Strengthening Dortmund as an attractive cultural site is a matter of great importance for the Wilo-Foundation. On lake Phoenix in Dortmund, the environment-focused work of art “Urban Space Station” (USS) was built by American artist and scientist Natalie Jeremijenko during the Emscher art exhibition that took place from 4 June to 18 September 2016. The Wilo-Foundation supported this innovative art project, which highlights future- and environment-oriented ways to improve quality of life in big cities and metropolitan regions like the Ruhr area.
The greenhouse-like installation is located on the roof of a building complex and is connected to its air conditioning and ventilation systems and wastewater pipes. The wastewater, carbon dioxide and organic waste produced by the building are reused in the “Urban Space Station” to cultivate plants. These plants, in turn, produce oxygen and clean wastewater, which are then used in the building again.
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The “Emscher art exhibition”, funded by the association of friends and sponsors of Emscher art e. V., will take place for the third time in the summer of 2016 and showcases contemporary art in cities and nature along the river Emscher. As a triennial, the Emscher art exhibition wants to accompany the creation of a river that is alive and vibrant, from source to mouth, in the heart of the Ruhr area. Under the leadership of the water-management association “Emscher cooperative”, and as part of an intergenerational project, the open wastewater canal Emscher is being converted into a near-natural river landscape. The project started in the 1990s.