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.



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  1. Historical development of the village
  2. Forms of villages
  3. Structural change
  4. Essential characteristics of the village
  5. Spatial category
  6. Current problems and outlook
Additional literature

Villages are not homogenous settlement, economic and social areas. Their diversity reflects different spatial, social and economic realities which are influenced by demographic factors (growing and shrinking villages). The main structural features include the influence of agriculture, the unity of the civil and economic community, the direct connection with the natural environment and landscape as well as the limited number of inhabitants and population density.

Hildegard Schröteler-von Brandt

Village development

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  1. Village development as a concept
  2. Trends in village development
  3. Stakeholders in village development
  4. Steering and supporting village development
  5. Village development in the future
Additional literature

Economic and demographic circumstances as well as the momentum of local stakeholders bring about change processes in smaller settlement units. Various funding programmes, planning and implementation instruments aim to support sustainable village development.

Anne Ritzinger