A bit like "ethnic cleansing"
But I like what they're doing here in the village.
This is Monday's ground-breaking ceremony for a small-ish (50 section) new subdivision on what used to be 3ha of farmland at the top of the hill. (Various local luminaries flanking Ute Granold, local mayoress and MP, all trying to bury the intrepid photographers with well-aimed shovelfuls of top soil.)
The council bought the land, manages the planning process, pays for the infrastructure and markets the sections.
But only to people who
a) have lived in the village for at least 2 years
b) don't already own property in the village
c) commit to building within 2 years
d) won't sell within x (probably 10) years
That's the social engineering bit.
You make it affordable for kids who grew up in the village to stay here. It's not quite like the old "3 generations under one roof" tradition, but it's pretty cool when your kids can pop in on Grandma and Granddad on the way home from school.
Not to mention having babysitters right on your doorstep...
The other option is the free market approach - speculators snap up the sections, build a house and flip it a couple of years later for a profit.
I know people in the UK whose parents grew up in Knightsbridge which the kids couldn't afford, so they bought in Chiswick. Houses there cost a million upwards these days, so THEIR kids are living in Slough, a town 40 miles to the west that's as nasty as it sounds.
"And I guess that OUR grandchildren will have to live in Bristol and commute the 120 miles into London" says Caroline.
And there are more applications than sections here in Klein-Winternheim, mostly because it's a pretty good place to live.
Right in the country, motorway junction within spitting distance, 10 minutes into Mainz, 30-40 minutes to the airport, reasonable bus service, train station, butcher, baker,
And the price is reasonable for round here, especially when you figure what you're getting for your (€290 per square metre) money:
Forward financing for extending the kindergarten/school/sports facilities when needed to match future population growth, cisterns on every property to harvest roof water, a storm-water reservoir to cope with a Storm of the Century deluge, dedicated and separate drainage systems for rainwater and sewage and a central energy generation plant for heat and electricity which cuts your energy costs by 10%, kiddies playground, landscaped public spaces...
And of course if not everyone gets the section that they want, they can always buy our place. (On the market next spring, 1 careful owner...)
I did happen to mention it to a couple of people over drinks and nibbles after the speeches and official
They seemed quite interested....