GFM is a project for innovative space management led by BMR designed to enhance the efficient use of commercial and industrial sites in the Ruhr Metropolis.
The provision of industrial sites which meet both market demands and public interests in terms of quality and quantity is a central challenge for the future development of the Ruhr Metropolis. With the Industrial Site Management Ruhr ("Gewerbliches Flächenmanagement Ruhr - GFM“), the Ruhr area disposes of an instrument for the analysis and targeted mobilisation of industrial sites which is regionally coordinated and unique in its form in Germany. The project started in 2010 and is currently in its fifth phase.

The current phase of the project specifically aims at elaborating differentiated use profiles for a given portfolio of designated industrial development sites in terms of a smart specialisation concept. This concept will be elaborated by a service provider by means of a structured dialogue with different bodies at the regional level and municipalities from the Ruhr Metropolis. Stakeholders of the project are Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH (the regional business promotion agency) as the project leader, Regionalverband Ruhr (the regional planning authority), the municipalities and local authorities within the Ruhr Metropolis with their planning departments and units of business promotion, the chambers of commerce and industry and the chambers of handcraft from the region, and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Resources needed

Total project costs: 607.000 €, BMR subsidy: 485.000 € (80%) / 1 position of a full-time project manager

Evidence of success

By means of implementing this practice, the stakeholders involved acknowledge the necessity of a coordinated regional approach to the development of industrial land in order to set spatial priorities within the region or priorities in terms of different profiles of the individual sites.

Potential for learning or transfer

The outcomes of the GFM V project will be published in a final project report and will be presented at a closing event. The results achieved throughout the GFM V project phase do not only benefit the municipalities within the Ruhr region, but also have the potential to create learning effects relevant for similarly dense urban areas in North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond.

In order to facilitate the transfer of learning effects to other regions in North Rhine-Westphalia, an exchange with other site management initiatives at the federal state level is currently being planned.

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Main institution
Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH
Start Date
October 2019
End Date
August 2022


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