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Every day a mini trip around the world: Offenbach is the home, workplace and meeting point for people from over 150 countries and cultures. The small city in the heart of the Rhein-Main metropolitan region offers its guests a variety of cultural and touristic activities along with an exciting mix of urban city flair and classic architectural features.

Close to nature and culture

Home to 134,000 residents, it is conveniently very near to Frankfurt and easy to get to via a number of motorways close to each other and a dense public transport system. Frankfurt airport, which is 15 kilometers away, takes just 28 minutes to get to by S-Bahn (a suburban train).

Offenbach isn’t just attractive as a location for international exhibitions and other events, but also as a leisure city with a high recreational value. Situated directly on the south bank of the Main River, it is an excellent starting point for bicycle tours to Frankfurt or towards the southeast. The idyllic award-winning Main Bike Path runs from the city centre to Rumpenheim Castle, which boasts a landscaped English garden that kings once frequented. The Lili and Büsing parks in the middle of Offenbach, which Goethe is said to have enjoyed as early as 1775 in the same place, are also ideal for a romantic stroll. In addition, those visiting the city centre will discover other historic structures such as Isenburg Castle, which is classed as a notable building from the Renaissance and used by the famous Offenbach University of Art and Design today. Büsing Palace is an impressive Neo-baroque “city palace”.

Live at the river
© Jessica Schäfer
If you’re interested in culture, it is worth visiting Offenbach’s world famous museums, two of which are the Klingspor-Museum for Modern International Book Art, Typography and Calligraphy and the German Leather Museum, which has footwear dating back 4000 years. Among other things, the Haus der Stadtgeschichte (Museum of City History) documents lithography developments which play an important role in Offenbach’s economic history. In addition, the city is known for creativity and is home to many artists and designers who regularly open their galleries and studios to the public. Finally, Offenbach has a very full festival and event calendar throughout the year.


Wetterpark
Wetterpark © Stadt Offenbach

Weather City

A “weather city” and home to the German Meteorological Service’s headquarters, Offenbach has a unique 20,000m2 weather park which entices people to take a trip into the nearby countryside by explaining weather phenomena and their scientific backgrounds clearly and simply to visitors in the form of an educational entertainment park. Not far from the park there is a high-ropes course for thrill-seeking adventurers.

Farmer´s Market

A culinary trip to the Wilhelmsplatz is the perfect way to end any activity in Offenbach. Three times a week, there is also a popular farmer’s market in the restored historic centre, while the Kopfsteinpflasterplatz is home to a variety of restaurants and offers visitors the opportunity to go on a gastronomic world tour. In the summer in particular, days here are often concluded with Hessian specialities or delights from other countries.

Colourful mixture

Bustling, multi-faceted and a colourful mixture: people from many countries call Offenbach their home and shape the city’s image. Around 40 per cent of the 134,000 residents do not have German citizenship.

It is estimated that one half of the population has a migrant background. This group comprises:
• Those who do not have German citizenship
• Those whose birthplace is outside of the current German borders and who immigrated after 1949
• Those who have at least one parent that was born outside Germany’s current borders and immigrated after 1949.

The city’s initiative

The high percentage of immigrants in Offenbach simultaneously enriches life in the city and presents it with a challenge. As a result, the city’s politics has been committed to an active integration policy for many years. Among other measures, in 1997 a specialist department was formed within the city council in order to foster and organise integration and cultural cooperation, and moderate in cases of conflict. In 2006 this specialist department was merged with the city’s Department of Social Development and Integration. Ever since then, the tasks have become more diverse, new projects have been added and new networks and initiatives formed.

For example the project ‘Neighbourhood Integration’ operates close to housing and based on city districts. In order to improve the integration of immigrants in the city’s districts, new initiatives are being started with established initiatives and activities incorporated and interlinked. The range of new offers extends from parent and toddler groups in the district offices, social counselling for migrants, educational activities, measures for the promotion of vibrant neighbourhoods of multicultural residents, through to various cultural projects.

Contact partners on site: district offices with neighbourhood management

In all parts of the city, figures from the fields of labour market, social, youth and education policy, as well as town planning and business development, are working hand in hand to ensure that people can feel at home in their immediate surroundings, and discover and take advantage of schemes and activities on offer. The public utility company “Stadtwerke Offenbach Holding (SOH)” is also involved, for example with its initiative “Better living in Offenbach” and its subsidiaries, as well as a range of other institutions, independent organisations and initiatives.

Besides shopping facilities, playgrounds, nurseries and schools, well looked after relaxation areas within the urban environment and safe roads, a further important requirement for high living quality in the districts is to have good neighbourhood relations amongst the people living and working there. There are now district offices with neighbourhood management systems in three boroughs: Nordend, Mathildenviertel and Lauterborn, each of which serves as a meeting point, a place for exchange and a location for activities within the district. The employees of the neighbourhood management systems in this respect function as contacts for questions about all aspects of life in the district: they mediate in conflicts, help with problems, advise and support activities for the district.

The idea behind this is to bring people together and to strengthen their feeling of belonging, so that they can identify with their neighbourhood and surroundings and get involved with collective civil society. This is the only way in which a living space can be developed which shapes Offenbach’s characteristic image of its residents’ multicultural diversity and gives people a home regardless of nationality and background. Everyone is invited to join in here!

From the beginnings to the present day

Offenbach began its first neighbourhood management scheme as early as 2002 as a pilot project in the eastern part of the city centre. With funds from the federal and state-run “Socially Integrative City” programme, the focus lay on improving the city’s residential planning environment in densely populated districts with apartments of poor structural quality and low quality of living.

Since then much valuable experience has been gained. Not only has the district office become established as a meeting point, contributing to a noticeably better atmosphere in the whole district and making it attractive for younger people. The former working class area has also re-emerged as a place for young, creative businesses and has helped provide new employment. The new business centre ostpol° offers offices and studios for start-up businesses, and the “Gemeinnützige Baugesellschaft Offenbach (GBO)” has created living space for students. The restoration of old structures is gradually improving the cityscape, and especially since its renaming as the "Mathildenviertel", a breath of fresh air has been blowing through the eastern city centre.

Together with the people and with others who are interested in urban development, the district-wide neighbourhood management programme also aims to help the districts of Nordend and Lauterborn become success stories.

Contact and contact partners:

District Offices of Bieber-Waldhof, Lauterborn, Mathildenviertel, Nordend and Senefelder Quartier.

Situations

You are new in town, pregnant, live with children or just looking for leisure?

Integration Policy Officer: