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going urbanana!

The banana-shaped urban jungle that extends from the Ruhr Area and Düsseldorf to Cologne is so inimitable and at the same time multifaceted that you should urgently consider paying a visit to this western region of Germany


The urbanana-Award supports and promotes the transition of city tourism in North Rhine-Westphalia and invites people, using a cosmopolitan speech, to spend their holiday, work or live in NRW for a shorter or longer period of time. In all cases, the ideas/ projects must be oriented to one of the projects subject areas: urban (pop-) culture,  digital scene and expat-culture or design & craftsmanship and contemporary culture. A multi-lingual aspect to the project, in English and German, is recommended.

details and process

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You’ll find everything you need right here.

notes on provision and jurying

Please note that the actual application form will be in German, however, this is where you can find all necessary information to prepare and nevertheless your application can be written in English.


The urbanana-Award is supposed to fund the collaboration between the creative and digital industries with the tourism industry. This collaboration can already be found in the organisational cooperation between Tourismus NRW e.V. and CREATIVE.NRW.

As a main component of the project „FLOW.NRW – Integrated tourism and location marketing for the creative and digital industries in North Rhine-Westphalia“ the urbanana-AWARD will attract the attention of value added potential of tourism for the North Rhine-Westphalian digital and creative industries. The urbanana-Award supports and promotes the transition of city tourism in North Rhine-Westphalia and invites people, using a cosmopolitan speech, to spend their holiday, work or live in NRW for a shorter or longer period of time.

After the implementation of the urbanana-Award with a biennial rhythm in 2017 and 2019, the award will be assigned annually within the scope of the project from 2020 on.

1. urbanana-Award

Tourismus NRW e.V. together with its partners, Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH, Köln Tourismus GmbH and Ruhr Tourismus GmbH, and in cooperation with CREATIVE.NRW, funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is announcing a competition to honour exemplary and inspiring innovations of creative city tourism and its adjacent fields.

The laureates serve as exemplary models that are supposed to underline that the cross-sectoral cooperations between the creative, digital and tourism industries bear fruit.

With the start of the tender on September 22nd 2021, companies and entrepreneurs from the digital, creative and tourism industries can apply for one of the six urbanana-Award each endowed with 4000 Euros.

Additionally in 2022 the Wellfairs GmbH donates a special prize that includes the participation in the Gourmet Festivals 2022 in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mönchengladbach and is offered additionally to the urbanana-Award. The participation in the competition for the special prize is optional for all applicants of the urbanana-Award.

2. content-related eglibility criteria

1) Purpose of the project

The projects proposed for the prize must fall into one of the three categories:

a) new forms of touristic services and offerings, in particular in the field of creative tourism

b) innovative, digital city-touristic information tools

c) new forms of collaboration between the creative, digital and tourism industries with regard to the city tourism in NRW

Examples for projects can be found in the FAQs.

2) Subject eligibility

The projects must meet at least one of the topics from the urbanana projects:

a) urban (pop-) culture

b) digital Scene and expat-culture

c) design & craftsmanship and contemporary culture

3) Project status

Equally eligible are promoters of

a) projects and ideas in an advanced planning phase

b) projects in implementation

c) already established or implemented projects that were not conducted before 2019.

4) Place of realisation of the projects

a) The suggested projects must be planned for one or more large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia. A large city is defined as a city with more than 100.000 inhabitants. In North Rhine-Westphalia the following cities count as large city: Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, Bochum, Wuppertal, Bielefeld, Bonn, Münster, Gelsenkirchen, Mönchengladbach, Aachen, Krefeld, Oberhausen, Hagen, Hamm, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Leverkusen, Solingen, Herne, Neuss, Paderborn, Bottrop, Recklinghausen, Bergisch Gladbach, Remscheid, Moers, Siegen.

b) Additionally all projects that take place in one or more member municipalities of the regional federation Ruhr (Metropole Ruhr) are eligible.

3. formal eglibility criteria

Addressed group of participants

Eligible are small and medium-sized enterprises, microenterprises and freelancers are also especially encouraged to participate, as well as groups of university graduates and students.

The urbanana-Award together with CREATIVE.NRW promotes the implementation of additionally tourism-oriented micro projects from representatives of the creative and digital industry. Moreover stakeholders from the tourism industry are eligible.

Applications are solely accepted as digital versions that are deposited via the online form that can be found at Although the application form is formatted in German, the application can be submitted in German or English. The application must be submitted by the 7th of January 2022 by 23:59h.

An automatically generated timestamp from the application system is pivotal to the deadline.

