/URBAN SHIFT 2017 – 2018The German Ruhr region and the area around Charleroi, Belgium were once among Europe's most important hubs for heavy industry. After the coal and steel crises took hold at the end of the 50s and 60s, these regions were subject to a steady structural transformation. The towering mining piles were transformed into tourist attractions and guided tours now take place in the industrial ruins. Today the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since the last mine in the Ruhr region closed its shafts at the end of 2018, coal production in Germany is now a thing of the past. With the disappearance of industry, the jobs have also been lost. For this reason, Charleroi is since then the city with the highest unemployment rate in all of Belgium. Solely the relics of industrialization are still reminiscent of glorious times.