Hagen,Germany The Story of Urban Renewal and Community Transformation


Robert Eduard Antal

Futurehubs.eu » Urban Innovation » Community Transformation in Hagen: A Role Model in Europe

Contributions and Roles of Member Cities in the Eurocities Network: The Case of Hagen, Germany

Innovation and Sustainability

Hagen, Germany, like other member cities of the Eurocities network, commits itself to sustainability and innovation. The city has set ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions and promote green technology. Efforts in these areas not only aim to protect the environment but also to enhance the quality of life for its residents.

Goals to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Hagen is actively working towards meeting the European Union’s climate targets. The city’s initiatives include enhancing public transportation, encouraging the use of electric vehicles, and improving energy efficiency in buildings.

Promotion of Green Technology

By investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, Hagen is advancing its commitment to green technology. The city also supports startups and businesses that specialize in sustainable technologies.

Smart City Initiatives

Hagen leverages technology to improve various aspects of urban life, from public services to environmental management. These initiatives aim to create a more efficient, safe, and livable city.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Implementation of smart grids to enhance energy distribution and consumption efficiency.
  • Use of IoT sensors to monitor and clean waterways, thus ensuring the health of natural habitats.
  • Development of a digital healthcare platform to improve access to medical services and patient outcomes.

Cultural and Social Projects

Hagen is deeply engaged in cultural and social projects that enrich the community and provide support for vulnerable groups. These initiatives are designed to foster inclusivity and celebrate cultural diversity.

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Community art projects that integrate local artists and residents, enhancing public spaces with murals and installations.
  • Programs aimed at supporting migrants and refugees, including language classes and social integration initiatives.
  • Events and festivals that celebrate Hagen’s cultural heritage, bringing together diverse communities.

Urban Planning and Development

Significant urban development projects in Hagen are designed to enhance livability and address climate change. These projects focus on sustainable urban growth, improving public spaces, and increasing green areas within the city.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Revitalization of the city center to create pedestrian-friendly zones and encourage local businesses.
  • Construction of eco-friendly residential areas incorporating green roofs and energy-efficient buildings.
  • Development of urban parks and recreational spaces to promote physical activity and community well-being.

Youth and Education

Hagen places a strong emphasis on creating a vibrant environment for students and young professionals. By investing in education and youth-oriented programs, the city aims to retain talent and foster the next generation of leaders.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Partnerships with local universities to offer internship programs and research opportunities for students.
  • Development of co-working spaces and startup incubators to support young entrepreneurs.
  • After-school programs and workshops focusing on STEM education, arts, and sports.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

Participation in the Eurocities network offers numerous benefits for Hagen. These include access to a broader pool of knowledge and expertise, funding opportunities for innovative projects, and collaboration with other cities facing similar challenges. By being part of the Eurocities, Hagen can exchange best practices and participate in shaping the future of urban development across Europe.

City Description: Hagen, Germany

City Name:



Hagen is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany. It lies on the southeastern edge of the Ruhr region, which is known for its industrial history. The city is nestled within a verdant landscape, surrounded by hills and flowing rivers, including the River Ruhr that runs through it.


As of the most recent data, Hagen has a population of approximately 188,000 residents. The demographic makeup is diverse, with a mix of age groups and a growing number of international residents contributing to the city’s multicultural atmosphere.

Economic Overview:

The economy of Hagen is driven by a blend of traditional and modern industries. Key industrial sectors include metalworking, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. In recent years, the service sector, including education, healthcare, and retail, has also grown significantly. Hagen plays an important role as a regional economic hub, with a GDP of around 8 billion euros.

Historical Significance:

Hagen boasts a rich history, dating back to its first mention in the 13th century. It gained prominence in the industrial revolution due to its strategic location and natural resources. Notable historical events include its development as a railway town in the 19th century and significant rebuilding efforts after World War II. Historic sites like the Hohenlimburg Castle highlight its medieval heritage.

Cultural Attractions:

  • The Osthaus Museum: Renowned for its collection of modern art and exhibitions.
  • Theatre of Hagen: Offers a wide range of performances, including opera, drama, and ballet.
  • Blätterhöhle: A prehistoric site, providing insights into early human history.
  • Hohenlimburg Castle: A medieval fortress that offers tours and historical reenactments.
  • Westphalian Open-Air Museum: Showcases historical buildings and traditional craft demonstrations.

Education System:

Hagen’s education system comprises a comprehensive range of institutions. Primary and secondary education is provided through numerous public schools, known for their strong academic and extracurricular programs. The city is home to the FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany’s largest distance-learning university, which offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Additionally, there are several vocational training centers and private educational establishments catering to diverse learning needs.

Transportation Infrastructure:

Hagen features a well-developed transportation network. Public transit is managed by the local public transport authority, providing efficient bus and train services throughout the city and surrounding areas. The city is served by Hagen Hauptbahnhof, a major railway station offering connections to national and international destinations. For air travel, Düsseldorf International Airport is the nearest major airport, located approximately 80 kilometers away. Road infrastructure includes easy access to the A1, A45, and A46 motorways.

Urban Development Projects:

Hagen has embarked on several urban development projects aimed at enhancing sustainability and quality of life. Key projects include the revitalization of the inner-city area, developing new housing with green architectural standards, and expanding public parks and recreational spaces. The city’s focus on mixed-use developments aims to create vibrant communities with close proximity to amenities and services.

Environmental Initiatives:

Environmental sustainability is a priority for Hagen. Initiatives include increasing green spaces, promoting waste reduction and recycling programs, and supporting renewable energy adoption. The city government has introduced policies to enhance energy efficiency in public buildings and incentives for businesses to implement environmentally friendly practices. Additionally, Hagen is part of regional efforts to protect local waterways and natural habitats.

