“Ensuring inclusive urban growth is one of the most important tasks for mayors now and in the near future. As more people strive to live in cities, my colleagues´ and my job is to make cities develop ‘as one’ instead of leaving parts of society behind, especially the most vulnerable groups. Policy decisions must therefore have equity as an important consideration. This is especially urgent for topics that determine people’s chances for and access to work: such as access to mobility, education/schooling and daycare.”
– Mayor Stephan Keller
Dr. Stephan Keller was elected Mayor of Düsseldorf in September 2020 and is a member of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU). Before he was elected Mayor of Düsseldorf, he served as deputy mayor and city director in Cologne. From 2011 to 2016, he served as Commissioner for law, order, and traffic in the state capital of Düsseldorf. In 2006, he was Alderman for Urban Development, Environment and Municipal Economy at the Association of Towns and Municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf. From 2000 to 2005, he managed the office of the chief executive. From 1999 to 2000, he worked as a consultant for fundamental issues of the municipal constitution, administrative structure reform, and immigration law at the German Association of Cities in Cologne.
He studied law in Bayreuth and Birmingham. He completed his studies with the 1st State Law Examination at the University of Bayreuth, the Master of Laws (LL.M.) at the University of Birmingham (1996), and the 2nd State Law Examination at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (1999). In 2010, he was awarded a law doctorate (Dr. iur.) from the Ruhr University in Bochum.
Düsseldorf is developing sustainable mobility to tackle climate change for residents and the 272,000 people that commute into the city for work every day. The City of Düsseldorf is working with Rheinbahn, Düsseldorf’s transportation company, on a project called ‘RheinTakt’ to expand the rail network within Düsseldorf, develop a uniform timetable and align the timetables of Rheinbahn lines, and local train lines in the surrounding area, to improve transport connections. Düsseldorf is also expanding cycling infrastructure to encourage more people to cycle in the city. Planned Cycle hubs will connect the Northern and Western part of the city (10 km) as well as the Eastern and Western part (12 km) with other key areas of the city. Park and ride spaces will be increased to encourage more people onto public transport and further reduce the number of cars entering the city.
Düsseldorf is implementing an environmentally friendly traffic management system called “Traffic Information and Dynamic Environmentally Sensitive Control” (VinDUS for short). The system identifies areas of the city road network where increased levels of pollutants are recorded or predicted. The information is available to road users. The existing traffic system management is to be expanded in a modular fashion so that environmentally sensitive strategies can be developed for the entire strategic inner-city network.
Düsseldorf has launched an ambitious school and day care construction program to provide sufficient space for the increasing number of students and children in the growing city. The city has committed to spending a total of 1.4 billion euros on the project by 2026. In 2022, seven foundation stones were laid for extensions or new buildings, one topping-out ceremony was celebrated and five new schools opened. Further school construction projects will follow in coming years. Pre-school childcare places are also being expanded. In 2021/2022, 9,000 childcare places for children under the age of three were available. At the end of the 2022/2023 kindergarten year, 29,500 childcare places will be available in daycare facilities. The city is working with local daycare providers to ensure adequate recruitment of personnel for the daycare centres.