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Regional cooperation

The federal city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district as well as the municipalities belonging to the district have maintained a close cooperation for many years, ranging from education and the development of skilled workers to cooperation in traffic planning and land development to environmental protection as well as joint services. In the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler region, regional cooperation spanning two federal states has also existed for more than two decades in the so-called ":rak" - the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler Regional Working Group. Not only are joint trade fair appearances realized, but there have also been tried and tested working relationships for years in the support of structural change and in the cooperation between business and science ("Bonn Science Region").

Further regional cooperations of importance to Bonn exist through the Cologne/Bonn Region Association and the Rhineland Metropolitan Region Association.

Regional Working Group Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler - ":rak"

The Bonn-Berlin decision of June 20, 1991 marked the birth of ":rak", a voluntary form of cooperation in which the Federal City of Bonn, the two counties and all the cities, municipalities and association communities belonging to the counties in the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler region are active in task areas of spatial planning. The aim is to use the instrument of voluntary cooperation to promote sustainable spatial development in the region and to be able to respond to the ever more rapidly changing demands of society.

The conventional instruments of spatial planning are oriented to the administrative boundaries of the federal states, counties, cities, municipalities, and association municipalities. However, the real development in the formation of spatial-functional relationships usually goes beyond these boundaries. For this reason, as well as for the strengthening of the entire region in the national as well as in the European context, the necessity arose for the development of regional solution strategies.

The ":rak" represents a link between the local planning sovereignty of the cities, municipalities and the regional planning by contributing to the promotion of jointly coordinated project developments on the municipal level through information exchange and communication.

Association Cologne/Bonn Region

Cooperation at the level of the Cologne/Bonn region is based on the collaboration of 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 in the Cologne/Bonn Region Association. As regional management, the association identifies challenges facing the region within the fields of work and program lines defined by the executive 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. 

Agglomeration program

The agglomeration program is a regional, concept-based and project-oriented spatial development program that follows the approach of integrated and sustainable spatial development and supports the development of resilient spatial and infrastructures.

With the agglomeration program, the Cologne/Bonn region has developed an implementation-oriented spatial development program since mid-2020 in a cooperative dialog and planning process with stakeholders from politics and administration in the region based on the regional umbrella strategies agglomeration concept and climate change prevention strategy. 

The agglomeration program describes the spatial-structural transformation and reconstruction tasks in defined program lines and backs them up with strategic goals, principles of action and implementation-oriented tasks as well as with an initial project selection of about 50 realized projects and about 50 future projects. The latter will be prioritized by the Cologne/Bonn Region Association in project implementation in the coming years and further projects will be included in the agglomeration program via an intervalized notification and scouting procedure. 

On November 3, 2022, the agglomeration program was accredited by the executive board of the Cologne/Bonn Region Association and the political advisory board accompanying the project, and the office of the Cologne/Bonn Region Association was entrusted with the implementation of the agglomeration program in and with the region. The current year will thus see the start of the dynamic implementation phase.

"COMPASS" Grants Management

Over the past 15 years, the Cologne/Bonn Region Association has built up competencies with the "COMPASS" funding management system in order to provide its members and the region with activating support in the utilization of funding. So-called funding nodes have been set up in the member cities and districts and regionally significant calls for funding have been summarized in the form of clearly laid out fact sheets. In Bonn, the department for urban development and strategic projects forms the link to the "COMPASS" funding nodes.

Association Metropolitan Region Rhineland

The Federal City of Bonn is a founding member of the Rhineland Metropolitan Region Association, which was established in 2017. 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.

The aim of the association is to intensify cooperation between the local authorities and chambers of commerce in the Rhineland at the political, economic and administrative levels, with a view to creating a metropolitan region of European significance. The aim is to make the region more attractive as a business and residential location and to strengthen its perception both internally and externally. 

The main tasks include lobbying on structural policy, especially in Berlin and Brussels, and promoting marketing and profile building both internally and externally.

Regional land use strategies

Against the background of the continuing massive pressure on land in 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.


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 inter-municipal 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 (ILS) 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 surrounding area 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").

On March 29, 2023, a milestone was reached with the resolution of the regional settlement development concept by the project-internal steering group consisting of the mayors and department heads of the municipalities. This has created an important basis for further inter-municipal and regional cooperation in settlement development.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has selected the joint project "NEILA" in a nationwide competition as part of the funding measure "Stadt-Land-Plus". The project will run from 2018 to 2023.

Commercial space development

The strategic approach and the development of commercial sites in the city of Bonn and the region are explained in chapter  II.5 Commercial sites (opens in a new tab).

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Mr. Dieter Knospe
Mr. Alexander Stricker

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