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.

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F

FachplanungSectoral planning

Sectoral planning is the systematic preparation and execution of measures within one specific sector of public policy by the competent sectoral authority (federal or state ministry, local sectoral authorities or other bodies governed by public law). Sectoral planning is deemed to be spatially relevant when it directly or indirectly influences the development of spatial structures. Planning in the transport, energy, environmental, waste management, and water management sectors has a major impact on space, and is concerned particularly with public infrastructure projects (including roads, canals, airports, power lines, sewage plants, fortifications). Some sectoral planning also provides for the designation of protected areas to safeguard public interests. Particularly concerned are nature reserves, landscape and water conservation areas, restricted areas for military facilities, and building protection areas in the vicinity of airports and airfields. A legal basis has been created for each of these types of sectoral planning (e.g. Federal Highways Act, Federal Nature Conservation Act, the Federal Water Act), laying down the tasks and competencies of each authority and regulating planning approval procedure. The relevant legislation contains what are referred to as “spatial planning clauses” included with the purpose of safeguarding the requirements of federal and state spatial planning. The coordination of state and regional planning is indispensable, since sectoral planning generally goes beyond the territory of a single local authority, so that urban development planning can exert only limit influence.

Fachplanungen, raumwirksameFederal and state sectoral planning legislation

Sectoral planning is the systematic preparation and execution of measures within one specific sector of public policy by the competent sectoral authority (federal or state ministry, local sectoral authorities or other bodies governed by public law). Sectoral planning is deemed to be spatially relevant when it directly or indirectly influences the development of spatial structures. Planning in the transport, energy, environmental, waste management, and water management sectors has a major impact on space, and is concerned particularly with public infrastructure projects (including roads, canals, airports, power lines, sewage plants, fortifications). Some sectoral planning also provides for the designation of protected areas to safeguard public interests. Particularly concerned are nature reserves, landscape and water conservation areas, restricted areas for military facilities, and building protection areas in the vicinity of airports and airfields. A legal basis has been created for each of these types of sectoral planning (e.g. Federal Highways Act, Federal Nature Conservation Act, the Federal Water Act), laying down the tasks and competencies of each authority and regulating planning approval procedure. The relevant legislation contains what are referred to as “spatial planning clauses” included with the purpose of safeguarding the requirements of federal and state spatial planning. The coordination of state and regional planning is indispensable, since sectoral planning generally goes beyond the territory of a single local authority, so that urban development planning can exert only limit influence.

FinanzausgleichFiscal equalisation

The fiscal equalisation system regulates the distribution of expenditure and revenues between the various levels of the hierarchy of a federal state with its territorial authorities (federation, states, local authorities). The equalisation process corrects the “regular” distribution of funds. A distinction is made between horizontal equalisation, which regulates the distribution between territorial units of the same status (e.g., among states and among local authorities), and vertical equalisation, which regulates distribution between the various levels of government (e.g., between federal and state governments). The fiscal equalisation system was introduced as a means of achieving the constitutional goal of creating equivalent living conditions throughout the country.

FlächenmanagementLand management

Land management is the term generally given to the combination of governmental and consensual tools for ensuring that land is used in a manner that conserves resources and satisfying needs. Land management seeks to combine these tools into an integrated planning process in the pursuit of a sustainable land-use and settlement policy. Adequate building land is made available to meet needs, while the development of hitherto open spaces is reduced. In view of progressive land take in one place while large areas fall vacant elsewhere, a frugal use needs to be made of land at all levels of spatial planning (“land-resource policy”).
In its National Sustainability Strategy, the federal government calls for the reduction of land take for settlement and transport purposes. At the state and local government levels, information systems (registers) are to be developed as a substantive prerequisite for careful and frugal land management.

One aim of land management is to establish a closed cycle system, a cyclical process of planning, use, discontinuation of use, vacancy, and re-use. A key substrategy is land recycling, finding new uses for sites that are no longer or not optimally used. The inner development of a community is thus given priority over outer development, limiting settlement sprawl.

