Can digitalisation help to maintain or even strengthen everyday services in rural areas? For example, in terms of shopping facilities, mobility services (local public transport) and medical services? What environmental impacts are associated with it and can it even reduce environmental impacts? The IZT is investigating these and other questions on a pilot basis in the suburban district Wolfenbüttel/Lower Saxony. A characteristic feature of this district is its border to the city of Braunschweig. A number of digitally coordinated services are conceivable, especially in the areas of mobility and consumption, which are of great interest to non-motorised people in rural regions: call buses and carpooling, but also shopping and take-home services by other villagers or by postmen and -women. Skyping with the doctor or digitalisation in the administration in the district could also become significant - this could eliminate trips to the major centers and reduce CO2 emission

The project "Environmental opportunities and risks of digitalised public services in suburbanised areas" aims to demonstrate the potential of services of general interest based on information and communication technologies and the associated environmental opportunities and risks. The project is being implemented in Wolfenbüttel as a pilot project in the sense of a living lab in order to provide exemplary experience and suggestions for other suburban regions. The background are the opportunities that digitalisation offers for the provision of public services in suburban and rurally characterised areas. The aim is to use the example of the Wolfenbüttel district to identify and specify possible approaches for the networking, coupling and integration and intelligent control of infrastructures interconnected with social innovations. In the process, important environmental aspects that have received little attention to date are to be examined more closely and future opportunities, risks, challenges and needs for action are to be identified. The IZT's work packages:

WP 1 Initial situation of services of general interest (participation)
WP 2 Concept development (IZT in charge)
WP 3 Pilot implementation (participation)
WP 4 Analysis of environmental impacts, risks and transferability (IZT in charge)
WP 5 Evaluation, interpretation and recommendations (IZT in charge)

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