Field of action 2
Revitalization of rural areas
Urbanization comes first among the 10 strongest "megatrends" for the future. Elements of this trend are
- “Mega Cities”: Metropolises with more than 5 million inhabitants
- “Mega Regions”: Metropolitan regions from cities and their surrounding area with more than 10 million inhabitants
- “Mega Corridors”: Corridors connecting metropolises and/or metropolitan areas
- “Smart Cities”: A concept to intelligently network metropolises and metropolitan areas with the goal of making them more “sustainable” in the sense of liveability
Predictions of the → World Urbanization Prospects der UN estimate that by 2050 already 66% of humanity will live in cities (after 54% in 2014 and 30% in 1950).
In many cases such forecasts are regarded as inevitable events. For the German Federal Association for Sustainability there are questions about three important points:
1. Are mega-cities and regions desirable?
2. Are mega-cities and regions sustainable or can they be designed that way?
3. Why do rural areas seem so unattractive in this light?
For question 1 and question 2, we tend to have a clear "no".
Question 3 is answered with a clear "yes": Rural areas are settlements which, when depopulated, endanger the territorial integrity of an area or country. Therefore, it is in the interest of a country to preserve these settlements and to focus on development. In particular, this applies to the development of economic prospects beyond agriculture, which offer people in rural areas a life perspective.
We envision such a development in six components, which at the same time form the basis for structural change and strengthen social cohesion:
- Forming and establishing communities of long-established residents and newcomers who use rural areas not just for weekend recreation
- Integration of the disadvantaged and refugees outside gated communities
- Creating new and expanding or reactivating structures for education for sustainable development
- Creating new and expanding or reactivating existing infrastructure, especially in the area of public transport and broadband
- Establishment of decentralized and cooperatively organized bio-polymer production based on existing resources
- Establishment of decentralized and cooperative structures in the processing of biogenic plastics