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Bonn's Federal District

Where structural change catches the eye.

Status: April 2022

Bonn is booming: the whole city is an example of that, but most noticeably the so-called Federal District, the former governmental district between Bonn and Bad Godesberg. This former focus of German politics has experienced a fundamental reorientation on the topmost level. A completely new urban district, four kilometers along the river Rhine and one mile deep, has sprung up around the ‘Central Park’ of Bonn, the Rheinaue. The premises of global players, new enterprises, scientific and research institutions, federal ministries, the World Conference Center Bonn, and the UN Campus of the United Nations can be found here. Since 1991, more than 90 new companies and institutions have settled in this district. More than 45,000 people work here (compared to 20,600 jobs in the district in 1997, before the  move of the Federal Government to Berlin). Nearly one fifth of all jobs in Bonn is concentrated here.

The heart of the Federal District is Platz der Vereinten Nationen with the UN Campus and World Conference Center Bonn. Bonn has been home to a range of United Nations organizations since 1996. The majority of them moved into the UN Campus at 1 Platz der Vereinten Nationen in summer of 2006. The main building of the UN Campus is the landmark former office building (Abgeordnetenhochhaus) of the federal parliament (Bundestag) known as the "Langer Eugen" (Tall Eugene, nicknamed after Eugen Gerstenmaier, the longest-serving President of the Bundestag). The largest UN organization in Bonn, the Climate Secretariat of the United Nations (UNFCCC), moved into the sustainably renovated building in 2013; and the UN Campus continues to grow. In spring 2022, an extension building, the "KIimaturm", was handed over to the United Nations, providing space for 330 people and meeting the highest energy efficiency requirements.

The World Conference Center Bonn at 2 Platz der Vereinten Nationen is where the world meets to negotiate: The former plenary chamber of the Bundestag captivates delegates from all over the world with its light-filled architecture and has become the nucleus of a spacious conference center for up to 7,000 visitors. In order to better harness the needs of the United Nations, a new main building was built and complemented with it a new 4-star hotel right next door. The extension was inaugurated by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in June 2015. It has since hosted a wide variety of events, ranging from United Nations conferences to classical music concerts.

In November 2017, the world looked to Bonn once again: The parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met on the Rhine for the 23rd World Climate Conference (COP23). Around 22,000 participants from more than 190 countries made COP23 the largest international conference in Germany to date. The city of Bonn presented itself as a cosmopolitan, courteous host - and recommended itself for further international conferences.