New participation portal “Lower Saxony LandNews” starts – and is looking for participants

Digital Villages starting additional information service

The participation project “Digital Villages Lower Saxony”, which was launched in April 2021, has a new option for digital participation: Today, Thursday (20 January), another component of the project, the Lower Saxony LandNews, went online. Via the website www.niedersachsen.digitale-doerfer.de, professional and volunteer stakeholders at the municipal or county level can publish information and announcements starting immediately. The articles can be accessed online or via the DorfFunk app of the Digital Villages.

Digitale Dörfer startet zusätzliches Informationsangebot, Fraunhofer IESE
© Digitale Dörfer Niedersachsen

The new information portal is intended to further round off the project. The Digital Villages are to establish digital communication in rural areas and strengthen village communities with low-threshold offerings and location-based communication. Following the model project bremke.digital, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the program Land.digital, and the subsequent transfer to the unified municipality of Gleichen, the Digital Villages are currently being rolled out in southern Lower Saxony. The Stiftung Digitale Chancen [Digital Opportunities Foundation] and the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE are leading the Digital Villages Lower Saxony project, which is funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Regions. Municipalities in southern Lower Saxony can use offerings from the platform free of charge. A real-world lab located in Göttingen is working with local stakeholders to further develop the offerings of the Digital Villages Platform.

The Lower Saxony LandNews are intended to establish a direct line from public administration stakeholders and volunteers to citizens, explains Jutta Croll, Chairwoman of the Board of the Digital Opportunities Foundation: “There is not one single rural area, but rather many village communities in Lower Saxony. The people living there have common interests and deal with overarching issues such as mobility and supply; for these, the Lower Saxony LandNews now offer a new platform”, said Croll. Interested citizens and municipal representatives can contact the real-world lab.

Lower Saxony’s Regional Minister Birgit Honé sees the Digital Villages as a prospect to strengthen village communities. “In southern Lower Saxony, we are creating digital village squares where people can exchange ideas and network. In the future, we would like to offer this service to villages throughout Lower Saxony”, said Honé.