Structural change under conditions of shrinking in the Ruhr area. The challenge of patchwork- management. Structural change in the Ruhr area is taking place under conditions of economic and demographic shrinking as well as suburbanization. This dynamic trend tends to result in a perforated urban structure with “holes” like brownfield sites, unused housing space and empty shops. Yet, the instruments that are used to manage the change were designed in times of economic growth. The paper argues that a new kind of patchwork management is needed, which aims to connect and integrate the more and more unconnected structures and functions of the urban mosaic. This challenge emerges at interregional, regional and local level, with the latter being at focus here. New phenomena, whether flagship projects or brownfields, have to be functionally linked to the local level and integrated in the nearby quarters. Similar challenges appear at regional and interregional level, where networking strategies rather than local competition are needed.