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Interreligious activities and urban governance in the Ruhr Area

Time Frame

January 2012 - August 2013

Team

Dr. Eva Dick, Prof. Dr. Alexander-Kenneth Nagel, RUB (Leitung), Ariana Fürst, Tobias Meier (Bearbeitung)

Funding

Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR)

Description

From January 2012 - August 2013, the Department of Spatial Planning in Developing Countries (REL) of the Faculty of Spatial Planning of TU Dortmund University and the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of the Ruhr-University Bochum were conducting the interdisciplinary research project “Inter-religious activities and urban governance in the Ruhr Area”. The project was financed by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) with support from the Brost-Verfügungsfond of the WAZ-Media group during 18 months. Based on this research, a further project application shall be compiled for a comparative study in several European countries.

Using the example of two cities of the Ruhr Area, Hamm and Duisburg, this interdisciplinary project aimed at gaining new insights into different forms of interaction between several religious communities and the influence of urban stakeholders (policy makers, planners, neighbourhood managers etc.) on these activities. In this regard the project asked how urban stakeholders position themselves in the inter-religious field and how they influence inter- religious activities in the context of urban and spatial planning procedures. In a more normative sense, chances and challenges resulting from inter-religious activities for an urban and integration based “diversity management” were identified.

Religious diversity in the Ruhr Area is basically migration-related. Due to the high number of residents with a Turkish or Arabic background the main focus is on Christian-Muslim activities. However, inter-religious activities involving other faith communities were also studied. For instance, the case of Hamm which is a centre for exile-Hinduism in Germany and location of the second largest Hindu temple in Europe, allows shedding a light on Hindu-Muslim-Christian activities.