here.


From October 2018 until late 2019, Germany celebrates its close friendship to the U.S. through the Year of German-American Friendship, or Deutschlandjahr.This theme of “Wunderbar Together” highlights the strong relationship between the two countries, which is rooted in deep historical ties and shared culture. The Deutschlandjahr is an initiative of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany to promote transatlantic relations. The project is supported by the Goethe Institute and the Federation of German Industries (BDI).


The Ruhr Area in Germany and the Rust Belt of the United States share similarities, but also great differences, in their past. Both regions were centers of steel production and coal mining before the economic downturn in the second half of the 20th century hit them severely. At the same time, the structural change took very different paths in the two regions. They share common issues such as environmental legacies, the challenge of sustainable urban and regional planning, unemployment, migration, integration as well as an economic reorientation from low tech to high tech. The goal of the The Future of My City is to bring students of both regions together and provide them with thought-provoking impulses and inspiration in order to create solutions of challenges of their respective region.

The transatlantic collaboration of students and experts takes place with the help of a specifically developed collaboration platform to which all participants received access.

October 2018: Official launch of The Future of My City

January 28, 2019: Registration deadline for experts and students and deadline for submission of further topics

May 30, 2019: Project submission deadline and final presentations by students

June 2019: Announcement of the winning teams

July-October 2019: Trip to the Ruhr area and the Rust Belt region by winning teams

The jury consists of experts with backgrounds in urban, economic and social / cultural development of cities. The experts are mainly experienced practicioners. We hold a strong stance in the impartiality of the jury members.

The projects will be evaluated based on three main criteria:

  •       Feasibility – How feasible is your project in terms of sustainable urban design?
  •       Creative solution – Why is your solution particularly innovative and unique?
  •       Attention to local and regional context – To what extent does your project go beyond what is already there?


The most innovative projects – one from the U.S. and one from Germany – will be awarded with a team trip to Germany’s Ruhr Area and the Rust Belt region respectively. During their trips to Germany and the U.S., the winning teams will be invited to present their projects and gain first-hand insights into how regions other than their own confront urban development challenges.

Feel free to request a list of the specific group topics and the student groups: hahn@uaruhr.org.

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