How do I start the app development business

Village app will be launched soon

The pilot project “Digital Villages” links actors and offers

District of Giessen. Interactive neighborhood help, information about club offers, services and much more: five towns in the district of Giessen get a village app. This is made possible by the pilot project “Digital Villages”, which the district of Gießen initiated together with the LEADER region of Gießener Land, the municipalities involved and other partners. Initially, a test version will start, and the app should then be available to everyone in the participating locations, probably in mid-September.

“Networked where you are rooted” is the motto of the village app for Biebertal-Königsberg, Buseck-Oppenrod, Grünberg-Harbach, Langgöns-Dornholzhausen and Staufenberg-Treis. All places have dedicated associations that shape social life. "Strengthening digital civic engagement, increasing the liveability and future viability of the places - these are the goals of the village app," says District Administrator Anita Schneider.

Test teams will first carefully check all functions

Ten people from each of the five locations will soon be able to test the app extensively. It not only offers the option to post club or neighborhood help offers, but also a chat function, a range of information from pharmacy emergency services to severe weather warnings and news from the community. “The village app will promote communication and the offers on site,” explains District Administrator Schneider. “In this way, we combine the good voluntary structures of the participating villages, the local economy and other actors. This is how we strengthen rural areas. "

In the coming weeks, the test subjects will first give feedback on the need for improvement to the app before it is made available to everyone. Then every household in the five towns will receive mail from the district with the appropriate access so that the app can be downloaded to their mobile phones for free. "If you don't have a suitable mobile phone or would prefer to call up the information on your PC, you can do that too - a corresponding website will offer this itemized for each individual location," explains project officer Norman Best.

Older people in particular should be given access, as District Administrator Anita Schneider says: "Together with the senior district advisory board and the VHS, we are examining how appropriate educational offers can be made for senior citizens." to make older people fit to use smartphones, tablets and PCs, and will accompany the project.

“Our goal is that all population groups benefit from the app and good offers,” says District Administrator Schneider: “For example, when it comes to bringing shopping for the senior citizen in the neighborhood or to draw attention to a new crawling group for small children . And if the app enables functioning carpooling, it also makes a local contribution to climate protection. "

The Giessen company Fabrik19 developed the app

The pilot project “Digital Villages” actually envisaged that working groups in the locations themselves propose content for the app - but the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions resulted in a number of changes in the process. Because large-scale meetings were not possible. "We would now like to make an app with important basic functions available first," explains Norman Best. The Giessen-based company Fabrik19 developed the village app after a tender by the district and will take over the technological support.

Funding by LEADER

The pilot project is made possible by funding from the European Union's LEADER program, which aims to strengthen rural areas and covers 65 percent of the total costs estimated at around 254,000 euros. The department for rural areas in the Lahn-Dill and Gießen districts processed the relevant application.

Information about the project is available on the Internet here.

Press release Gießen district, July 8th, 2020, Image: Gießen district