Der Einfluss des demografischen Wandels auf Nachhaltigkeitsaspekte in einer Küstenregion
Sustainability and demographic change are very topical themes not only in politics and science, but also in civil society. While they may seem dissimilar at first glance the challenge of social change is paramount in both areas. The thesis addresses the question of how these two issues can be linked to each other and how the implementation of a dynamic simulation model can foster this process. Case study region there is North Frisia in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
In this respect, sustainability is understood as a normative guiding principle for future development, while the demographic transition describes social changes in terms of changing population structures. The dissertation is based on a discourse-analys examination of the sustainability and demographic change discourse. The analysis shows that a somewhat limited cross-over of both discourses is taking place in the scientific literature. A hypothesis of this study is that merging the two discourses would provide a significant improvement for dealing with social change.
In the second section of the study a possibility of this merging is demonstrated. A dynamic simulation model is being developed to support planning decisions. For the theoretical validation of this study, reference is made to the works of Funtowicz and Ravetz and their ideas on post-normal science. Particular, North Friesland has been chosen as a sample region, which in a particular way is affected as coastal region by effects of demographic change. This model provides a tool for local and regional decision makers in the region to visualize possible impacts of demographic change on certain aspects of sustainability as a lead in to further discussions. The aim of the model is not to predict what is likely to happen in the future, but rather to illustrate possible outcomes which could result from different scenarios developed by the users of the model. Such a visualization and the exchange of different outcomes may stimulate a fruitful discussion process and in turn may help to improve the quality of decision making.