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The uniqueness of the Academy (ARL) has stemmed since 1946 from close voluntary cooperation between researchers in the spatial and planning sciences and practitioners of spatial planning and development.
Joint, cross- and transdisciplinary cooperation in working groups and projects brings together the knowledge of both academia and practice. During the first decades of its existence the ARL focused primarily on German spatial planning and development.
Since the early 1990s this focus has broadened out to engage with the EU and increasing globalisation.