Wer zahlt für das schöne Leben? Technische Infrastruktur in Zeiten von Bevölkerungsrückgang am Beispiel von drei ostdeutschen Mittelstädten
In cities with decreasing population there is an increasing concern about the future cost of technical infrastructure. A diminishing number of inhabitants will have to bear the costs of the public services provided by their community. Beyond the pure cost arithmetic the main research question of our project was how urban planning can contribute to alleviating the rising average cost per service unit (cbm, sqm). The study was carried out for three medium-sized cities in the eastern part of Germany with a time horizon of 2030. The focus is on water, sewage and communal roads. The rather surprising result was that urban planning (attempts for densification, inner city development instead of extensivation of the urban fabric) has little effect on long-term cost compared to the unavoidable yearly renovation requirements of the technical infrastructure. Because of the dominant block of fixed cost in technical infrastructure systems, the demographic development is the main cost determinant. Therefore, in future a massive problem in financing today’s standard of public services will be imminent.