The past and future go hand in hand in Bochum. The coal mines and factories of yesteryear have been converted into museums, parks and festival sites. Where steel was once cast and coal extracted you can now find Bochum's lively cultural scene. A vibrant creative industry has also established itself at the same time, generating jobs, ensuring quality of life and communicating the city's new image to the outside world.
This development was initiated in the immediate aftermath of World War II. With the city still in ruins, reconstruction work began on the civic theatre, the Bochum Schauspielhaus. Today the city is home to around 40 performance spaces and theatre troupes, as well as playing host to international events such as the Ruhrtriennale music and arts festival. Participation in the RUHR.2010 European Capital of Culture programme consolidated Bochum's reputation as the cultural centre of the Ruhr district.
The city's economic life also has a new dynamic. The foundations of modern Bochum were laid when Opel established a production site here in the 1960s. Today you can find a whole host of well-known companies such as BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM), BP Europa SE and G Data Software AG. Along with the big names, Bochum has also been successful in encouraging innovative young firms to set down roots here. The strategy of deliberately targeting the sectors of the future such as healthcare, production and operations management, IT security, geothermal energy and electromobility has certainly paid off.
The commitment to on-going development thrives on the intensive exchange of ideas between business and science. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the five additional Universities of applied sciences in the region collaborate with businesses and the authorities in countless facilities, networks and working groups. And most importantly of all they also provide education for the young generation that will shape Bochum's future.