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.

    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.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.