The region Emscher-Lippe lies at the heart of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) and consists of District Recklinghausen along with the district-free cities Bottrop and Gelsenkirchen. The two rivers Emscher and Lippe give the region its name. Nearly 1 million people live there, in an area of about 966 km² (373 mi2). It is one of the most densely populated areas in Germany, made up of large cities, rural areas and intermediate spaces. The companies there are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, but global players are also present, a mix characteristic of NRW.