The town of Görlitz in eastern Germany needs more young residents. To attract them, it’s offering a trial stay, with a free apartment and daycare included. A young Berlin family took up the offer. Will the city’s charm win them over?
Görlitz, tucked away in the easternmost corner of Germany, is a charming provincial town. It has a beautiful old city center, affordable rents and plenty of options for recreation nearby. But Görlitz is aging: One third of its 55,000 residents are over the age of 65. And now? The Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation, or IZS, has come up with a creative solution. They’re offering an apartment - rent-free for one month - and support in work and settling in to attract big-city dwellers to their home town. Kevin Kandetzki is a freelance painter willing to try his luck - along with his partner, their newborn baby and their child in daycare. They’ve already braced themselves for a culture shock. The Berlin artists are moving to a city that recently gave 30% of its votes to the far-right AfD party. Will their dream of a new life become a nightmare?