Institute of Rural Studies

Deputy Director


Anja Herkner

Bundesallee 64
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5501
Fax: +49 531 596 5599

Institute of Rural Economics

Deputy Director

  • NN

How accessible are basic services in different regions?


Heat Map of accessibility of public pharmacies by car and foot (c) Thünen-Institut/Stefan Neumeier
Heat Map of accessibility of public pharmacies by car and foot (© Thünen-Institut/Stefan Neumeier)

Analysis of the regional accessibility of selected basic services

Currently basic services are concentrated in cities and agglomerations. But does this mean that an under-supply exists in practice?

Background and Objective

Basic services fulfill people’s daily needs and have implications for their living conditions. Generally it is assumed that the living conditions of people residing in rural regions are deteriorating. This is due to out-migration, demographic change and the global dynamic economic growth that are influencing each other. It is suspected that the concentration of basic services in cities and agglomerations will cause an under-supply in rural areas. Against this background the project analyses the accessibility of selected basic services near the place of residence in Germany. This is amongst others done differentiated according to different region types based on a GIS accessibility analysis below the level of communities.


In order to be able to analyze the accessibility of basic services we developed a GIS-accessibility model that allows the nationwide modeling of accessibility situations. We decided to use an approach that does not focus on Euklidean distances, but on distances and travel times in traffic networks. To be able to analyze accessibilities below the administrative level of the communities we use a vector raster (grid) of 250 m x 250 m covering Germany  as base for the analysis. That is from every center (centroid) of the single grid cells we calculate the street distance and travel time to the next service location under consideration reachable. As base grid the so called EWZ25 of the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development is used as this grid contains disaggregated population data for every grid cell based on the 2011 census. The accessibility analysis itself is based on the traffic network of the OpenStreetMap. Travel times are calculated based on the speed profiles of the OpenStreetMap for Germany.

Preliminary Results

Until now data for the following basic services are available for Germany:

  1. Street Petrol Stations (AIT-GRID)
  2. Public pharmacies (EWZ250)
  3. Supermarkets and discounters (EWZ250)
  4. ambulatory nursing services offering services according SGB XI (EWZ250)
  5. Accessibility of central places (EWZ250)

Thereby the results of the analysed services  are quite similar. In tendency longer distances have to be covered in rural areas, especially in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and in north-eastern Sachsen-Anhalt. Nevertheless the majority of people are able to access the services within a maximum driving time of 15 minutes by car. By foot within walking time of 15 minutes, except some singular exceptions, the services are only accessible in cities and agglomerations.



1.2012 - 12.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 5 of 18

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  1. Neumeier S (2022) Accessibility of COVID-19 Vaccination Centers in Germany via different means of transport. KN J Cartogr Geogr Inf:in Press, DOI:10.1007/s42489-021-00088-x
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 2668 kb
  2. Neumeier S, Kokorsch M (2021) Supermarket and discounter accessibility in rural Germany - identifying food deserts using a GIS accessibility model. J Rural Studies 86:247-261, DOI:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.06.013
  3. Neumeier S (2018) Erreichbarkeit durch die Polizei - Kennzahlen und Karten für Deutschland, basierend auf einer kleinräumigen, flächendeckenden GIS-Erreichbarkeitsanalyse. Kartogr Nachr 68(4):192-201
  4. Neumeier S (2018) Erreichbarkeit von Regelschulen in Deutschland: eine Betrachtung des ersten Bildungswegs nach Primarstufe, Sekundarstufe 1 und Sekundarstufe 2. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 87 p, Thünen Working Paper 113, DOI:10.3220/WP1544175754000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 10962 kb
  5. Neumeier S (2018) Haus- und Facharzterreichbarkeit in Deutschland : regionalisierte Betrachtung auf Basis einer GIS-Erreichbarkeitsanalyse. Forum Wohnen Stadtentwickl(1):39-44

Results 1 - 5 of 18

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