Few socio-political issues are currently discussed as frequently as demographic change and its consequences. Communities in rural areas in particular are already feeling the effects of falling population numbers and ageing populations.
The municipality of Bad Peterstal-Griesbach (Ortenaukreis) has decided to confront the effects of the changed demographic structure on housing quality and quality of life at an early stage – and to structure future local development actively and with foresight.
The Steinbeis Consulting Center Regional and Communal Development at the Kaiserslautern University of Technology was commissioned to develop a local development concept for the municipality of Bad Peterstal-Griesbach, which is currently experiencing a period of demographic, social and economic structural change. Based on surveys of the population, businesses, holiday- makers and recreational visitors, a model and targets have been created for the future development of the municipality. In addition, specific measures and projects have been developed, and proposals submitted for a local project management.
The municipality received numerous concrete project approaches in a catalogue of measures. These ranged in scope from project proposals in the fields of housing and life quality, through transport and supply infrastructure to recreation and leisure. The projects are grouped into measures that are to be implemented in the short, medium and long term, and into cost-intensive and low-cost schemes. The content of the development concept was formulated with the involvement of the public through events, surveys and expert debates.
Success depends very much on the expertise of the advisory team from other national and international development projects and on the demonstration and discussion of innovative approaches to solutions.
Using the local development concept as a basis, the collaboration between the municipality of Bad Peterstal-Griesbach and the Steinbeis Consulting Center Regional and Communal Development will continue, so that the measures derived from the de- velopment concept can be put into effect over the coming years in close cooperation with the inhabitants and local bodies. The concept also gives the municipality an opportunity to attract subsidies for putting the project ideas into effect.
Prof. Dr. habil. Gabi Troeger-Weiß
Steinbeis Consulting Center Regional and Communal Development (Kaiserslautern)