Increasing numbers of young urbanites are leaving the city. This creates new opportunities for rural regions. A German town invited 20 digital nomads to trial countryside living — furnished accommodation and coworking space included.
Homberg, Germany is a historic small town first documented in the 1200s with only a population of 15,000 inhabitants. The region has applied for nature park recognition, so the landscape and natural environment has plenty to offer. But being 3.5 hours away from Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, Homberg is far from the bright lights of the city.
Already we are seeing young people leaving the city and moving to small-town and rural areas in search of a quieter, more peaceful and less stressful life away from the hubbub of the city. While the competitive and expensive housing and rental market is pricing many out of the city. Remote working and the rise of the digital nomad has already made this move possible for many. However, the region sees a lot of young people migrating out of the rural area to urban areas and while it offers cheap rent, good childcare, and low unemployment rates, it is also struggling like many rural areas.
With the Summer of Pioneers, digital workers can experiment with rural living in Homberg from April to September 2021. To make this possible, the Summer of Pioneers is offering the lucky new 20 Hombergers a furnished flat with internet and coworking space where they can work and socialise with their new neighbours for a flat fee of 150EUR.
The Summer of Pioneers has already had a successful run in Wittenberge marketing the area as, not only a viable but a desirable place for remote workers and young people and families to relocate to. The Summer of Pioneers relocation initiative boosts local economies with the promise of new inhabitants and new markets to explore. With the connection to Cittaslow Germany network, those relocating are offered a link to creative networks from their new small hometown to wider Germany, supporting local and rural economies. We are curious to see how this initiative will benefit the local communities and economies in the long run and whether it might bring a revival of these small and historic towns to rural areas in Germany.