map of the Ruhr metropolitan region within Germany
|• Body||Regionalverband Ruhr|
|• Metro||4,435 km2 (1,712 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||441 m (1,447 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||13 m (43 ft)|
| • ||5,118,681|
|• Metro density||1,646/km2 (4,260/sq mi)|
The Ruhr (
The Ruhr cities are, from west to east:
In the Middle Ages, the
The Ruhr area has no administrative center; each city in the area has its own administration, although there exists the supracommunal "Regionalverband Ruhr" institution in Essen. For 2010, the Ruhr region was one of the
The urban landscape of the Ruhr extends from the Lower Rhine Basin east to the Westphalian Plain and south to the hills of the
Geologically, the region is defined by
According to the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR, Ruhr Regional Association), 37.6% of the region's area is built up. A total of 40.7% of the region's land remains in agricultural use. Forests account for 17.6%, and bodies of water and other types of land use occupy the rest. The inclusion of four mainly rural districts in the otherwise mainly industrial Ruhr helps to explain the large proportion of agricultural and forested land. In addition, the city boroughs of the Ruhr region have outlying districts with a rural character.
Seen on a map, the Ruhr could be considered a single city, since—at least in the north–south dimension—there are no visible breaks between the individual city boroughs. Thus the Ruhr is described as a polycentric urban area, which shares a similar history of urban and economic development.
Because of its history, the Ruhr is structured differently from monocentric urban regions such as
Between the constituent urban areas are relatively open suburbs and some open land with agricultural fields. In some places, the borders between cities in the central Ruhr are unrecognizable due to continuous development across them.