Ruhr Area

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The Ruhr, more accurately called the Ruhr district or Ruhr region (German Ruhrgebiet, colloquial Ruhrpott, Kohlenpott, Pott or Revier), is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.[2] With 4435 km² and a population of some 7.3 million (2008), it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany. It consists of several large, formerly industrial cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to the west, and Lippe to the north. In the Southwest it borders on the Bergisches Land. It is considered part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of more than 12 million people.

Since the Ruhr is polycentric, coordinates shown are general in nature and so can be used to focus on the entire region of the Ruhr: 51°30′N 7°30′E / 51.5°N 7.5°E / 51.5; 7.5.

From west to east, the region includes the cities of Duisburg, Oberhausen, Bottrop, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Bochum, Herne, Hagen, Dortmund, and Hamm, as well as parts of the more "rural" districts Wesel, Recklinghausen, Unna and Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis. Historically, the western Ruhr towns, such as Duisburg and Essen, belonged to the historic region of the Rhineland, whereas the eastern part of the Ruhr, including Gelsenkirchen, Bochum, Dortmund and Hamm, were part of the region of Westphalia. Since the 19th century, these districts have grown together into a large complex with a vast industrial landscape, inhabited by some 7.3 million people, the fourth largest urban area in Europe after Moscow, London and Paris.

For 2010, Essen is one of the European Capitals of Culture.

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