Quality of Living:

Hagen offers a high quality of living, characterized by comprehensive healthcare services, a low crime rate, and a range of amenities. The healthcare system includes several hospitals and clinics providing high-standard medical care. Residents enjoy access to numerous parks, cultural venues, and recreational activities that enhance their daily lives.

Quality of Life Indexes:

  • Livability Ranking: Hagen consistently ranks high in regional livability indexes due to its robust infrastructure, green spaces, and cultural offerings.
  • Health Index: The city’s healthcare access and services are well-rated, contributing to a favorable health index score.
  • Environmental Quality: Hagen scores well on environmental quality indexes, thanks to its initiatives in sustainability and pollution control.

Mayor Profile: Erik O. Schulz

Current Position

Position: Mayor of Hagen
City: Hagen
Country: Germany

Political Affiliation



  • Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science
  • Institution: University of Hagen (FernUniversität in Hagen), Germany
  • Degree: Master’s Degree in Public Administration
  • Institution: University of Münster, Germany

Professional Background

Before serving as the mayor of Hagen, Erik O. Schulz had a diverse career in local government and the private sector:

  • Administrative Officer at the City Council of Hagen
  • Project Manager in Urban Development Projects
  • Director of the Department of Economic Affairs, Hagen
  • Advisor for Local Governance and Policy Implementation

Achievements as Mayor

During his tenure, Mayor Erik O. Schulz has implemented several key initiatives and projects, including:

  • Sustainability: Introduced the “Green Hagen” initiative aimed at increasing urban green spaces and promoting renewable energy use.
  • Urban Development: Spearheaded the revitalization of downtown Hagen, including the renovation of historical sites and the development of new commercial and residential areas.
  • Technological Advancements: Launched the “Smart Hagen” project to integrate digital technology into city infrastructure, providing free Wi-Fi in public spaces and developing a city-wide app for citizen services.

Vision for the Future

Mayor Erik O. Schulz envisions a future for Hagen that includes:

  • Smart City Initiatives: Continued development of the “Smart Hagen” project with more advanced technologies to enhance public safety, transportation, and citizen engagement.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Aiming for Hagen to become carbon-neutral by 2030 through expanded use of renewable energy and green transportation options.
  • Community Engagement: Improving community involvement in local decision-making through regular town hall meetings and digital platforms for citizen feedback.

Personal Life

Mayor Erik O. Schulz is known for his dedication to both his city and personal life. His hobbies and interests include:

  • Passionate about hiking and outdoor activities, often participating in local environmental clean-ups.
  • Active member of several community service organizations, including volunteering at local shelters and food banks.
  • An avid reader, particularly interested in books on public policy and sustainable development.

Awards and Honors

Mayor Erik O. Schulz has received several awards in recognition of his contributions:

  • Green City Award: For outstanding achievements in urban sustainability.
  • Innovative Leadership Award: Given for his groundbreaking work in introducing smart city technologies.
  • Community Builder Award: In recognition of his efforts to foster community spirit and engagement.

Hagen, Germany: Quality of Life and Cost of Living

Quality of Life


The safety of Hagen is a notable aspect for its residents, reflected in its safety index of 61.88. This score indicates a generally secure environment with a lower crime rate compared to many larger metropolitan areas, contributing to a sense of well-being and security among its citizens.


Hagen has an impressive healthcare quality index of 84.56, signifying that the city provides efficient and accessible healthcare services. Residents benefit from well-maintained hospitals, skilled medical professionals, and comprehensive healthcare facilities.


The pollution index in Hagen stands at 40.66, which suggests that the city maintains a commendable level of cleanliness. Efforts to manage and reduce pollution contribute to a healthier living environment and a higher quality of life.


With a transport index of 67.98, Hagen boasts an outstanding public transportation network. The city’s system includes buses and trains that are reliable and efficient, making commuting convenient for daily activities and connecting residents to neighboring regions seamlessly.


Hagen is home to notable educational institutions, such as the FernUniversität Hagen, which enhances the city’s educational landscape. The presence of quality universities and schools ensures that residents have access to excellent educational opportunities, fostering knowledge and skills development.

Cost of Living


The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Hagen’s city center is approximately $634.25. This moderate cost makes housing more accessible and affordable for residents compared to other German cities.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly grocery costs for a single person: $214
  • Dining out at an inexpensive restaurant: $11.18 per meal

Groceries and dining in Hagen are relatively affordable. The average monthly expenditure for groceries is moderate, and eating out remains budget-friendly, allowing residents to enjoy diverse culinary experiences without breaking the bank.


Monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage services, average about $218. This cost is manageable, ensuring that residents can maintain a comfortable lifestyle without excessive utility bills.


Public transportation in Hagen is both efficient and economical, with a monthly transport pass costing around $87.70. This affordable pricing allows extensive access to the city’s well-connected transport network, facilitating easy and cost-effective commuting.


  • Monthly membership for fitness clubs: $31.48
  • Cinema tickets: $11.18

Leisure activities in Hagen are reasonably priced, enabling residents to enjoy various forms of entertainment. Monthly fitness club memberships and cinema tickets are affordable, contributing to a well-rounded and enjoyable lifestyle.

Role within the Eurocities Network

As a member of the Eurocities network, Hagen plays a significant role in promoting urban development and integration within Europe. This membership underlines the city’s commitment to collaborating with other European cities to enhance urban living standards, share best practices, and drive sustainable development initiatives. Hagen’s involvement in the network helps it adopt progressive policies and innovations that benefit its residents and contribute to the broader goals of the Eurocities community.

Data sourced from Numbeo

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