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.


Health in Spatial Planning (Raumplanung)

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  1. Key terms and definitions
  2. Tasks and objectives of spatial planning in promoting health
  3. Consequences for spatial planning
  4. Current topics of research – outlook and trends


Sabine Baumgart, Andrea Rüdiger

History of spatial planning

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  1. Development up to the First World War
  2. The 1920s
  3. Spatial planning in the National Socialist period
  4. The early post-war period (1945-1960)
  5. Spatial planning in the German Democratic Republic
  6. Spatial planning in der Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 1970s: planning optimism and crisis
  7. Spatial planning in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1980s: loss of significance and ecologisation
  8. Development since reunification
  9. Conclusions
Additional literature

Spatial planning as a political/administrative field of action was first institutionalised predominantly at the municipal level in the 1920s, and at the state level in the 1930s. A comprehensive multi-level system of spatial planning was created in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and adopted in the new states after reunification.

Hans Heinrich Blotevogel

History of urban planning

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  1. New planning conditions at the turn of the 19th century and the development of planning law
  2. Urban expansion and urban redevelopment in the 19th century
  3. Urban design reforms around 1900
  4. The Fordist social model and its effects on city planning
  5. Urban planning in the Weimar Republic
  6. Urban planning in the National Socialist period
  7. Urban expansion and urban redevelopment after 1945 in the Federal Republic of Germany
  8. Urban expansion and urban redevelopment in the German Democratic Republic

Additional literature

The history of urban planning in Germany begins in the 19th century and is characterised by the new social phenomenon of a divided creation of towns by private landowners and the local authority responsible for planning. Urban planning emerged against a background of technological and sociopolitical changes. The essential threads of urban expansion, urban redevelopment and the emergence of planning instruments will be outlined alongside central developmental phases chronologically up to 1990, emphasising the continuities and disruptions.

Hildegard Schröteler-von Brandt


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  1. Exploring the German term Wohnen (dwelling, housing)
  2. The ideal type of modern dwelling
  3. Postmodern transformations of living conditions
  4. The transformation of ways of life – consequences for urban dwelling and housing
Additional literature

Based on etymological understandings of the German term Wohnen (dwelling, housing), this article describes the ideal type of dwelling using five socio-historical development strands. Fundamental processes of the post-modern transformation of living conditions are interpreted in terms of their relevance for dwelling and housing today. Reurbanisation and multilocality are explained in depth as central factors influencing urban housing.

Christine Hannemann