between the Rhine and Ruhr. The networking of mobility and digitalisation knows no boundaries, which is why no municipality, district or company can develop solutions in isolation. If we break down the parochial thinking of the individual municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia, which we have already succeeded in doing, and think in terms of "we" rather than "I," there is a great opportunity to implement the important issues of the future in a joint effort. A concrete example: If the existing rail network is digitized in a uniform and comprehensive manner, it is possible to offer 40 percent more capacity utilization in long-distance public transport without having to build a single kilometre of new rail. The increase for local public transport is 20 percent. As a result, the frequency of service can be increased immensely. Accelerating the networking of mobility and digitization in the metropolitan region is a huge opportunity for the people who live here. Many of these projects, which will benefit millions of citizens and the entire region, are happening not for the Olympics but through the Olympics. This is the real value of Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Rhine Ruhr region and provides an answer to the citizens' question "What is my benefit?” The globally unique potential of the Rhine and Ruhr with 9 DAX companies, 12 MDAX companies (end of October 2021), 450,000 medium-sized companies, 500,000 students, a well-educated population and numerous start-ups forms the basis for a unique vision of the Rhine Ruhr City: the creation of an innovation and mobility region, at the end of which stands the most modern metropolitan region in Europe, with the jobs of the future, all around the universities.

A total of 16 municipalities and meanwhile also other interested local authorities are part of our concept: Aachen, Bochum, Bonn, Brühl, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Krefeld, Leverkusen, Mönchengladbach, Oberhausen and Recklinghausen as well as the Schleswig-Holstein state capital Kiel. 16 municipalities that are enthusiastic about the idea of pooling forces and synergies for an overarching goal and thinking as one metropolitan region. The great challenges of the future, such as networked mobility and digitalisation, can only be conceived and realised as a region. All 16 municipalities and the parliamentary parties of CDU, SPD, FDP and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen have recognised the potential behind the "we mentality".

The IOC's Agenda 2020, which explicitly request for sustainability in future games, means that for the first time in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, regions can also apply for the Games. In addition, the elimination of minimum capacities of spectator seat requirements also allows for a more flexible use of existing or temporary sports facilities in a city or region. In addition, 115,000 hotel beds in the region can already be offered as overnight accommodations. The IOC's target is 42,000 beds. The concept of the Rhine-Ruhr City Initiative is the first concept that pays 100% into the Agenda 2020. The Rhine-Ruhr region also offers unique sports potential. Almost 19,000 sports clubs with over five million members make North Rhine-Westphalia the number one sports state in Germany. According to the market and social research institute Ipsos, people in North Rhine-Westphalia feel better than average compared to other German states. Aspects such as a secure income, no fear of the future and good family contacts make the state worth living in.

90% of the required sports facilities already exist today and are used on a weekly, monthly or annual basis and are being modernized and kept fit for the future - also independently of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - by the respective, mostly private-sector sports facility operators in a sustainable manner. The Rhein Ruhr City sports facility concept is thus sustainable before the Games have begun and is also sustainable in its subsequent use. Every sports facility already has a corresponding traffic concept in place today. With a funding program for sports facilities initiated by the state government and unique in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia is strengthening its position as the number one sports state: A total of 300 million euros is available to clubs in North Rhine-Westphalia under the "Modern Sports Facility 2022" program, which is currently being provided by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Sports clubs and associations will benefit from this to an unprecedented extent. This is an important impulse to reduce the renovation backlog and to promote popular sports and voluntary work. Our aim is to make use of what is already there and also to create something that will continue to be used afterwards.

There are three different ideas for the athletics stadium. The first: If a Bundesliga club is planning a new stadium, an athletics track can be temporarily installed, which can be dismantled after the games. The second possibility: A temporary stadium that can be completely rebuilt after the games. As a third option, we would like to ask whether North Rhine-Westphalia, as Germany's largest federal state, should have a multi-functional stadium for around 25.000 spectators, which could be temporarily expanded to accommodate 60.000 spectators in which national and international athletics competitions can also be held in the future. It is important to us to work out an ecologically and economically sustainable concept together with the people who live here. To this end, the use of sports facilities that already exist today and have been temporarily constructed is a priority. 90 percent of the sports facilities for the Games already exist today and are used weekly, monthly or annually.

