18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.ruhrregiodot GmbH & Co. KGdotzon.comView

The .RUHR TLD is designed to serve the needs of the community of citizens, organizations and institutions in the “Ruhrgebiet” area on the Internet. The unique string .RUHR is a commonly known abbreviation for the Ruhrgebiet. The Ruhrgebiet, which will be presented in more detail below, is a conglomerate of Cities in Germany, which has developed a strong regional identity and the proposed TLD shall serve as a token of this common identity on the Internet. Already now, there are thousands of domain names containing the string “RUHR” at the second level, which shows that Internet users are already using this abbreviation for their presence in the region.

Due to the strong focus on the Ruhrgebiet, the TLD will primarily address
- registrants from the region
- persons outside the region that have a strong affection to the Ruhrgebiet because e.g. they were born or raised there
- companies targeting at this particular market

As a consequence, regiodot does not expect many registrants from outside the region or even from abroad. The number of registrations is expected to slightly exceed the ratio of the number of inhabitants vs. the number of domain registrations based on the statistics for Germany.

* The Ruhrgebiet *

The Ruhrgebiet (in English language “Ruhr Area”), is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With 4435 km² and a population of some 5.17 million (2009), it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany. It consists of several large, formerly industrial cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr (eponym of the Ruhrgebiet) to the south, Rhine to the west, and Lippe to the north. In the Southwest it borders to the Bergisches Land. It is considered part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of more than 12 million people.

From west to east, the region includes the cities of Duisburg, Oberhausen, Bottrop, Muelheim an der Ruhr, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Bochum, Herne, Hagen, Dortmund, and Hamm, as well as parts of the more ʺruralʺ 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 (when including Duesseldorf and Wuppertal). It is the fourth largest urban area in Europe after Moscow, London and Paris. In 2010, the Ruhr region was one of the European Capitals of Culture.

* The Vision of .RUHR *

The local domain names available with .RUHR are concise and create an unique and individual identity for citizens, organisations, institutions and local authorities that are located in the Ruhrgebiet or having a business, cultural social, private or other relationship with those located in the Ruhrgebiet. Those providing and looking for information, goods and services can thus intuitively come together. The .RUHR domain names strengthen the feeling of community amongst people in the Ruhrgebiet, improve communication and make interaction easier, thus providing a stimulus for innovation and development. Both for the Ruhrgebiet and for foreigners the Ruhrgebiet becomes more attractive as a place to visit, as a commercial location and as a place to live.

The allocation of .RUHR domain names shall incorporate, in a fair and transparent manner, the many and varied interests of Ruhrgebiet community in the top-level domain .RUHR. The .RUHR policies shall ensure that Ruhrgebiet citziens, their institutions and their organizations may benefit individually by an unique identity with a .RUHR domain name.

* Support for .RUHR *

The introduction of .RUHR is supported by relevant organisations and local authorities in the Ruhrgebiet such as the leading Ruhr Regional Association (RVR).

The Ruhr Regional Association, with its offices in Essen, is the regional hub of the 11 independent municipalities and four districts of the Ruhr Metropolis with its approx. 5.2 million inhabitants.

The Ruhr Regional Association is responsible for the regional planning for the Ruhr region. It is the sponsor of significant infrastructure project such as the Industrial Heritage Trail and the Emscher Landscape Park. The Ruhr Regional Association has been working on improving the quality of life in the Ruhr region for more than 80 years. It maintains and preserves green open spaces for recreation and leisure.

Its legal functions also include the regional business and tourism development, as well as public relations for the Ruhr Metropolis. Together with its municipal partners it carries the seven Ruhr region and leisure parks.
The Ruhr Regional Association also collects geo and climate data about the region and makes it accessible to its member municipalities, amongst others for planning reasons.

* Economic transformation *

The Ruhrgebiet was at the center of the German economy during the 1950s and 1960s, as very rapid economic growth created a strong demand for coal and steel. As the demand for heavy industry products decreased, the area went through phases of structural crisis and industrial diversification, first developing traditional industries, then moving into service industries and high technology. The monumental structural transformation from an area of steel and coal production to a modern service and culture-oriented European metropolis of the 21st century is at full throttle. The 53 Ruhrgebiet cities are working together to implement the transformation - and are pleased about active citizens, immigrants and visitors, who want to be part of the region’s change.

* Ruhr Parliament *

The Ruhr parliament embraces the region politically: All cities and districts of the Ruhr Metropolis are represented in the Ruhr parliament of the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), with its head office in Essen. It consists of approximately 70 members with voting rights, who are delegated by the cities and districts. The Ruhr parliament bundles and represents the interest of the Ruhr region. It forms the regional assembly for the respective municipalities. Therewith the association meeting of the Ruhr Regional Association is the only democratically legitimate committee with representatives from the eleven cities and four districts of the Ruhr Metropolis. These are elected by the counsels or district assemblies; the 15 Lord Mayors and district administrators are also members with voting rights.

As can be seen from the various factors described above, the Ruhrgebiet is an area, which is – despite of consisting of numerous cities – rather a unified region with joint efforts in many areas. Thus, a common namespace on the Internet for this region is part of a natural evolution of the area. The purpose of the TLD is to support the commonalities and help forge a common identity in the Ruhrgebiet.

* The Name RUHR *
The name “RUHR” does not qualify as a geographic name according to the specifications of the question and the Applicant Guidebook. However we have requested a statement of the regional government of North Rhine-Westphalia regarding this questions. The responsible government answered that “RUHR” does not qualify as a geographic name that requires support-letters from governments. The orginial text is:
Nach hiesiger Auffassung ist die Landesregierung nicht mit dem Begriff ʺRuhrʺ verbunden und wäre dementsprechend in die Vergabemodalitäten einer TLD ʺ.RUHRʺ nicht eingebunden. Ich empfehle Ihnen jedoch, in dieser Angelegenheit Kontakt zu dem Regionalverbund Ruhr (http:⁄⁄www.metropoleruhr.de⁄regionalverband-ruhr.html) in Kontakt zu treten, dessen Pflichtaufgabe unter anderem das Marketing des Ruhrgebiets ist.

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