[QODLink]
Europe

German town tackles 'rural exodus'

One town in country's west attempts to tackle the phenomenon of young people moving out to the big cities.

Last Modified: 05 Apr 2013 20:12
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The town of Altena in Germany is best known to tourists for its 12th century stronghold, and for producing suits of chain mail armour for medieval knights.

Fitting symbols for a place now fighting back against rural exodus.

This was the town in the former West Germany that suffered biggest drop in its population, by over 40 percent in 40 years.

This is slowly changing, as the local government helps organise who helps whom, and as the people of Altena, both young and old, work together to stop the countryside from emptying further.

Rural exodus is a vicious circle: as people leave, the town collects less tax money and then cannot pay for social services.

In Altena, for example, unpaid volunteers drive the town bus.

Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer reports from Altena.

131

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.