The Romanian mayor of German Gorlitz launches campaign to revive the city and lure residents

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Remember the performance of Octavian Ursu, the Romanian emigrated in Germany in 1990 who became the mayor of Gorlitz?

Two year after he had been elected, Ursu has come up with a novel idea of reviving the city that is facing a dark reality despite its picturesque look: it has Germany’s lowest wages and one of the country’s highest shares of far-right voters.

So, mayor Octavian Ursu has announced the municipality is providing “free lodging and studio space in exchange for feedback on what potential residents want from a city”, in an attempt to lure residents and to boost the local labour market.

The pattern is not new, it has been already implemented by other cities worldwide, such as Detroit, Tulsa, Oklahoma or towns in Italy and Greece.

Mayor Octavian Ursu, aged 51 has emigrated from Romania to Germany in 1990 and he is been living for 30 years now in Gorlitz, where famous movies were shot, “Inglourious Basterds” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”.

The city of Gorlitz is now trying to fill those 7,000 empty apartments left behind by the residents who relocated to other regions for higher salaries. So far, over 150 people have moved to Gorlitz, with four of them announcing they want to stay on a permanent basis.

Read the full report here.

Görlitz is a town in eastern Germany, on the Polish border. It’s known for its well-preserved old town, where buildings of different eras show off a wealth of architectural styles. St. Peter’s is a late-Gothic church, with 2 steeples and the early-18th-century Sun Organ. The early-Renaissance Schönhof and adjacent buildings are home to the Silesian Museum, displaying German, Polish and Czech art and history.

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