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Regional cooperation

Regional cooperation

The city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district, as well as the municipalities belonging to the district, have maintained close cooperation for many years, ranging from education and the development of skilled workers, through cooperation in transportation planning and land development, to environmental protection and joint services. In the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler region, regional cooperation spanning two federal states has also existed for more than two decades. Not only are joint trade fair appearances realized (such as at the Expo Real real estate trade fair), but there have also been tried and tested working relationships for years in supporting structural change in cluster approaches (such as the health industry or geoinformation) as well as in cooperation between business and science ("Bonn Science Region").

Regional area strategies

Against the background of the continuing massive land pressure on the city of Bonn, the Rhein-Sieg district and the district of Ahrweiler, various regionally coordinated strategies and measures have been planned and initial steps have already been taken in the area of settlement and commercial land development:

Expert forums on regional commercial activities

The Regional Working Group Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler (:rak) has so far organized two expert forums in the context of regional commercial activities (1. Inter-communal commercial land development and 2. Existing commercial areas). 

A central statement on the development of commercial areas for the second forum is: Proactive and permanent action is required. Politics, economic development and urban planning must work together much more cooperatively than they have in the past. Existing commercial areas need to receive much more attention in order to be able to generate successful maintenance of these areas. For more information, see:


The project NEILA - Sustainable Development through Intercommunal Land Management in the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler Region is intended to help jointly resolve land use conflicts within the functionally closely networked region and to take into account the consequential effects and costs of settlement development from the outset. Based on many years of intermunicipal cooperation, the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler Regional Working Group (:rak) is striving for sustainable regional growth in the NEILA joint project in cooperation with the Technical University of Dortmund, the Institute for Regional and Urban Development Planning and the WWG Königswinter. NEILA is based on the assumption that an improved balance of interests between the federal city of Bonn, the closer urban surroundings and the rural area can only succeed if instruments and measures for sustainable land management and the reduction of (land) use conflicts are thought of in an integrated manner and coordinated inter-communally ("bottom-up"). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) selected the NEILA joint project in a nationwide competition as part of the "Stadt-Land-Plus" funding measure. The project will run from 2018 to 2023.

Further information on the current project status is available on an ongoing basis at:

Bonn/Rhine-Sieg Cooperation Offensive

The Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) has launched its second cooperation offensive after 2019. To this end, a digital event was organized on June 2, 2021, together with the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district. More than 200 participants from business, politics and administration discussed pressing issues of regional cooperation in plenary sessions and workshops. The topics of transport, spatial development and SmartRegion are currently the focus of the discussion. As was already the case at the 1st Cooperation Offensive, it became clear that the numerous challenges in the coming years cannot be overcome without strong regional cooperation and collaboration.

Intermunicipal exchange of experience of the economic development agencies of the Rhine-Sieg district and Bonn

A format that has been established for years is the exchange between the economic development agencies of the Rhein-Sieg district and the city of Bonn on relevant topics of economic development. The current focus is increasingly on topics with sustainability issues. As part of the series of events, WFG Bornheim, for example, reported on the promotion of the common good of companies from its own experience.

Intercommunal commercial space development Bonn/Alfter/Bornheim

The Bonn region continues to prosper. It is becoming more and more difficult, especially in the city of Bonn, to find suitable sites for companies interested in relocating, expanding or relocating. In order to be able to keep the companies and their jobs in the region and to attract new tradesmen, the designation of new (inter-municipal) commercial sites is essential.

The committees of Alfter, Bonn and Bornheim have decided to develop the Alfter Nord industrial estate, which covers about 28 hectares, in inter-municipal cooperation. The aim is, in particular, a settlement strategy based on partnership with a jointly defined utilization concept, an early exchange of information and co-determination regulations, especially with regard to the settlement of companies. The process design is supported by a "municipal working group" that accompanies a qualification process. The successfully started qualification process will be continued and sharpened and synchronized to the current climatic, energetic and mobility requirements. The next goal is the preparation of the decision to open the site, with simultaneous qualification of a marketing concept. 

