The aging of communities, due to the migration of working citizens, the increasing loss of local suppliers, infrastructure facilities and identity as a result of unoccupied townand city centers and urban sprawl are accompanied by a loss of quality of life in rural municipalities. The instruments of "Gemeindeentwicklung" and "Dorfund Stadtentwicklung" in the federal state of Salzburg play an important role in solving these challenges. Municipalities, regions and district associations are funded and supported in the elaboration and the implementation of planning and social-cultural measures for long-term development. This is done in accordance with defined goals and priorities. In order to achieve these, the implementation of citizen participation is essential. The selected municipalities Krimml, Elixhausen, Saalfelden und Bischofshofen are characterised by very positive effects caused by the development process in cooperation with the “Gemeindeentwicklung Salzburg”. Due to the variety of initial situations, different approaches, priorities and projects could be observed in each municipality. Under special consideration of the analysis of these development processes in the selected municipalities, recommendations are deduced to strengthen the “Gemeindeentwicklung” and the “Dorfund Stadtentwicklung” in the federal province of Salzburg.