Gelsenkirchen, Germany

  • City population: 
  • City/Urban area: 
  • Population Density: 
    Less than 300 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP – city: 
    Between USD 15,000 and USD 25,000
  • GDP - country: 
    USD 41,179
  • Average number of years of schooling: 

Education for all and Education for the future

Located in the heart of the previously industrialized Ruhr area of Germany, today Gelsenkirchen faces substantial challenges in finding new ways for its citizens to thrive economically and socially.

Vision and Motivation

Gelsenkirchen sees its learning city development as vital for providing citizens with the opportunity to thrive and develop their potential. The city hopes to prepare individuals for the changing economic environment and to enable them to acquire valuable skills.

Challenges and Goals

With the demise of the area’s coal-mining industry, Gelsenkirchen became one of the most deprived cities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has a high unemployment rate and a high percentage of children who are dependent on social welfare. Through its learning city initiative, Gelsenkirchen hopes to promote and develop the learning competences and skills its citizens need for the future.

Plan and Implementation

Gelsenkirchen’s learning city concept is implemented through the following actions:

  • Public education and learning spaces are linked with a digital platform to provide information and knowledge, and to connect formal, non-formal and informal education.
  • Collaboration with educational providers, as well as other learning institutions, is developed.
  • The transfer of experiences and competences through educational and learning activities, with a special focus on migrants, is supported.
  • A Youth City Council is established and youth participation is encouraged.
  • Digital learning is promoted, and the use of QR-code and digital learning platforms throughout the city is developed.
  • Regular round-table discussions and networks with different city districts are established along with citizens’ centres.


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Ms Karin Welge

Contact Person

Mr Werner Rybarski
Director of the aGEnda 21-office, aGEnda 21-office, Gelsenkirchen
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