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In the Rostock model region, concrete measures are being implemented to secure and further develop services of general interest in rural areas. In particular, this involves the use of digital tools and the promotion of intermunicipal exchange across district and planning region boundaries. Regional approaches are reflected based on and transferred through a European exchange. Based on evaluations and evaluations of previous implementation measures, the need for adaptation is identified and transferred to regional and federal state planning and taken into account when granting funding.
The Rostock region demonstration project refers to a structurally weak, very rural area and deals with questions of services of general interest, intermunicipal cooperation and the use of digital applications in the context of the stabilisation of rural areas. The role and function of anchor points in rural areas is also examined through the evaluation of the requirements for basic centres in rural areas and the evaluation of experiences with the “Ländliche GestaltungsRäume" (rural design spaces) initiative.
In the model region of Schleswig-Flensburg, the focus is on the two core challenges of medical care and mobility in rural areas. The aim of the pilot action, in a circle with exemplary, implementation-oriented pilot projects, is to strengthen local awareness and importance of regional strategic concepts and to establish them in sectoral planning, but also in local political action, in the long term. To this end, a diverse package of measures is being implemented that addresses challenges identified in previous demonstration projects and areas of activity that have now also been transferred to the district's strategic framework – the areas of primary care and out-patient care, support for rural community structures and tailored mobility offers.
In the Görlitz model region, challenges of services of general interest such as mobility, supply, accessibility and land logistics are addressed through a structured dialogue with relevant municipal actors. Identified priorities are pushed through cooperative processes. A competence centre of the district office is institutionalised in order to support the interdisciplinary cooperation in the long term. Regional approaches are reflected based on and transferred through European exchange. Results and experiences will be transferred to the evaluation of the “Lausitz 2050 Development Strategy” and passed on through impulses for laws and legislative proposals at federal state level.
The demonstration project refers to a dispersedly structured, rural area and deals with questions of services of general interest, cohesion and cooperation between municipalities, quality of life and accessibility in the context of the stabilisation of rural areas. The role and functions of anchor points in rural areas are re-examined in cooperative and participatory processes by connecting them to the principles and questions that were laid and raised in earlier demonstration projects. At the same time, models of action and approaches are tried out that lead to the activation of the structures of local commitment and local cohesion.
The Alentejo region in Portugal is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the country, which is also characterised by relocation and noticeable demographic change. The low density of settlements consequently means that the infrastructure is inadequately equipped. The primary challenges are therefore to find solutions to keep high-quality services of general interest accessible to the people. This also includes the qualification of specialist staff for the job market and sufficient mobility offers in order to be able to develop the potential of the region again.
In order to enable this access, the region hopes to find solutions through a more efficient supply of infrastructure for services of general interest and sustainable mobility solutions that can be coupled with digital offers and services of general interest. One focus is particularly on the health and educational infrastructure.
With 40,000 inhabitants, the Walgau region is an economically solid region that is characterised by a heterogeneous settlement structure and has both industrial areas and a small-scale village structure. However, there is no functional cooperation with the neighbouring cities. One goal of the region is to strengthen cooperation between each municipality. A joint, participatory strategy process has already been initiated, which is to be continued in the course of the pilot action. The focus is on participatory processes in which the various local specialist actors and the civil society are to be involved.
As a second focus, the Walgau region is focusing on the expansion and increased digitisation to secure the local services of general interest in the future. In this context, it is particularly important to simplify and expand the opportunities for communication and the exchange of information between residents and local and regional decision-makers.
The Grand Est region is a large area with a very small-scale settlement structure. Among the more than 5,000 municipalities, only 22 have more than 20,000 inhabitants. In recent years, the socio-economic gap between rural and urban areas has grown. It is characterised in particular by an increasing divergence in a comprehensive range of services of general interest, which has subsequently led to a decline in the attractiveness and quality of life in rural areas.
The Grand Est region therefore has launched a pilot programme with 11 selected demonstration regions in order to establish local development clusters. The aim is to ensure better digital and physical accessibility of rural areas, the maintenance and development of economic activities, especially handicrafts and businesses, services, culture and tourism. In this context, the regional administrative structures and resources are to be adapted so that the planned measures can have a better effect.