As I was not overly productive today, let me bother you with some more images from Saturday’s trip to Linz, and to be precise, more images from Eisenerz.
Now we are where the meat is, or actually where it should be, and that’s already the problem.
All four images were taken at a place in the center called “Bergmannsplatz” (“Miner’s Square”), looking in different directions.
Eisenerz is really a beautiful, picturesque town, no doubt about it, but when you’re there, when you stand in that square, it is completely empty. And it’s not only that we see no people, there are no shops either.
At one corner not shown here, there was a branch office of a big insurance company, closed now. There are some cafés and restaurants, but they are either closed or seem deserted.
That’s what happens when people leave. Seemingly you can’t do much about it. Tourism is probably hampered by the fact that Eisenerz is far off any other attractions. The next city, Leoben, struggles with the decline of the industry in the region as well, and although there is still mining on Erzberg, the processes today need far less workers than they did even only 50 years ago.
People go where the work is, and seemingly Eisenerz failed to attract any new opportunities. It’s a wonder that the town is still beautiful as it is, even though I suppose that much money from the EU has been spent here, ultimately I can’t see how further decline could be held back. And that’s really a shame.
Well, actually that’s not true. I can see what could be done. I think Eisenerz is not only beautiful, it could also be a nice place to live. You only need people there, and that means you need work.
If I were in charge, I would do two things: I would found a technical school for software engineering in this place, and I would make it very attractive for software companies to invest here. How much would it cost? You need first class internet connections, you need to subsidize the school and the workplaces (but that’s something that’s obviously done anyway, only directed at tourism, and that won’t work), and you need a long breath.
In five years we could expect first results, a turning point, and with new people, with new work, the place would become attractive for shops and other infrastructure again. In the end, in ten or twenty years, this town could bustle with life, and it would well deserve it.
The Song of the Day is one more time “Pieces Of A Past Life”, by “The Postmen” from Geneva, Switzerland. Hear them on Jamendo.