Anja Herkner
Institute of Rural Studies

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

Changing provision of services of general interest in rural areas


Sign posts to different services of general interst in a small town in the east Harz mountains (c) Thünen-Institut/Annett Steinführer
Sign posts to different services of general interst in a small town in the east Harz mountains (© Thünen-Institut/Annett Steinführer)

The school shuts down, the village shop has closed a long time ago and wastewater taxes are rising year in and year out. Residential vacancies increase and municipalities only govern the scarcity of funds. Changing services of general interest may look like that. In order to supply the population, new solutions are needed.

Background and Objective

Services of general interst are crucial for the quality of life in rural areas. The project aims to monitor the processes of change in these areas including demographic changes, new demands, retrenchment, privatisation and  labour force shortage.


We utilise existing statistics and scientific literature. In addition, we participate in conferences and the scientific debates. Beside the description, we also search for innovative solutions for rural areas. Therefore, we evaluate experiences of pilot projects, new initiatives, as well as other adaptation strategies of important actors. The focus is on selected services including local supply, health care, mobility and fire brigade.

Data and Methods

Secondary statistics are analyzed in order to describe changes in service provision, and to identify particular affected regions. In addition, we analyze documents about the institutional framework.


Involved Thünen-Partners


1.2013 - 12.2020

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 5 of 20

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  1. Steinführer A, Küpper P (2020) Daseinsvorsorge in ländlichen Räumen. Inf Polit Bildung 343(2):16-25
  2. Becker S, Hundt C, Küpper P (2020) Kommunale Strategien zur Entwicklung ländlicher Räume. Inf Polit Bildung 343(2):50-64
  3. Küpper P (2020) Nahversorgung. Uni Taschenbücher 5424:148-161
  4. Laschewski L, Steinführer A, Mölders T, Siebert R (2019) Das Dorf als Gegenstand sozialwissenschaftlicher Forschung und Theoriebildung. Zur Einführung. Ländliche Räume Beitr Lokalen Regionalen Entwickl 5:3-56
  5. Laschewski L, Mölders T, Steinführer A (2019) Das Dorf und die Landsoziologie. Thesen für die weiterführende Forschung. Ländliche Räume Beitr Lokalen Regionalen Entwickl 5:203-207

Results 1 - 5 of 20

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