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A strategy for the provision of public services at the regional level

Practice guidance


BMVIBMVI-Online-Publikation1/2017Berlin, March 2017

The guideline on the provision of public services at the regional level contains recommendations for action and examples of good practice related to a planning of the provision of public services at the district level, in particular, that is fit for the future and extends to all sectors. The structure of the document is aligned to the key functions and elements of the process towards a strategy for the provision of public services at the regional level: Chapter two "What?" answers the question of what the "Strategy for the Provision of Public Services at the Regional Level" is about, introduces the underlying philosophy and presents its characteristics, objectives and possibilities. Chapter three "How?" is entirely focused on the corresponding process and describes the working steps and organizational elements, presents methods and criteria for systematically choosing the sector of infrastructure to be addressed and explains the five basic methodological elements of the strategy at the regional level: small-scale population forecast, accessibility modelling, qualitative analysis of needs, model calculations and scenarios as well as cost estimates. Chapter four "From schools to fire brigades" describes the problems, procedures and possible outcomes in selected areas related to the provision of public services by means of examples.

The idea behind this guideline is to provide a stimulus for taking up the core issue of making the provision of public services fit for the future. Underlying this is the realization that the challenges for the provision of public services at the local and regional level which result from demographic development can only be managed if

  • there is well-prepared data on the initial situation,
  • the future development and possible consequences of alternative models are assessed thoroughly and
  • an open and moderated discussion process takes place.

This guideline is primarily intended for politicians and their staff members in cities, municipalities and districts who are responsible for planning and ensuring the provision of public services. However, it also addresses actors of public and private sector institutions related to the provision of public services, for example schools, the panel doctors' associations, care services or voluntary fire brigades.

Published by
Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)
Division G 30

Research contractor
Hochschule Neubrandenburg
(Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences)
Johann Kaether, Prof. Dr. Peter Dehne, Anja Neubauer

In cooperation with
Martin Albrecht (Gertz Gutsche Rümenapp), Axel Dosch (,
Dr. Michael Glatthaar (pro loco), Dr. Jens Martin Gutsche (Gertz Gutsche Rümenapp)

Project management
Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)
within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR), Bonn
Michael Zarth (

  • ISSN2364-6020
  • urn:nbn:de:101:1-201704125715


  1. WHY?

    • Demographic change and public services – a future challenge?!

  2. WHAT?

    • A strategy for the provision of public services at the regional level – not just a plan!
    • A strategy for the provision of public services at the regional level – from central places to binding cooperation areas

  3. HOW?

    • It's the process that counts – organization and steps of the dialogue
    • Setting priorities – what matters is making the right choice
    • Forecasts, accessibilities, analyses and scenarios – basic methodological elements
    • Participation and communication – getting people involved
    • Ensuring results, implementation, monitoring – what are the next steps?


    • Sets of topics and examples
    • School development and education
    • Child day care centres
    • Long-term care/living in later life
    • Medical care
    • Places for social interaction
    • Local amenities
    • Mobility/local public transport
    • Settlement development/vacancy rates
    • Water supply and waste water disposal
    • Non-police security
    • Further information

The publication is a result of the "Programme of action for the regional provision of public services" set up by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).
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