Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A German Spiral

There is a trend underway in Germany which gets recognized every couple of months by some public-TV news journalist.....and then kinda gets dropped.  It's an interesting and long-term trend.

Going back roughly 150 years ago in Germany.....industrialization became a big deal with metropolitan German cities.  Those were cities which had growth, medical establishments, university operations, and growing trade centers.

By the early 1920s....with cars and more railway planning....suburban neighborhoods next to these metropolitan cities began to grow.  You didn't have to live in the city could live on the outskirts and reach your job or the things that drew you to the city.

After WW II, autobahn advancement and U-Bahn/S-Bahn innovation grow the shadow of these urbanized areas out further and further.

The jobs?  The bulk of jobs since WW II in Germany....are within the metropolitan or major city circle.  Rural areas beyond the metropolitan, city or suburbs?  Job growth is zero or in decline. The only exception to this is where you have autobahns going through a rural region and some guy was smart enough to know where cheaper labor can be found and built up smaller companies to take advantage of the situation.

So you go to communities that had 1,000 residents two decade ago....with a one-doctor clinic....two gas stations, a grocery, a bank or two, a pharmacy, and five or six small business operations.  Today?  The same rural town is likely to be around 500 doctor or best an ATM which replaced the full-up bank service deal that existed before, no pharmacy, no grocery, and a self-service gas station where you card your way through to buy fuel for your car.   These are towns that are 50 to 100 kilometers beyond Frankfurt and nowhere near an autobahn point that might entice people to live there while commuting to work.

There are countless numbers of towns like this in Germany today....spiraling quietly and slowly down to limited services.  Some folks now have to drive 30 minutes in some direction to find a full-service bank, a pharmacy, or a clinic of some type.  Garage operations are becoming fewer in number in the rural regions of are grocery-stores.

Some hope that immigrants or migrants will shift to these areas?'ll never happen because there are no jobs there.

Some towns are in some faint hope that major cities like Frankfurt will dream up another S-Bahn/U-Bahn extension and come way out into the middle of nowhere.....where fantastic new urban zones will suddenly pop up and you can catch a 50-min tram ride into a job-zone.

Beyond that....rural Germany is dying the dinosaurs.

Where does this all lead onto?  Take a drive through the heart of the triangle area between Limburg, Frankfurt and Giessen.  Those near the autobahn structure will survive 'as-is'.  Those further away?  As the population declines over the next two decades.....these will all be smaller in nature, without modern conveniences that you typically accept today.  In five or six decades.....half the population of these remaining towns will be over the age of sixty.  In a hundred will find a lot of towns with dozens of empty buildings....mostly resembling the start of a ghost-town appearance as you might see in the western part of the US.

It is an odd way for society to advance.

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