The glossary

Planning terms are often rooted in the administrative and planning culture of a particular country and cannot be straightforwardly translated.

The English-language glossary presented here is intended to offer a translation and elucidation of central terms in the German planning system to a non-German speaking readership in the interests of facilitating discourse.

Our intention is to ensure as much consistency as possible in the key terms used throughout this platform and the publications of the ARL that can be found here.

The definitions used are based on those found in the national glossary for Germany, which was elaborated in the framework of the BSR INTERREG III B project COMMIN.

Click here to perform a search based on the English term.

Hier können sie vom deutschen Begriff ausgehend suchen.


Cluster, räumlicheCluster, spatial

A cluster is a spatial concentration of small and large enterprises, research facilities, and other actors from the same or related sectors. A cluster encompasses upstream and downstream production and service activities as well as specialised infrastructure to support these activities. Such regional concentration can be theoretically justified in terms of agglomeration effects.

In regional policy, concepts for strengthening regional clusters (so-called cluster strategies) have become increasingly important. Underlying these concepts is the idea of identifying potential clusters on the basis of regional strengths and consolidating them through targeted promotion ("strengthening strengths") in order to enhance the region's attractiveness for commerce and industry and to bind existing firms to the region. Owing to the "Cooperation Networks and Cluster Management" scheme added to the joint programme "Improvement of Regional Economic Structures in January 2005, many states and regions in Germany now operate with cluster strategies.