IMPULS working on a development strategy - SWOT workshop with regional experts
The debate on creating equal living conditions throughout the country has intensified in recent years due to increasing disparities. Demographic changes - especially the ongoing aging and shrinking of the population - and structural barriers to development due to the lack of a higher-order center also pose major challenges for municipalities in the Harz region. The IMPULS project addresses these issues by developing a sub-regional concept for the Harz planning region, including municipalities and rural districts, to plan and manage high-quality services of general interest.
After analyzing the service and development functions and the catchment area regarding the provision of higher order services of general interest in the Harz planning region, the IMPULS project is now moving on to compose a development strategy. In preparation for this, around 30 experts from different municipal departments met on July 7th, 2022 in the town hall of the city of Wernigerode. In two working sessions, the experts discussed and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the regional central-place functions focusing on aspects of public service and development opportunities. The participants especially emphasized the cultural, tourism and leisure sectors which make the region a unique tourist destination. They also pointed out the diversified economic structure consisting of a mix of different sectors and many smaller businesses which contributes significantly to greater resilience to crises and economic fluctuations. However, one of the weaknesses is the shortage of skilled workers which affects not only the private sector but also public administration and the health sector. In addition, the lack of public transportation leads to a heavy reliance on motorized private transport.
Now, the IMPULS project is scientifically evaluating the findings obtained in the workshop. The results form the basis for focusing on relevant fields of action in the development strategy. The “future workshop” in November will again bring together around 75 local stakeholders to discuss strategies for the regional development.
You can find more information on IMPULS at www.impuls-harz.de.