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Brussels, 18 October 2001

Urban II programme: European Union contributes EURO 9.9 million for urban regeneration in Saarbrücken (Dudweiler), Germany

The European Commission has approved a programme for urban regeneration in the urban district of Dudweiler in Saarbrücken, Germany. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide about € 9.9(2) million from the European Union over the period 2001-2006. The European funding has attracted € 12.6 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of € 22.5 million. Programme priorities will include the improvement of urban infrastructure and transport, the development of the local economy, training and employment, social and cultural integration, the living environment and possibilities for local recreation.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER, Member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy, said: "The URBAN Community Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people and organisations at all stages in the decision making process. The programme for the city of Saarbrücken is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme's priorities for local development. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in this part of the city of Saarbrücken."

The programme area covers parts of the areas of Dudweiler, Herrensohr and Jägersfreude with a total eligible population of 25,000 inhabitants. The local economy has experienced severe problems since the closure of the coal mines in the early nineties, which has led to an unemployment rate well above the national average. The population of Dudweiler is decreasing and there are worrying increases in ethnic and social segregation. The URBAN II area is heavily built-up, and clean green spaces and leisure areas are scarce. Soil contamination is suspected in many brownfield areas. Access by road to the area needs improvement for the benefit of the living environment. There is a serious lack of cultural and recreational facilities, especially for young people.

In order to address these problems, the programme focuses on four priorities:

  • Spatial development and traffic planning. Rundown industrial sites, improving road connections, bicycle paths, sidewalks will be developed (Community contribution € 2.3 million).

  • Economy, science, training and employment. This priority focuses on the local economy, the creation of training facilities and employment opportunities, and should, in co-operation with the nearby university, attract and stimulate the establishment of technology-oriented businesses (Community contribution € 3.1 million).

  • Social and cultural infrastructure. Funding is aimed at achieving integration of "problem groups", as well as combating discrimination and social exclusion and strengthening the identification of the citizens with their neighbourhood (Community contribution € 1.4 million).

  • Ecology, green areas and leisure facilities. Improving the living environment by refurbishing nature and water areas, as well as developing green areas and space for leisure activities are possible projects under this priority (Community contribution € 2.3 million).

A Community contribution of € 0.8 million will be reserved for technical assistance.


The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2001-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 743,6 million(3) and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN II allocation for Germany amounts to € 148.7 million(4). Programmes have been submitted for Berlin, Bremerhaven, Dessau, Dortmund, Gera, Kassel, Kiel, Leipzig, Luckenwalde, Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Neubrandenburg and Saarbrücken.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which falls under the responsibility of Mr Barnier. Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2001-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Managing Authority

Ministerium für Umwelt

Keplerstraße 18

D-66117 Saarbrücken

Phone: 06 81 / 5 01 46 09

Fax: 06 81 / 5 01 46 01


    Further information

More detailed information on URBAN II can be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following European Commission website :

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.

(2) Programming prices

(3) New profile 2003 prices

(4) New profile 2003 prices

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