First the shopping centers on the outskirts boomed, now many people prefer to shop on the Internet than in local shops. A number of municipalities have been complaining about increasing vacancies in their inner cities for years. Neubrandenburg has ideas on how things could be done differently.
Neubrandenburg (dpa/mv) - According to the Schwerin state government, the artists and musicians hit by the Corona crisis are becoming increasingly important for the revitalization of the inner cities. "People are looking for experiences when they come to inner cities," said Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Interior Minister Christian level (SPD) at the state congress "Inner City Development" in Neubrandenburg on Wednesday. In times of online shopping, no one comes just to spend money when shopping.
"Anyone who comes to the city to listen to music also goes to the café," saidleveel. And if you're in the café, you might also go shopping. This is a method to attract more people to the centers again. Entertainment must be more closely linked to shopping.
Around 80 representatives from municipalities, culture, politics, urban planning and trade discussed ways of revitalizing city centers at the congress.
For years, the municipalities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have been complaining about more and more vacancies. The reasons for this were initially shopping centers on the green field and the trend towards shopping on the Internet. As a result of the Corona crisis, online and mail order business has increased significantly again, it said.
The state has launched two programs, each worth five million euros, which can be used, among other things, to co-finance voucher systems or city managers in the municipalities in order to attract more people to the inner cities. The programs are in high demand but not yet fully utilized, according to the ministries.
"Corona has also significantly changed the nature of office work," said urban planner Thomas Krüger from Hamburg's Hafencity University. This leads to new requirements for centers. Companies, administrations and ministries need fewer offices, but people who work at home have more opportunities to shop and relax nearby. However, increasing internet trade is also causing problems for shopping centers. Krüger expects that other chains and chain stores will downsize or withdraw altogether. The example given was the fashion chain Orsay, which had announced the closure of its stores.
Neubrandenburg was named as a successful example of the revitalization of an inner city. Mayor Silvio Witt (independent) announced that there should be five open-air concerts on the market this year. In addition, because of Corona, the city has abolished special usage fees for dealers if they want to set up chairs, tables or other sales-promoting things outside. The city was so lively that he could not imagine reintroducing this fee.
Witt also demanded that non-commercial institutions such as libraries should continue to be present in the inner cities. Further congresses on the subject are planned in Güstrow, Ludwigslust and Anklam.