The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: People and Success Stories 2019


Since its first application in 2011, the aim of the competition is to reach as many participants as possible and to get evaluable results. The focus is to recognise what has been achieved, not to promote what has been planned.

The competition pursues these objectives:

  • Motivation through recognition of the initiative of individuals and/or groups: Successes achieved and approaches that are ready to implement should be appreciated. The emphasis is explicitly on the recognition for people. It's about individual commitment and inventiveness.
  • Collection and presentation of good practice examples: Examples of approaches the implementation of which has already begun, will be identified. It is about innovative, high-quality contributions to rural life. These examples are presented on the Internet, in publications and at events, in order to stimulate networking and transfer.
  • Draw the attention of politicians and administrations to existing approaches: The evaluation of selected competition entries, for example through in-depth case studies, cre-ates the basis for policy recommendations.
  • Think about the development of rural areas: In many rural areas the demographic change is taking place with a high degree of dynamism. The competition "Menschen und Erfolge" creates publicity for strategies and challenges of rural infrastructure supply.

For each round of the competition (excepting of the first), a priority theme is chosen which derives from the basic needs of rural infrastructure or takes up a currently topic. In 2019, the competition focused on housing and supported the federal government's housing offensive.

The competition "Menschen und Erfolge" is a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, supported by its eight partners, the German County Associa-tion, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, the German Farmers’ Association, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, the Federal Association of Horticulture, Land-scaping & Sport Facilities Construction, the National Association of German Cooperative Banks, the Federation of German Landscape Architects and the Federation of Non-profit Ru-ral Associations.

It is part of the initiative "Small Towns in Germany" and contributes to the National Urban De-velopment Policy as a strategic platform for integrated urban development, which addresses the economic, ecological and social challenges in towns and municipalities.

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