Many large cities in Germany have reached their growth limits. The supply of available housing can no longer keep up with the demand. And even if the country’s governing coalition plans to build some 400,000 new apartments each year, the question remains of where they will be located. Many metropolitan areas no longer have the space to accommodate them.
At the same time, significant numbers of people are again moving to rural regions in Germany. For many communities (though not all), this is the chance to respond to a major challenge, namely demographic change. Yet the quality of life in the communities must be seen as sufficiently attractive if long-term residents are to stay and city dwellers are to join them.
Digitalization can help local communities here in two ways:
- Digital solutions in the area of public services have now been tested and successfully deployed in numerous contexts, such as health care, mobility and education. They have the potential to increase quality of life in rural areas.
- The digitalization of work and the resulting possibilities for doing many jobs from anywhere are providing rural regions with new prospects. People who no longer need to commute dozens of kilometers each day can move “farther out” to the countryside.