Der Beitrag kommunaler Stadtplanung zur Steuerung der Bodennutzung : eine empirische Untersuchung zu Aufgaben und Arbeitsformen der Stadtplanung im Themenfeld Wohnen

  • The contribution of local town planning authorities to influence the use of the land : an empirical analysis of the tasks and working methods of town planning authorities in big German cities

Ehrbeck, Hanno; Selle, Klaus (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2006)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

In: PT_Materialien 13
Page(s)/Article-Nr.: 266 S. : Ill., Kt.

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2006


The development of town planning is being intensively discussed in German planning literature. Numerous studies produced results, which are often only loosely connected. Whether these findings are representative of how planning as a whole develops or only reflect the specific working context of these studies, remains unclear. Therefore, this dissertation aims at consolidating the knowledge of town planning in practice. In 14 big cities the influence of town planners on how the land may be used in areas with residential functions is described and analysed. Central hypotheses developed in contemporary literature of planning are compared with the planning practice in these cities. Several articles in planning literature are discussing a shrinking influence of plannings’ legal instruments. Different authors give as a reason that laws have changed, that planners give up using certain instruments or that new tasks evolved. Other authors point at the continuing development of planning law. The case studies show the broad use of plannings’ legal instruments in practice. At the same time, the study reveals the difficulties of evaluating the assertiveness of planning authorities. Another hypothesis found in contemporary literature of planning describes a shrinking financial influence of town planning authorities as a result of a financial crisis of local authorities in Germany. At the same time, the efficiency of using the financial resources is being controversially discussed. The case studies do not confirm the thesis that planners influence is diminuating due to reduced financial funds. The decline of available financial resources differs in various cities. At the same time, planning authorities try to find new financial sources for their work and develop new working methods and administrative structures to be more efficient. One hypothesis in planning literature assumes that cooperative methods are increasing. The case studies show a multitude of different forms of cooperation and closely analyses cooperation between planning authorities and private developers. The study shows that new legal instruments allow both planning authorities and private developers to expand their influence on areas formerly decided unilaterally by one of both parties. At the same time, the study reveals that negotiations take place even without legally binding agreements. Closely connected to this discussion is another hypothesis, which describes a growing number of informal plans. These informal plans are either seen as a substitute or an addition to formal plans. The case studies illustrate the extensive use of informal plans in planning practice. At the same time it becomes clear, that these plans are mostly an addition to formal plans, although some shifts in function between formal and informal plans become visible. The study also discusses the hypothesis, that planning practice is putting more emphasis on the realisation of plans than it did in the past. The case studies show that there is a widespread practice of influencing the realisation of plans. Besides some new legal instruments, the influence is mainly achieved through public companies and through economic intervention in the land property market. Planning literature also often describes a development, in which planning no longer deals with the whole area of a city. The case studies show, that a reduction of plans for the whole city is not to be found. There is also no evidence to prove that financial resources and attention are more and more concentrated on certain points of the city. The dissertation shows the practice of town planning in several cities and confirms some hypothesis, proves some hypothesis wrong and puts others into perspective. Finally, some questions, which could not be answered in this study, are summed up.