The Compendium of Urban and Regional Development

The Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (formerly known as The Academy for Spatial Research and Planning) (ARL) has been publishing the Handwörterbuch der Stadt- und Raumentwicklung for over five decades.

It is directed at interested academics and practitioners. A selection of English language articles can be downloaded here for free.

Looking for an article that is not yet available in English? Email us and let us know which article you would like to have translated!

The German versions of all articles are available here.


Ecosystem services

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1 Meaning of the term
2 The concept and a brief historical overview
3 Spatial contexts

Ecosystem services has become established as a concept encompassing the services nature provides for the benefit of humans. On the basis of this concept, ecological services (cost-free benefits from nature) should be better integrated in decision-making processes to ensure sustainable land use.

Karsten Grunewald, Olaf Bastian

Energy policy

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1 Introduction
2 Energy policy goals
3 Energy policy instruments
Additional literature

The three fundamental goals of energy policy are known as the policy triangle: security of supply, economic efficiency and environmental protection. To ensure economic efficiency, a well-functioning competitive market is essential, whereas the networks require state regulation. As for environmental protection, CO2 emissions trading can work against the promotion of renewable energies, and it is also important to weigh these interests against local landscape and nature conservation concerns.

Christoph Weber

Environmental planning

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1 Definition and categories of environmental planning
2 Guidelines, objectives and regulations of environmental policy and environmental law
3 Sectoral environmental planning
4 Spatial planning with integrated environmental planning
5 Integrative environmental planning
6 Environmental planning and environmental assessments

Environmental planning involves formulating environmental policy requirements such as immission control or nature conservation in strategies or programmes and laying these out in concrete terms in the sectoral environmental plans of the federal states, regions and municipalities in accordance with planning and environmental law, as well as integrating them into spatial planning.

Christian Jacoby

Equivalence of living conditions

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  1. General explanation and discussion of the term
  2. Historical development and current significance
  3. Justifications for interregional redistribution
  4. Costs of interregional redistribution
  5. Putting the equivalence of living conditions into concrete terms
  6. Political strategies and instruments for creating equivalence of living conditions
  7. Conclusions and outlook
Additional literature

‘Equivalence of living conditions’ aims to improve the social and economic situation in disadvantaged regions until a minimum level is reached. In determining the level and the required government measures, potential negative effects and social changes, such as demographic change, must be considered.

Martin T. W. Rosenfeld

European city

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  1. Definitions
  2. The European city as a guiding principle
  3. Intellectual traditions and discourse
  4. Attributions of diverse characteristics
  5. The future viability of the European city
Additional literature

Different cultures, religions, systems of government, ethnicities, economies, planning systems and projects have paved the way for the development of various city characters in Europe. Social change has transformed cities again and again and resulted in the vestiges, upheavals and overlaps that characterise European cities today. Cities thus reflect the respective political, legal and administrative situations and long historical processes. The European city cannot be clearly defined.

Dirk Schubert

European regional policy

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1 What is European regional policy?
2 EU regional policy in the context of European integration
3 Principles and phases of implementation
4 EU regional policy in the 2014-2020 programming period
5 Objectives of EU regional policy
6 Spatial developments and EU regional policy
Additional literature

The European Union has a comprehensive regional policy, and the associated measures cover the whole territory of the EU, albeit to a differing degree. EU regional policy is closely linked to the process of European integration, and aims to shape the impact of this process on spatial economic development. Its main objective is to help poor countries and regions catch up with their more prosperous counterparts. In addition, its purpose is to contribute to achieving economic growth and other macroeconomic goals of the EU.

Konrad Lammers

European spatial development policy

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  1. Definition and demarcation: What is European spatial development policy?
  2. Cooperation between EU member states in the field of spatial development
  3. Instruments of European spatial development policy
  4. European urban development policy
  5. Summary
Additional literature

As part of the European spatial development policy, the ministers of the EU member states responsible for spatial development coordinate spatially relevant decisions with each other and with the European Commission. They agree on strategic papers, cooperate with sectoral policies, are supported by research and implement elements of their policies in European cooperation programmes.

Karl Peter Schön

European Union

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  1. Introduction
  2. Structure of the EU
  3. EU institutions
  4. The policymaking process of the European Union
Additional literature

The European Union plays an important role in the European integration process. The European Commission is responsible for submitting legislative proposals and overseeing the single market. Laws are adopted jointly by Parliament and the Council in a process involving close cooperation with stakeholders from society and sometimes with regional and local governments too.

Thomas Conzelmann