Sollstedt is located in a rural area in the north of Thuringia, formerly part of the German Democratic Republic. Since the German reunification, Sollstedt has been heavily impacted by economic and demographic change. This has included the collapse of salt (‘Kali’) mining, job losses, outmigration, and population ageing. In addition, important institutions of social life had to be closed and building vacancies and investment backlog have arisen. All these disadvantages have impaired the development of Sollstedt.
Keeping Sollstedt independent is the main vision for the village and the strategy should be to become smart and digital by 2030.
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 proved the advantages of living in the countryside over living in an over-populated city. This can be especially true for families with parents aged 30 to 50, wishing for tranquillity. The village can offer such opportunities in the form of properties with gardens, for example, but these need to be further enhanced with technical and digital capacities.
Transforming Sollstedt into a smart village could prove an enabling factor to provide the right work-life balance that this age group is looking for.
Smart Rural Journey
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The smart action has aimed at contributing to the establishment of a local telemedicine network. Generally, the preconditions for establishing telemedicine are favourable in Germany since a number of regulatory decisions have been taken by the government and the health insurers to facilitate the setting up of telemedicine schemes, also in response to declining numbers of general practitioner practices in rural areas. Methods to support the process has included a briefing on the current conditions and joint planning of an operational plan, local stakeholder mapping, joint ambition planning and validation with stakeholders, leading to the development of a ‘maturity assessment’
Village strategy :
Main village contact
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