Renewal of the Deininghauser Stream, Castrop-Rauxel

Model project for renewal of the Emscher system

Since the 1920s, the course of the Deininghauser Stream had been converted to an open wastewater canal due to the mining activities, straightened and routed to the main course of the Emscher as a central wastewater canal for the Ruhrgebiet region. The wastewater and surface water were not separated in the Emscher system, with open courses of untreated wastewater totalling roughly 350 km in length. IBA Emscher Park selected the stream as a pilot project for ecological renewal of Emscher feeders.  

Like other former river and stream courses in the Emscher region, the Deininghauser Stream was an open, untreated wastewater course. With a total length of 9.5 kilometres, it fed the wastewater through Castrop-Rauxel and flowed into the Emscher via the Landwehrbach Stream. The renewal was intended to restore the stream to its natural condition and network it with other biotopes via streamside meadows. For this, the contaminated water and clean water had to be separated and new – underground – wastewater canals had to be built. The location of the stream course in the heavily populated urban area of Castrop-Rauxel was a particular challenge. By uncovering the previously piped sections, the stream was to be brought to life as an urban waterway. The renewal included building cycle paths, bridges and new connecting routes between the landscape and city. Today, no-one would think that this is a former wastewater canal. The ecological renewal forms the backbone of an outstanding new landscape space in the eastern Emscher region. 

The overall Emscher renewal project was started in 1992 by the Emscher Cooperative Water Industry Association, and is to be completed in the years to come. The project no longer focuses solely on the water routes through the Ruhrgebiet region. A new riverside landscape is developed to the left and right of the Emscher, with spaces for art and nature. The long period shows that the renewal of the Emscher system is a project for an entire generation, which extends far beyond the overall duration of the IBA.

Castrop-Rauxel and surrounding area

Project participants:
Project management: Emscher Cooperative, City of Castrop-Rauxel
Planning/architecture: Team Ingenieurbüro Fischer GmbH (Erfstadt), Ecology and Planning Group (Essen) and Architecture and Urban Planning

Sources and further information: 
Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher Park (Hrsg.): Katalog der Projekte 1999. Gelsenkirchen 1999.
Fachgebiet Städtebau, Stadtgestaltung und Bauleitplanung, Fakultät Raumplanung (Hrsg.): Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher Park. Die Projekte 10 Jahre danach. Essen 2008.

Industry culture route
Emscher Genossenschaft Lippe Verband

The Deininghauser stream after renaturing, Castrop-Rauxel, 2016 © Rupert Oberhäuser / Emschergenossenschaft 
The regulated Deininghauser Stream. In this image, it is freshly covered in concrete, 1937 © Archiv, Emschergenossenschaft
The Deininghauser stream after renaturing, Castrop-Rauxel, 2016 © Rupert Oberhäuser / Emschergenossenschaft 
The renatured and uncovered Deininghauser Stream leads directly through Castrop-Rauxel, 2016 © Rupert Oberhäuser / Emschergenossenschaft