Regeneration cannot depend entirely on construction. Soft factors are increasingly gaining importance, especially in Sachsen-Anhalt’s shrinking cities. Education is vital: declining birth rates mean fewer students at all levels, with adverse effects for local communities and businesses.
Providing educational and cultural opportunities can help to stem the tide and retain young families as well as attract new families, students, research-based industries, and cultural tourists from the outside. Further educational facilities are needed to cater for the rising number of an increasingly older work force and older jobless people. Evidently, a sound education is also a vital prerequisite for public participation in the regeneration process. Educational programmes on building culture can raise identification levels as well as create an active awareness of questions of municipal organisation and urban regeneration. Naumburg is already developing new programmes for all ages, whilst Bernburg and Wittenberg are betting on closer cooperation and the improvement of existing facilities; Wanzleben has forged a family-friendly reputation with excellent provisions for youngsters and children.