The city of Altena is located in South-Westphalia, 40 km away from Dortmund. Approximately 19.000 habitants live in a valley near to the river Lenne. The city is of a size of 44.000 km2 with about 65 % wood.The castle of Altena was built in 1108 on top of a hill near the river Lenne. In 1367 the city was founded and prospered due to the iron as available resource of a beginning wire industry. Today Altena supplies 20 % of the worldwide steel-wire industry, especially for automotive products. Special steel sheets are produced for the Airbus and the Ariane Rocket. Richard Schirrmann, a primary school teacher founded the first youth hostel in the castle of Altena in 1909 and established the youth-hostelling worldwide. In the Museums of the Castle of Altena the historical youth hostel can be visited. Furthermore Altena domiciles the German Museum of Wire.
- Altena needs to connect generations and wants to adapt its structures to the demographic trend.
- After having had a prospering tourism in the seventies, Altena was not enough ambitious in this field and tourism reduced. So tourism shall be established again as second foothold.
- The infrastructure needs adaptation to the ageing population and their needs.
- The municipality suffers from a reduced number of employees as a consequence of declining financial recourses and has only a few of younger colleagues.
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