Anja Herkner
Institute of Rural Studies

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

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 - 12.2018

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 5 of 10

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  1. Neumeier S (2016) Accessibility to services in rural areas : the example for petrol service provision in Germany. DISP Planning Rev 52(3):32-49, DOI:10.1080/02513625.2016.1235877
  2. Neumeier S (2016) Regional distribution of ambulant nursing services in Germany : a GIS accessibility analysis. Raumforsch Raumordn Spat Res Plann 74(4):339-359, DOI:10.1007/s13147-016-0409-4
  3. Neumeier S (2015) Lokale Verteilung Ambulanter Pflegedienste nach SGB XI in Deutschland auf Basis eines rasterbasierten GIS-Erreichbarkeitsmodells. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 81 p, Thünen Working Paper 47, DOI:10.3220/WP1443169744000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 4461 kb
  4. Neumeier S (2015) Regional accessibility of supermarkets and discounters in Germany - a quantitative assessment -. Landbauforsch Appl Agric Forestry Res 65(1):29-46, DOI:10.3220/LBF1439880683000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 15767 kb
  5. Neumeier S (2015) Street petrol station shops as an alternative to missing local food suppliers – Contribution to the German discourse on ‘Daseinsvorsorge’: A German view. Appl Geogr 60:150-164, DOI:10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.03.003

Results 1 - 5 of 10

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