Intermunicipal development of industrial sites between the cities of Bonn and Rheinbach

The "Am Wolbersacker" site is aligned with the future regional plan, which aims to designate land for commercial and industrial use by 2040. The basis for the inter-municipal cooperation is an expert opinion prepared by the office Stadt- und Regionalplanung Dr. Jansen GmbH. For the first time, a regional commercial land concept was developed and the Am Wolbersacker site was brought into the dialog with the district government with a letter of intent (LOI). An inter-municipal working group consisting of the cities' urban planning and economic development departments is working out criteria and procedures for developing and marketing the area. Before the flood disaster in July 2021, the current status focused in particular on the question of the extent to which, in addition to the positive structural effects, costs and revenues (business taxes) could be clarified in a binding manner. The flood disaster initially called for other priorities. The working group has resumed its activities.

Beyond the two pilot projects, further talks are pending with municipalities and cities in the Rhine-Sieg district that were recommended in the expert report for regional cooperation.

Cologne/Bonn Region e.V.

Cooperation at the level of the Cologne/Bonn region consists of collaboration between the three independent cities of Cologne, Bonn and Leverkusen and the districts of Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, Rhein-Erft- Kreis, Rhein-Kreis-Neuss, Oberbergischer Kreis and Rheinisch Bergischer Kreis. As regional management, the association identifies challenges of the region within the fields of work and program lines defined by the board and the general meeting. It develops strategic approaches, creates the necessary conditions for funding and provides technical support for the realization of (regionally significant) projects. 

"Umbrella" strategies, on-the-ground projects, funding instruments

The umbrella strategies Agglomeration Concept and Climate Change Prevention Strategy developed by the association together with the member municipalities are currently being transferred into the so-called Agglomeration Program ( (opens in a new tab)). The city of Bonn is benefiting from the local projects derived from this program. In Bonn, for example, a project is being launched in the Bonn Bad- Godesberg industrial park as a "real laboratory". The focus of this project is on triple internal development, further development and redensification of the existing commercial area and improvement of the mobility offer ( (opens in a new tab)). On the basis of the further project planning and development, the Region Köln/Bonn e.V. is linking both public and private funding for the implementation with corresponding funding instruments. The agglomeration program also deals with the topic of inter-communal economic area development ( (opens in a new tab)). The solutions developed in expert forums and workshops will be applied to site developments that Bonn is pursuing with its neighboring municipalities (especially in the Rhein-Sieg district). This is also where coordination with the NEILA/:rak urban-suburban association ( (opens in a new tab)) takes place.

Another focus of the association is the further development of the COMPASS funding management system. For this purpose, so-called funding nodes have been set up in the member cities and districts. In Bonn, the city funding department forms the link to COMPASS the funding node.

Rhineland Metropolitan Region (MRR)

The city of Bonn is a founding member of the Metropolregion Rheinland e.V. The metropolitan region has a population of around 8.6 million and comprises 23 administrative districts and independent cities as well as the Aachen city region in the administrative districts of Düsseldorf and Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia. After its foundation in 2017 and the start of its work, the association's board of directors conducted an evaluation with an evaluation commission, which is anchored in the association's articles of association. The result was a structural and also content-related realignment for a more efficient and effective organization of the association's work and the dissolution of duplicate structures.

The essential changes concern, the executive committee occupied up to now with 21 persons, which is reduced on four persons, who are to support in addition the operational work in the office. In addition, a board of directors has been established in the personnel structure of the former executive board, which should make decisions on the basic strategic goals and budgetary matters and set up the working groups.

In the general meeting on 02.07.2021, the new executive board and administrative board were elected and a corresponding amendment to the articles of association was adopted. The newly elected board of directors has updated the strategic goals and developed new tasks for the MRR, which include structural lobbying, especially in Berlin and Brussels, as well as the promotion of marketing and profile building internally and externally. 

To implement these new tasks, the Board of Directors redefined the working groups Transport and Infrastructure, Energy and Transformation, Profiling and Identification. The previous Location Marketing Working Group, which was chaired by the City of Bonn from the outset and played a key role in the development of the successful Rhineland Genial Award, has been transferred to the new Profiling and Identification Working Group, as has the Tourism Working Group.

Thomas Schauf was appointed as the new MMR managing director on May 1, 2022.

Further information: