Project details

Integrated Rural Development Concept (ILE): Regional management in the Lahn-Taunus region

The Rhineland-Palatinate Federal State’s Integrated Rural Development (Integrierte Ländliche Entwicklung – ILE) support programme aims at combining individual fields of action – such as agriculture, viticulture, village development, demographic change, rural tourism as well as nature conservation – to form an integrated and holistic concept.

As of the beginning of 2008, the IfLS is in charge of the regional management of the Lahn-Taunus ILE region, initiated by minister Hendrik Hering on 19 February. The Integrated Rural Development is a central task within the framework of Rhineland-Palatinate’s development, aiming at securing and increasing regional value added (VA), and – in order to achieve this – including all aspects directly and indirectly contributing to the enhancement of regional VA. At this, stimuli, development processes and activities already existing are supported and strengthened.

As a basis of the Lahn-Taunus regional management activities, the IfLS elaborated an ‘Integrated Rural Development Concept’ (ILEK), followed by the creation of an overall concept (elaborated from September 2006 to December 2007) for the future development of the three associated municipalities of Bad Ems, Nassau and Katzenelnbogen. Together with regional actors, development projects to be implemented by the regional management team were prepared.

‘The Lahn is one of the Rhine’s most beautiful daughters’, according to the description used by the Lahn-Taunus tourism agency, attributing ‘lightness’ and ‘lust for life’ to the river. Correspondingly, the Lahn valley is a region popular with canoeists, cyclists and hikers. Also the Taunus low mountain range with its well-marked hiking trails offers rich opportunities of experiencing the Nassau nature park’s fauna and flora.

Accordingly, the development of rural tourism and adding value to natural and cultural potentials is one of the regional management’s central tasks. Projects aim, e.g., at the enhancement of hiking infrastructure, and at integrating cultural events with the marketing of regional products. Besides tourism, there are projects in three further focal fields, namely commercial facility management, quality of living and life as well as agriculture and forestry/renewable sources of energy.

Further project examples are:

  • Lahn-Taunus qualification programme (‘Qualifizierungsoffensive Lahn-Taunus’)
  • Cadastre of vacancies and unutilised land, including a corresponding agency
  • Establishment of a service agency: ‘Living worthwhile – young and old benefiting from one another’
  • Restoring of biotopes alongside tracks in four municipalities
  • Adapting the structure of viticulture along the Lahn river to future requirements
  • ‘School and renewable sources of energy’ information project.

In order to support the projects’ – and thus the regional overall concept’s – implementation, the Lahn-Taunus ILE region by contract commissioned the IfLS to fulfil regional management tasks. All activities are jointly agreed upon with the Westerwald Osteifel Rural Areas Service Centre (Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum Westerwald Osteifel – DLR) and the Directorate for Supervison and Service (Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion – ADD) located in Trier. Regional management tasks include the initiation of projects, preparing proposals for submission in cooperation with the responsible bodies (municipalities and/or private investors) as well as subsequently monitoring the projects’ implementation. The establishment of regional networks as well as a broad public relations and information work are vital components of a successful implementation of the regional management.

Link to the Integrated Rural Development Concept’s website


Project no.: 



Coordination | Events and participatory processes | Regional development |


Associated Municipalities of Bad Ems, Katzenelnbogen and Nassa

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


2008 - 2012

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von Kutzleben