Informal planning

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  1. Definition and classification
  2. An overview of the approaches, instruments and formats of informal planning
  3. Informal planning within spatial planning and regional development
  4. Informal planning in urban and neighbourhood development
  5. The possibilities and limits of informal planning
  6. Conclusions


Informal planning comprises processes and instruments of spatial planning that are not legally formalised, standardised or directly legally binding and which are characterised by a high degree of flexibility, adaptability and transparency. These include the information framework, guiding principles and strategies, approaches to communication and cooperation as well as formats for steering spatial development through planning.

Rainer Danielzyk, Martin Sondermann


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  1. Clarification of the term
  2. Development of the infrastructure debate in Germany
  3. Infrastructure and spatial planning
  4. Outlook: trends and challenges
Additional literature

The German infrastructure debate is shaped by economic perspectives and often neglects the specific features of the two subareas of social infrastructure and technical infrastructure as well as coordination problems both between the various divisions of infrastructure planning and with comprehensive spatial planning. Given the current challenges, the scientific and planning approaches to infrastructure development should be critically examined.

Martin Schmidt, Jochen Monstadt

Inner development

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  1. The term and its genesis
  2. Inner development in planning law
  3. Inner development in planning practice
  4. Outlook for inner development

Inner development refers to both a guiding principle of spatial and urban development and to a planning strategy. The principle of ‘inner development before outer development’ is presently largely uncontested from a technical perspective due to its economic, ecological and urban benefits, even though it does entail conflicting objectives. Its implementation requires active, strategic land management.

Stephan Reiß-Schmidt

Instruments of spatial planning (Raumplanung)

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  1. Clarification of the term
  2. Classification of instruments of spatial planning
  3. Formal vs informal instruments – the changing understanding of planning and recent innovations in instruments
  4. Auditing instruments of spatial planning – a neglected undertaking
  5. Outlook
Additional literature

This article will first define the term instruments by distinguishing it from other, closely related spatial planning terms. This will be followed by a classification of the instruments of spatial planning. The article will then provide a detailed discussion of the recent innovations that have been made with regard to the instruments of spatial planning. Lastly, it will address the issue of auditing the instruments of spatial planning and take a look at future prospects.

Christian Diller

Integration, social and ethnic

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  1. Introduction
  2. Conceptual approaches to integration
  3. The places of integration
  4. Integration via the labour market, the housing market, education, and participation
Additional literature

‘Integration’ is a collective term indicating the position of the individual or a group of individuals – normally a minority – in relation to a spatial, social, economic, political, or cultural whole. There is no uniform definition. This term is usually used in differentiation from other terms, and emphasises either the process by which an integrity is to be achieved or the result of this process.

Felicitas Hillmann