Why are we running this project?

People develop place attachment by getting involved in whatever happens in their community. Many rural communities have identified immigration as well as the integration and participation of migrants as key issues of the future. In view of demographic change, the development of these communities often depends on strengthening the sense of belonging among people who have been living in the region for some time and on attracting and retaining new residents. Many communities in rural areas also want to integrate refugees in the long term. Sustainable strategies and concepts, local partnerships between politics, administration, civil society, migrants, and businesses, as well as political and social conditions that foster such processes are needed to ensure the successful integration and participation of newcomers.

What are the project goals?

With the “Land.Zuhause.Zukunft – Integration und Teilhabe von Neuzuwanderern in ländlichen Räumen” program, the Robert Bosch Stiftung supports counties and their diverse stakeholders in developing innovative and viable approaches for the integration and participation of newcomers to rural areas. The program also includes the exchange of knowledge at regular networking meetings and the development of recommendations for political and local decision-makers.

How does the project work?

In the second program phase (2020–2021), about ten new counties will be included. Depending on their specific needs, they will be supported by external consultants in the process-oriented handling of a specific integration and participation challenge or the implementation of innovative ideas. Our consulting partners are Ramboll Management Consulting and Kompetus Management Consulting.
The program also aims to connect stakeholders from different counties on issues of migration, integration, and diversity in rural areas via different formats and across regions. Additional funding is provided for topic-specific study trips within Germany and abroad.  

Furthermore, the Land.Zuhause.Zukunft program serves as a platform to share local project findings and experiences with the general public, other communities, as well as state and federal policymakers.

Who organizes and supports the project?

The Robert Bosch Stiftung supports the program in cooperation with the University of Hildesheim, where the program office is based.

Background information

Between March and July 2017, the Robert Bosch Stiftung compiled a needs analysis on the integration of refugees in rural regions as an initial exploration of the topic and the groundwork to derive recommendations and approaches for a support program. The following counties took part in the subsequent pilot phase of the Land.Zuhause.Zukunft program from January 2018: Coburg (Bavaria), Goslar (Lower Saxony), Harz (Saxony-Anhalt), Ludwigslust-Parchim (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Prignitz (Brandenburg), and Vogtlandkreis (Saxony). Up to mid-2019, these developed different concepts in various areas. In 2020, the Robert Bosch Stiftung will include additional counties in its “Land.Zuhause.Zukunft” program in cooperation with the University of Hildesheim.