Woman standing in front of a cornfield, holding tablet in her hand and typing on the screen

Digital districts

Developing rural areas together and making them fit for digitalization

Creating equal living conditions for all

19.06. 2019 – Bavaria is one of Germany’s less densely populated states. Rural areas account for around 85 percent of the state's surface area. Around 60 percent of the Bavarian population live in these areas. In accordance with the state's constitutional mandate, the Bavarian administrative district parliament advocates “equal living conditions” in all parts of the state. Now the administrative districts face the challenge of supporting and developing digitization in rural areas.

Development of several fields of action

Young man presents his colleagues an idea on a whiteboard

The Bavarian administrative district parliament and T-Systems have therefore developed “Program 2020 - Digital Districts Bavaria” for this purpose, which was unanimously accepted by the Bavarian Innovation Ring (Bayerischer Innovationsring). In the Innovation Ring, 26 districts develop recommendations for action regarding the modernization of the district offices.

As a first step, T-Systems will work with seven key districts to develop the next steps for several fields of action during initial workshops:

  • health and social affairs
  • living and working
  • mobility and transport
  • basic services and cohesion
  • innovation and SME 4.0
  • 5G
  • digital construction projects

The digital district

The results of the study “Der digitale Landkreis” (The Digital District) from 2018, which was commission by the German administrative district parliament, show that the vast majority of districts are facing the challenges of digital transformation. However, most of them are only at the very beginning of this process. For example, although 42 percent of all administrative districts in Germany are planning a digitalization strategy for the future, only six percent already have a strategy for the digital transformation.

Logo for the Community Programme 2020 - Digital Districts of Bavaria

The role of the administrative districts is not limited to the execution and control of digitalization projects, but also includes the utilization of social fields of action.

Definition of the German administrative district parliament

Digital transformation strengthens administrative districts

Smiling girl presents VR glasses which wears her laughing grandmother on her head

“The administrative districts can serve as platforms, which can then support the mediation and networking of private digitalization projects. This bundling and networking function of the administrative districts in the area of digital services of public interest represents a traditional district function. The digital transformation of society and the economy can thus make a contribution towards strengthening the district function within the communal structure,” - this is how the German administrative district parliament defines the role of the individual districts when it comes to digitalization.

Digital health service

In the area of “Health and Social Affairs”, focus is on, among other things, digital health services which make it possible to provide the population with better care close to their homes. 16 percent of the administrative districts have already completed digitalization projects in the area of e-health and one third are involved in ongoing projects. The focal points: digitalization of rescue services, telemedicine, and the outpatient sector.

Making rural areas more attractive

There are also new digital mobility concepts in the area of “Mobility and Transport”. For example, 43 percent of the districts have their own mobility project and every ninth district has already completed such a project. These include mobility apps, car and bike sharing models, and digital traffic control. Digital technologies can also make living in rural areas more attractive and prevent migration to cities. The first districts are already planning the establishment of co-working facilities or supporting the economy in the area of home office projects.

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