Hey @dens and the team at @foursquare ...

We want something. We want a badge. And YES ... we know that people want badges for this and that (and their city and whatever) all the time ... but we have the facts (and passion) to back up our claim. At least we think so. So please ... at least read our side and acknowledge us. :)

When you guys first started the city badges we were all excited. We got even more excited when you made a worldwide contest (after initially we were down to see that the first contest was US only). A lot of the users in our area created well thought out lists for their city, even if it was only a small town. To no surprise no city or town in our area were considered and we absolutely accept that you like big and/or fancy cities (and may be out cities are not in that category - from an outsiders perspective).

So when we made plans to honor #4sqDay 2012 we noted something. We noted that we are more than single cites over here in the Ruhr area. Almost anyone of us considered themself part of this area, the Ruhr area. And therefore the singly city #4sqDay we originally planned for became the #4sqDay of the Ruhr area - the 4sqDay RUHR (hosted in a single city, this time we chosed Bochum, if only about being able to enter it into all the lists and forums across the web that only support cities). People from all over the Ruhr area showed up and made the meetings with only littler upfront planning a success. Out of this we created the #4sqRUHR user group.

Now some facts. The Ruhr area (according to Wikipedia and other written facts around the web and real life) is the fifth largest urban area after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. All of those got badges, right?!

So according to the books there are 11 cities and 4 greater areas in the Ruhr area. So we thought we start lists to cover 10 nice spots in most of them, with smaller ones merged into single lists. At first we also though about special lists to cover sports, art and other areas of interest that are covered within the Ruhr area, but for now we settled on this the 'standard' lists. What about having to check into one spot of five lists to gain the badge? Just for an idea. And there are many more ideas, trust us. ;)

Here are our lists (we are still working on a few):

01. Bochum, maintained by Jens
02. Bottrop
03. Dortmund, maintained by Achim
04. Duisburg, maintained by Alex
05. Essen, maintained by Frauke
06. Gelsenkirchen, maintained by Ramona
07. Hagen, maintained by Chris
09. Herne, maintained by Hasenpaar
10. Mülheim an der Ruhr, maintained by Lars
11. Oberhausen, maintained by Frauke
12. Kreis Recklinghausen, maintained by Tobias
13. Kreis Unna, maintained by Sonja
14. Kreis Wesel, maintained by Alex
15. Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis

Therefore we kindly ask to be considered for a badge. We also made up our own upfront design, which is more or less pretty obvious. Because of our coal mining past and several old "Fördertürme" around here the "Förderturm" itself is a recognized and beloved sign over here. Black and grey also dates back into the coal mining area and on the other hand a two color design can also be considered 1 and 0, which would then represent the transformation of the Ruhr area into a technological and modern place with lots of IT companies and developers.

This initiative is started by @achimh (left) and @pottblog (right). And YES ... we happily bribe and do other crazy stuff for our goals. Therefore as the Ruhr is the current home of the German football champion Borussia Dortmund and given the fact that @dens seems to be an avid football fan (not only by noticing him rocking a nice Cosmos tee at this years SXSW) there is currently a Borussia Dortmund jersey for him on its way to the foursquare HQ. Even if it doesn't help us to get a badge, we hope that it fits, he likes it and that he even may wear it for a game around SoHo (and yeah, we would love to see a picture).

Kind regards from Germany, Achim and Jens