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Arup develops a roadmap into 2050 for the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald

Cinthia Buchheister Cinthia Buchheister Europe Press Office, Germany
4 December 2019

Germany’s northeast Vorpommern-Greifswald district, part of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, is fast becoming a magnet to the country’s growing tribe of digital nomads looking for a more balanced lifestyle.

Proximity to nature – including the increasingly popular Baltic island Usedom; an established science and tech hub at Greifswald – one of Europe’s oldest universities – as well as good connections to the nearby metropolitan areas of Berlin and Szczecin in Poland has helped the region make a name for itself amongst a crop of young urban dwellers looking for a rural idyll.

Young city dwellers with families appreciate the quality of life in rural areas. As so-called digital nomads, many of them do not need a permanent office. They are only tied to laptops, electricity and internet access and can work from home or in co-working spaces”, says Dr. Ulrich Vetter, head of the Förderungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft Vorpommern-Greifswald. In our county these highly qualified knowledge workers meet a stimulating environment.

Arup has been appointed to help the Vorpommern-Greifswald region prepare a vision for the future, tasked to work with several regional stakeholders to develop a roadmap into 2050. Over a period of about twelve months, our consultants will hold a series of workshops in a phased participatory process.

We see ourselves as a region of the future which, with its central location between the booming cosmopolitan city of Berlin, the metropolis of Szczecin and the Baltic Sea, has unique development opportunities. What we need now is a clear strategy with clear options for action. ” Michael Sack Head of the district authority of Vorpommern-Greifswald

Roadmap to the future

The region is witnessing the birth of a crop of bio-economy/bio-tech start-ups around the Anklam sugar factory. Other newly established companies include the online platform advocado and the company coldplasmatech, which finds ideal conditions in the vicinity of the University of Greifswald and the Max Planck and Leibniz Institutes for Plasma Physics.

The development of the mission statement will be a showcase project for German districts. ” Portrait of Gereon Uerz Dr. Gereon Uerz Leader Foresight Europe at Arup

The vision report will be based on an in-depth analysis of the region’s social, political, economic, ecological and social trends and developments. On the basis of this initial research, Arup will work with a regional steering committee – including a range of stakeholders from the science, education, business and political sphere as well as representatives from across civil groups – to develop a well-founded and ambitious vision for a desirable future for the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald. “At the end we will point out concrete fields of action and derive and locate measures for the next 30 years, Uerz explains the further procedure.

A kick-off workshop will gather all the representatives of the Steering Committee in February 2020.

About the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald

The district of Vorpommern-Greifswald lies in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. It extends from the science and technology location Greifswald in the north of the region via the island of Usedom further along the Polish border to the northern Uckermark and has some 230,000 inhabitants. The third largest administrative district in Germany has high local recreational qualities – the island of Usedom and the region around the Szczecin make the region attractive for the numerous tourists and residents alike. In the hinterland, agriculture dominates as far as possible. Other important economic sectors are wood and food processing, the construction industry and the metalworking industry.