Essen has established itself as a metropolis worth living in. Essen is not just a business, service and trade centre, Essen is also a university city, has an exhibition centre, extensive shopping facilities, was European Capital of Culture in 2010 and European Green Capital in 2017 and still much more.
The city is the tenth-largest in Germany with a population of around 589,000 and the centre of the Metropole Ruhr, where about 5.2 million people live. The Metropole Ruhr is the third-largest conurbation in Europe after London and Paris. Approximately 140 million people live within a radius of 500 kilometres of Essen, which is about one-third of the total population of the European Union.
The landmark is the Zollverein coal mine. It was active from 1847 to 1986 and today serves as an industrial monument. Together with the Zollverein coking plant, the mine has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. Against the backdrop of cultural diversity and its significance, the city of Essen was named European Capital of Culture 2010, representing the entire Ruhr region.
Due to its numerous green open spaces, Essen is one of the most relaxing cities in North Rhine-Westphalia: 42% of the total area is green. In 2017, Essen was awarded the title of European Green Capital. This award recognized both the city of Essen’s commitment to date, including in the areas of climate, environmental and resource protection and its plans and goals to sustainably manage the transformation in these areas. Structural change is part of the city’s development, which is also reflected in the Sustainability Strategy from 2021.
Digitalisation is a major topic in urban society. Connected.Essen is a strategic initiative with the aim of using the digitalisation of the city of Essen to increase the quality of life for all people in Essen, to enhance the economic attractiveness and to improve sustainability.
Essen is home to the headquarters of some of Germany’s biggest companies: These include e.g. E.ON S.E., thyssenkrupp AG, Hochtief AG, RWE AG and Evonik Industries AG. In addition, a strong SME sector, as well as the craft sector, are the driving force of employment, innovation and economic strength.
With four universities and almost 70,000 students, Essen is also an important university location.