Ideas instead of excavators

  Aerial View Alt Morsenich - Drone picture Copyright: © @RWTH Aerial view Morsenich-Alt

How can the opencast mining villages in the Rhenish mining area come back to life? And how can this be made sustainable and socially just from now on? There is hardly a better place to think about it than Morschenich-Alt. From June 17th to 24th, local citizens will look for the answers to these questions and help shape structural change on their doorstep - and everyone is invited to take part in the project week organized by RWTH Aachen University and Neuland Hambach.

Place of the future. This is written on the town sign of Morschenich-Alt. The place that was actually supposed to be excavated, whose inhabitants have been resettled and which will now live on after all – directly behind the demolition edge of the opencast mine. What such a place of the future could look like is to be worked out during the project week in June. Exciting, not only for Morschenich, because the many questions affect everyone: How can a decentralized energy supply work in the Rhenish Revier? How can mobility in rural areas look like in the future, how can the construction transition succeed? In 70 different projects - lectures, workshops and excursions, discussion rounds and exhibitions - new perspectives are to be developed and discussed together. All formats have in common that they want to enable participation and dialogue on current topics of structural change.

"The project week here is about new opportunities for structural change in the Rhenish Revier. We would like to talk to people about that," says Prof. Agnes Förster, head of the Chair for Planning Theory and Urban Development at RWTH Aachen University. The chair organizes the project week in and around the daycare center on Ellener Straße in Morschenich-Alt with the transformation platform "REVIERa" together with Neuland Hambach. The host is the municipality of Merzenich. Bianca Hohn, project manager at Neuland Hambach, adds: “With the tu! Hambach, we want to combine research and practice, the visitors can and should get involved in the far-reaching process of change in their region." Lennart Schminnes, manager of structural change in the municipality of Merzenich, sees "the huge potential that Morschenich-Alt has", and he is delighted We are already looking forward to "unleashing many new innovative projects during the event" with the entire team. The idea of ​​the temporary university in Hambach (tu! Hambach) with the project week in Morschenich-Alt was developed together with citizens during the REVIERatelier in summer 2022 developed from the Rhenish area.

All information, registration form and the program (also as a booklet with all information about the individual offers in PDF format for download) are available at

Information on the structural development company Neuland Hambach can be found here:

Project week in Morschenich from June 17th to 24th (Youtube link)


The Temporary University of Hambach (tu! Hambach) is a collaborative learning and design format for the Rhenish Revier. Numerous people, groups and institutions are contributing to the project week in Morschenich-Alt in June 2023 on an equal footing. The Temporary University will be in cooperation with Neuland Hambach organized by the REVIERa transformation platform of RWTH Aachen University. In the summer of 2023 the tu! as a guest in the municipality of Merzenich.

Local partners are the Research Center Jülich (bioeconomy REVIER structural change initiative), the Aachen University of Applied Sciences (teaching area of ​​urban planning, transformation and process design) and the LVR Institute for Regional Studies and Regional History (project "HISTORY Rheinisches Revier").

Contact: RWTH Aachen, Department 3 – Press and Communication, 0241-80-92511,