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altComparing Germany's Ruhr Valley to the Rust Belt is old hat. These two regions jump to the fore when we discuss industrial decline in Germany and the United States. However, the analogy is still instructive as we struggle to find a functional contiguous geography that might lend itself revitalization:
Germans often think of the region as a single entity, and taken together, it would in fact be the country's biggest city, with more than 5 million inhabitants. But the valley has less the feel of a city than a small, densely populated island: In some areas of the region, cities bleed into each other, while in other places there are wide stretches of agriculture that act as buffers between municipalities. Residents often have attachments to their local towns and develop rivalries against their neighbors. “When there's a soccer game between Dortmund and Bochum, you should probably stay off the local trains,” Willi Kaiser, a resident of Essen, said.

To read the full, original article click on this link: Burgh Diaspora - Economic Development From Geographic Mobility

Author:  Jim Russell