A complete application must comprise the following elements

a) Free-form

You are free in the creation of this input. It is however important that your idea and its meaning for tourism becomes clear. With projects that have not been implemented yet, you must make the implementation replicable by putting together a realistic plan with a rough cost estimation and scheduling. The input can include tests, videos, photos, presentations or software. All files from the section free-form may not exceed 10 megabyte, packed in one zip file.

b) Short summary of the project and symbolic image in horizontal format

With a max. of 4000 characters briefly summarise your idea. This brief summary and the symbolic image will be used, by Tourismus NRW e.V. and its partners, for communication during and after the period of the competition.

c) Testimonial from the tourism industry/ Explanation of the value for tourism

To promote the cooperation between tourism and creative industries, a cooperation with partners or a short testimonial from the cooperating industry is desirable, however as an exception it can be replaced by a short description of the tangible direct or indirect value for city tourism in NRW.

Possible persons of contact from the tourism industry also are contacts from the cultural and leisure industry, besides those from city marketing organisations, hotel industry, trade fair businesses or mobility providers. You can get further advice with Tourismus NRW e.V.

For participants from the tourism industry CREATIVE.NRW offers an overview of areas of the creative industry from which a person of contact could originate from.

4. recommendations

A bilingual approach (German and English) of the developed projects/services is desirable.

5. award ceremony for laureates

1) The promoter of an awarded project will receive an award-statue and/or certificate

2) The disbursement of the 4.000 Euros are subject to the reservation of audit by the Düsseldorf district government concerning the promoter’s eligibility. The prize money will not be disbursed to project which are fully or partially publicly funded or financed.

3) All awarded projects will be supported and accompanied during their implementation phase by Tourismus NRW e.V. and the project urbanana in non-material ways.

In case of the awarding of project outlines Tourismus NRW e.V. expects a prompt implementation of the project proposal and will track this.

6. adjuration process

Jury assignment

The jury is assigned to select six laureates from all submissions. A ranking of the six chosen projects is not provided. The jury is free in its choice. The jury is entitled to not awarding all six prizes. Additionally the jury is free of especially highlighting any number of submissions beyond the six prizes.

The jury, additionally to the urbanana-Award, confers the special prize from the Greyfield Stiftung.


All submitted applications will be pre-checked by the Head of project FLOW.NRW concerning their fundamental eligibility. Criteria for the pre-check are the fulfilment of

a) content-related eligibility criteria (cf. II)

b) formal eligibility criteria (cf. III)

All submission that are assessed as eligible will be forwarded and made accessible digitally to the Jury for further audit.

Moreover they will be presented as nominees on the websites of urbanana with their brief summary and picture.

Jury session

A jury session will be carried out. Prior to the session the jurors are supposed to inform themselves independently with the submitted application forms. In case of personal inability to attend jurors must submit their vote in writing. The jury session will take place after deadline in the premises of Tourismus NRW e.V. The jury session will take place in digital form, if in any case the session can not take place on-site.

Recommended criteria for the assessment of submissions

Equally balanced criteria for the assessment, which are recommended to the jury are

a) degree of innovation

b) unique positioning and authenticity

c) transferability of the project approach

d) added value potential

As simplification of the adjudication an assessment of points 1-10 for the different criteria is recommended. In accordance an evaluation sheet will be provided.

All nominated projects also applying for the special prize of the Greyfield Stiftung will be assessed separately. Besides the depicted criteria the assessment of a realistic utilisation of the participation at the Gourmetfestivals is essential for the awarding of the special prize.

To ensure the prize-giving in any case, a successor will be ascertained not only for the urbanana-Award but also for the special prize provided by the Wellfairs GmbH. These can be called out as winner projects retrospectively, in case another project withdraws from the award.

Mode of adjucation

Ideally, the jury makes its judgement in an open debate. In case the jury fails to reach unanimous agreement, the necessary decisions will be put to the vote by a show of hands with simple majority under the direction of the jury chairman/chairwoman. In case of a tie the vote of the jury chairman/chairwoman decides. Diverging to the mentioned procedure, in case of a tie regarding a decision for the spezial prize provided by the Wellfairs GmbH, the vote of the dispatched juror of the said company will decide.


Dr. Heike Döll-König, Managing Director Tourismus NRW e.V. (jury chairwoman)

Claudia Jericho, Director CREATIVE.NRW

Ljiljana Radlovic, Authorised shareholder representative DC Open

Dr. Ulrich Soénius, Managing Director division location policy IHK Köln

Thorsten Hellwig, Spokesman DEHOGA NRW

Sabine Rottmann, Projektmanager ruhr:HUB GmbH

Lara Jakob, Head of Project Wellfairs GmbH

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Laura Graßler, Tourismus NRW e.V.