Dortmund is the largest city in Westphalia with almost 600,000 inhabitants and is one of the 10 largest and most important cities in Germany. Forests and parks cover half of the 28,020 hectare city area. The city has optimal transport links by road, water and air. These include for instance Dortmund airport, from which there are several daily flights to the most important economic centres. Dortmund fascinates with its art and culture. Theatres and opera, museums and galleries, cabarets and a wide range of music scenes from jazz clubs to major concerts in the Halls of Westphalia, which have also made a name for themselves at international trade fairs and congresses.
Although high-quality steel is still produced in Dortmund, none of the once numerous mines are still in action. The structural change means that the economic focus in Dortmund today is on services, research and telecommunications technology. From the very beginning, the media industry was the driving force and part of this challenge. Dortmund's development into a media city is closely linked to the quality of education and research in the communication sciences. As early as 1976 the University of Dortmund was the first German university to offer a degree course in journalism.
The structural change in the areas of science and research is supported by the TechnologieZentrum and the TechnologiePark. High-tech companies find ideal conditions here. But the university and technical college also supply the city with new raw materials. More than 30 research institutes have their headquarters in Dortmund.