Mayor Kufen is the leader of Essen’s remarkable green transformation

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Thomas Kufen is a German politician who has been serving as a Lord Mayor of Essen since 2015. Located in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Essen is a former industrial city mainly known for coal mining and steel production. However, the city has undergone an impressive structural change in the recent past. With mayor Kufen, the city keeps on growing and nowadays known as one of Germany’s greenest cities.

Mayor Kufen and his numerous brave and game-changing policies played a very factor in the city’s impressive transformation. Essen’s outstanding dedication to climate protection and sustainability received very important recognition when the city was granted the prestigious title of European Green Capital for 2017. These important topics will undoubtedly keep playing a very important role in shaping the future of Essen.

Essen’s remarkable turnaround was made possible thanks to the strong commitment of the city’s residents and excellent leadership of mayor Kufen and his predecessors. Addressing sustainability challenges was always one of mayor Kufen’s main priorities, which has resulted in Essen becoming a role model and a true inspiration for other cities. However, his contribution to his hometown extends much further, as he has dealt with numerous other challenges during his mayoral term.

Earlier in his political career, Kufen served in the North Rhine-Westphalia’s state parliament from 2000 to 2005. He had an important role in the field of migration and he was particularly active in the domain of Germany-Turkey relations. During his time in the state parliament, he was also spokesman on migration policy for the CDU state parliamentary group. 

Furthermore, he was deputy chairman of the German-Turkish parliamentary group in North Rhine-Westphalia. Additionally, Kufen was also a co-founder of the German-Turkish Forum of the CDU North Rhine-Westphalia. Therefore, it is not surprising that mayor Kufen is still very active when it comes to maintaining good relations with Turkish and other world cities, and encouraging cooperation.

For instance in 2022, Essen expanded the collaboration with the Turkish city of Zonguldak, due to their very special connection. Both cities have a past in coal mining and have been putting a lot of effort into their transformations. Furthermore, due to the migration history, Essen is home to numerous people who are originally from the area of Zonguldak. In this, mayor Kufen saw an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the Turkish city in the field of renewable energy, a topic that is becoming more important than ever before. (photo credit: Essen official website)