It's a long way from Rio de Janeiro...

... to Gelsenkirchen. Ten years ago, Agenda 21 was adopted by the United Nations World Summit in Rio de Janeiro with the goal of restoring the social, ecological, and economical balance of our world. One chapter of Agenda 21 calls the local authorities and their politicians to confer and act jointly with the citizens, organizations, associations and initiatives, the industry and businesses, and experts on a regional basis.

In March 1997, the city council decided unanimously to develop and implement a "Local Agenda 21" for Gelsenkirchen. In June 1998, different groups, organizations, and other concerned citizens participated in a workshop for a "Local Agenda 21". Only half a year later, the aGEnda 21office was opened, sponsored by the City of Gelsenkirchen and the association of protestant churches in Gelsenkirchen and Wattenscheid.

In April 1999, following a one-day "aGEnda 21 ideas' workshop", different study groups set off to develop and implement a large number of projects. Some of these projects have already been completed, others are still ongoing, additional ones have been developed in new study groups since then. aGEnda 21 is a continuous process, nourished by the involvement of committed citizens.