The current Emscher conversion is an outstanding long-term infrastructure project, which already today makes an important contribution to the upgrading of the Ruhr area as a whole. The fundamental reorganisation of the existing sewage water infrastructure in the Emscher region (including the construction of a closed underground sewage canal and sewage treatment plants as well as the revitalisation of the Emscher and its affluents) is being accompanied by numerous initiatives from the field of planning, social work and education as well as from art and culture - e.g. during the European Capital of Culture year Ruhr.2010. Hence, the Emscher conversion is not only a technological project but also framed as an important trigger for notably improving the quality of life and achieving positive economic impacts in the Ruhr area.
Because of its success and with regards to the prevailing governance structures, the Emscher conversion has the potential to serve as a role model or blueprint for many other important infrastructure systems whose reorganisation is increasingly discussed against the background of sustainability issues.
The project aims at documenting the Emscher conversion and the development of its transfer potential to other infrastructure areas as well as its impulses for a sustainable Ruhr area. The documentation is planned as a book geared towards multipliers from politics, business, labour unions, churches and environmental organizations as well as the interested public.