The Olympic Village is to be built where there is a shortage of housing. Geographically, the region between Cologne, Düsseldorf and Essen is an option, as the Olympic Village must be located in the center of the sports venues. Municipalities that are not yet among the 16 host cities can also be considered. It is not about the question “What is the need for an Olympic Village?” We rather assume the subsequent use and then create the parameters to be changed for an Olympic village. All according to the motto "form follows function". For the subsequent use, we think it makes sense to work this out with a consortium of regional housing cooperatives and national housing associations. Taking into account important ecological aspects: What about the last mile, CO2 neutrality and fair working conditions on

The Games are not a mandatory prerequisite for investments in public transport, but with a target date or a decade project, innovative and infrastructurally important projects for the metropolitan region can be realized more quickly. Therein lies the value of potential games on the Rhine and Ruhr. They can be a driver for people to benefit more quickly and sustainably from investments in infrastructure (networked mobility) and digitization in the metropolitan region. To give a concrete example: In Munich, the 1972 Olympic Games significantly accelerated the construction of subways and commuter trains. Today, almost 50 years later, the city is still benefiting from the investments made at that time. The Olympics could be a major accelerator here and would free up the necessary funds more quickly.

The great opportunity presented by the Olympic and Paralympic Games is to decisively advance essential future issues that concern the region, such as networked mobility and digitization. The Olympics can be a motor for people to benefit more quickly and sustainably from investments in mobility and digitization infrastructure in the region Rhein Ruhr. These topics are driven, not FOR the Games, but THROUGH the Games.

The journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games will always be there - regardless of which continent and country they take place in. On the Rhine and Ruhr, as a conurbation in the heart of Europe, the journey is comparatively small from a climatic point of view due to the special location: The planned locations can all be reached by over 220 million people within six hours by train. Our goal is also to be the first plastic-free Games. It should go without saying that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be plastic-free in the 2030s. But on the way there, why not initiate important steps in this area through possible Games today? Furthermore, the existing sports facility concept means that we can already welcome 641,000 people to stadiums and arenas at the same time without having to build new ones. Sports like handball, basketball, swimming, horseback riding, field hockey or volleyball in front of 40,000 to 50,000 spectators. That would be unique in the history of the Games and we could give the sport back to the People.

Any type of major event - sporting, cultural or political - requires additional security measures. This applies to the German National League matches as well as World Cup or European Championship matches and celebrations such as the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Our vision is to develop an ecologically and economically sustainable concept together with the people who live here.

The budget for the games was developed by us together with Ernst & Young and the Boston Consulting Group. Basically, it is important to us to create an ecologically and economically sustainable concept together with the people on the Rhine and Ruhr. To this end, the focus is on the use of sports facilities that already exist today and those that have been built temporarily. 90% of the sports facilities for the Games already exist today and are used on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. There will be no construction ruins after the Games. We advertise to people that they have confidence in us. In the projects in which our founder Michael Mronz has been involved so far (e.g. World Equestrian Games and European Equestrian Games in Aachen, World Championships in Athletics in Berlin), the planned implementation budget has always been maintained or even better than previously planned.

Independent surveys, concluded that between 66 and 70 percent of people welcome our concept of ecologically and economically sustainable games. In the more than 250 dialog events we have held so far, we have in some cases experienced even stronger support, often combined with the call to continue on this path together and to work on the concept. Because it's not about us, but about the people in the Rhine-Ruhr region. Not FOR, but THROUGH the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we can decisively advance essential future topics in NRW - such as networked mobility and digitization. That is the real vision behind the Games on Rhine and Ruhr. In addition to the positive effects that will have on sports. Sport plays an important and supporting role in our society and can be brought back into focus through Olympic and Paralympic Games in our own country. Sport as a supporting role in society was again explicitly emphasized by the UN in a resolution in December 2020.