The German population is shrinking and ageing. By the year 2060, it might have declined by as much as 17 million. More than 31 per cent will be over 60 by 2020. Especially in rural areas and Eastern Germany, it is already easy to see what this means: shops are closing, young people are moving to the cities, and the ones that stay behind – with a waning infrastructure – are the elderly.
Enjoying retirement becomes quite difficult when the small things of everyday life like grocery shopping or visits to the doctor are no longer available where you live. In some places, a new mindset has made way for new solutions: it is the services that need to be mobile, not the people. An alternative approach, and one that may well be economically attractive, is to bundle services within a specific region. How can we make sure that the basic needs of people in rural areas do not remain unfulfilled?