JES Digital Program: Still Life A 40 – Longest Coffee Table in the World on a German Autobahn

February 1st,2023 | 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Michael Schwarze-Rodrian, Dipl. Ing.

This is a digital program and can be live streamed on the JES Facebook page. The video will be available on our website afterward.


Germany's industrial heartland Ruhr has been experiencing structural change for more than 60 years. The decline of the former old heavy industries of coal and steel needed new answers, new strategies and new projects. During the 1990s a unique workshop for the future of old industrial regions was performed with more than 100 single projects and 17 cities: the International Building Exhibition Emscher Park. These creative 10 years became a quality-fundament of the development until today. In 2010 the Region was nominated as European Capital of Culture Ruhr with the programmatic title: Change by Culture & Culture by Change. The public highlight of this year was the unique coffee table with 2 million people on Germanys Autobahn A 40. Michael Schwarze-Rodrian joined the last three decades of structural change as a landscape planner and a moderator of several inter-municipal cooperations in the Ruhr Region. Since 2012 he served as the EU Representative of the Region and promoted Green Infrastructures and integrated solutions for a sustainable region. He will describe the background of the unique coffee table and the ongoing context of structural change.

Watch Live Here!

Michael Schwarze-Rodrian, Dipl. Ing.

Michael Schwarze-Rodrian, Dipl. Ing., moved to the Ruhr region in the 1980s, where he became involved in economic development, creating the interagency and inter-municipal “Masterplan Emscher Landscape Park 2010”. He also worked for the regional Business Development Agency Metropole Ruhr GmbH on sustainable development through intermunicipal working groups. He was the EU Representative of the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), integrating environmental and economic strategies to form the “Green Infrastructure Ruhr” plan. Schwarze-Rodrian studied Landscape Planning at the Technical University Berlin and is a member of the German Academy for Urbanism and Spatial Planning (DASL).