3 May 2023 | Lengerich

On May 3, 2023, four municipalities from the Steinfurt district invited participants to a workshop on the future form of cooperation among them. Some 70 representatives from the municipal councils, city administrations, members of state and federal parliaments, companies and the urban society participated.

These four municipalities have joined together to form a powerful action community in order to be able to compete with and perhaps even better thrive in a rural region vis-à-vis important cities and major centers. This is because the four communities have decided to work together in a multi-layered and purposeful way, which is now striving for new dimensions.

In the context of this future cooperation of the four, the S2BMRC has prepared a potential analysis. The study is the result of the project "münster.land.leben" of FH Münster University of Applied Sciences.

Methods used in the project: benchmark best practice of comparable cooperation regions, survey of a sample of citizens of the four municipalities via paper-pencil and via online, focus group in the form of a citizens' breakfast, trend maps of the "Zukunftsinstitut".

Each of the municipalities has its profile: for example, the town of Lengerich stands for good jobs, the town of Tecklenburg for tourism and culture, Lienen for leisure, recreation, nature, Ladbergen for infrastructure and mobility. Weaknesses of one municipality are compensated by the strengths of another.

The study has shown: There are a number of powerful new areas of cooperation that will lead to success. But the study has also shown: Citizens are not "consumers," so solutions and recommendations will involve citizen engagement. Engaged and "entrepreneurial" citizens are in a way also (co-)responsible for initiatives, projects and their implementation. However, it is then the task of politics not only to create the framework conditions, but also to support them, to remove the administrative hurdles and barriers and, if necessary, to obtain funding.

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