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.


Federal spatial planning

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  1. Task
  2. Statutory basis
  3. Guiding principles and action plans in federal spatial planning
  4. Organisation and instruments
Additional literature

Federal spatial planning is part of an interlinked planning system between federal states and local authorities on the one hand and the European level on the other. It serves to harmonise the spatially-relevant planning and associated measures at these levels with each other and with the guidelines, purposes and principles of spatial planning. A key focal point of federal spatial planning is to formulate guiding principles and action plans for spatial development in collaboration with the federal states.

Manfred Sinz

Federal state planning, federal state development

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1 Clarification of the term
2 Development
3 Range of instruments
4 Substantive orientation

Additional literature

Federal state spatial planning, just like federal state development, means the spatial, cross-sectoral and supra-local coordination competence of a certain administrative area at the federal state level. According to the current understanding of their task, the federal states’ spatial planning role concerns the traditional function of the classic instruments as well as a new function for the ‘soft instruments’, which evolved at the procedural level. The classic instruments relate to spatial development plans at the federal state level and to the regional plans at the level of the ‘planning regions’.

Konrad Goppel


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1 Term and concept
2 Forms of federalism
3 Intergovernmental relationships
4 Federalism and democracy
5 Resolving conflicts between the federation and member states
Additional literature

Federalism combines national unity with territorial diversity. The forms of federalism, the division of competences and the cooperative relationships between the federation and member states reflect the balance between these two ideas. A distinction should be made between dual federalism, cooperative federalism and political integration. Federalism is an
expression of democratic rule.

Roland Sturm