The city or the countryside: Where is it better to live?
The question on where to live divides people
Opinions differ on the question of whether it is better to live in the city or in the country. There are pros and cons for both options, and the question of the best place to live often depends on individual criteria. However, due to the rapid upward trend in real estate prices in cities, people are increasingly opting to move to a rural region. Also, the growing tendency to work from home and the resulting elimination of the requirement to live near the place of work has made people more flexible when it comes to choosing where to live. In a survey conducted by the Society for Consumer Research at the end of 2020, 41% of city dwellers said they could, in principle, imagine moving to the countryside. Reason enough to take a closer look at the arguments for living in the city and in the country.
Urban flight versus rural flight: Historical development
Living in the city continues to be extremely popular. This phenomenon is known as urbanization. This is by no means a new development: the proportion of the population living in rural areas has been falling continuously since the middle of the 19th century. The beginning at this time was marked by industrialization. More and more people moved to the cities to find work. This trend was interrupted during the Second World War, when destruction and hunger drove people out of the cities and into the countryside. In GDR times, this trend was then reversed again in the direction of urban flight.
Increasing suburbanization: How Germans live
In countries characterized by industrialization, a more recent development has been observed since the 1990s. So-called suburbanization refers to the increased movement of the urban population to the outskirts of the city or to the nearby surrounding countryside. Since there is limited space in the city, but plenty of space available in the suburbs and outlying districts, people increasingly decided to move there. For this reason, these so-called "Speckgürtel" are also fiercely contested on the real estate market. As a result of suburbanization, the infrastructure is becoming increasingly stretched due to growing commuter traffic, and the core cities are also shrinking. From the turn of the millennium onwards, a greater amount of building land was created in the cities, which has slowed down suburbanization somewhat. However, it has been making a comeback in the recent past due to the sharp rise in prices in metropolitan areas.
Urban-rural divide: These are the most important differences
Urban and rural areas have some differences in various areas. Depending on the individual life situation and requirements, they play a greater role in the decision to live in the city or in the country.
Infrastructure in town and country
Infrastructure is one of the biggest assets of cities. A well-developed network of public transportation often ensures that a car is not absolutely necessary. In the countryside, on the other hand, you almost always need a car to be flexible.
Mobility and traffic change
Related to infrastructure, mobility is also an argument for living in the city. Very often, rural regions are not or only inadequately connected to the rail network and also do not have an adequate bus system.
Leisure and cultural facilities
In the cities, there is a wide range of recreational options, from cultural opportunities and gastronomy to sports and other clubs. The latter, however, are increasingly found in the countryside as well. In addition, rural areas offer many options for outdoor activities.
Smart city? Digitization in town and country
The expansion of digital networks is still in its infancy in some rural regions. Here, the city clearly has the better offer. However, this is set to change, and various research projects and plans to expand digital networks are intended to promote the connection of rural residential areas.
Living in the countryside
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