FlächennutzungsplanPreparatory land-use plan

View in Compendium

In the wording of the Federal Building Code: “The preparatory land-use plan shall represent in basic form the types of land uses envisaged for the entire municipal territory in accordance with the intended urban development which is proposed to correspond to the anticipated needs of the municipality.” The preparatory land-use plan thus sets out the municipality’s proposals for future land use and makes preliminary representations on the use of plots within the municipal territory for built development or for other uses. Preparatory land-use plans identify, for example, general land-use areas (Bauflächen) and specific land-use areas (Baugebiete) (cf. Land Utilisation Ordinance); land for public amenities, green spaces, agricultural and woodland areas. The preparatory land-use plan is binding only on the municipality: although it obliges the municipality to implement the plan as adopted, it does not have any direct legal effects vis-à-vis the general public. For sections of the municipal territory it can be filled in by means of binding land-use plans which are binding on everyone.

Special types of preparatory land-use plan are the partial, joint, regional preparatory land-use plans. The substantive preparatory land-use plan allows the municipality to concentrate privileged development projects (cf. outer zone) in specific locations, with the exception of agricultural and forestry operations. The designation of concentration zones in the preparatory landuse plan is similar to the “suitable development area” model in the spatial structure plan.
Contiguous municipalities may and ought to prepare a joint preparatory land-use plan if their development is largely subject to common conditions and requirements, or where a joint preparatory land-use plan would facilitate an equitable balance between their various concerns. The plan can be repealed, amended, or supplemented by the participating municipalities only jointly.
A regional preparatory landuse plan also function as a regional plan and a joint preparatory land-use plan for the participating local authorities. The Federal Spatial Planning Act empowers states to prepare and introduce regional preparatory land-use plans in conurbations or where the spatial structure of the region is characterised by other interdependencies. It must conform with the procedurala nd substantive requirements of both the Federal Building Code and the relevant state spatial planning act. This new type of plan dispenses with one level of planning by combining regional planning and municipal preparatory urban land-use planning.

FlächenrecyclingLand recycling

Land management is the term generally given to the combination of governmental and consensual tools for ensuring that land is used in a manner that conserves resources and satisfying needs. Land management seeks to combine these tools into an integrated planning process in the pursuit of a sustainable land-use and settlement policy. Adequate building land is made available to meet needs, while the development of hitherto open spaces is reduced. In view of progressive land take in one place while large areas fall vacant elsewhere, a frugal use needs to be made of land at all levels of spatial planning (“land-resource policy”). In its National Sustainability Strategy, the federal government calls for the reduction of land take for settlement and transport purposes. At the state and local government levels, information systems (registers) are to be developed as asubstantive prerequisite for careful and frugal land management.

One aim of land management is to establish a closed cycle system, a cyclical process of planning, use, discontinuation of use, vacancy, and re-use. A key substrategy is land recycling, finding new uses for sites that are no longer or not optimally used. The inner development of a community is thus given priority over outer development, limiting settlement sprawl.

FlurbereinigungLand consolidation

The purpose of realigning or replotting agricultural land holdings is to promote efficient agriculture and forestry by assembling economically viable units of land where the land in single ownership may be dispersed and thus not conducive to efficient management. The realignment (or consolidation) process includes all the measures needed to improve the basic conditions for economic operations, to reduce unnecessary labour, and to facilitate economic activity (e.g. by laying out paths, tracks and ditches).
In the course of time, the original purpose of realigning agricultural land holdings has been reappraised and modified. Realignment is today seen as an integral means of re-ordering plot boundaries in rural areas and has an impact on planning and for the general concept of land reallocation which extend well beyond the agricultural sector. Nowadays, realignment may be undertaken for purposes of landscape conservation and nature protection, flood protection and village regeneration.

FlurbereinigungsgesetzLand Consolidation Act

Sectoral planning with a significant impact on space and thus on spatial planning is governed by distinct legislation. The most important
federal planning acts include the following:

Transport and communication

  • General Railway Act
  • Federal Highways Act
  • Federal Waterways Act
  • Federal Air Traffic Act
  • Passenger Transport Act
  • Telegraph Routes Act;

Utilities

  • Energy Industry Act
  • Waste Avoidance, Recovery and Disposal Act
  • Federal Mining Act
  • Federal Water Act;

Environment and nature conservation

  • Federal Soil Protection Act
  • Federal Immission Control Act
  • Federal Nature Conservation Act
  • Federals Forest Act;

Agriculture

  • Land Consolidation Act
  • Act on the Joint Task

“Improvement of Agrarian Structure and Coastal Preservation”
Federal sectoral planning acts are often concretised by state legislation, for instance state nature conservation acts and state highway legislation.

FörderprogrammDevelopment programme

A development programme is a public sector measure for the financial support of specific projects. There are numerous development programmes in a wide range of areas. A distinction can be made in spatial planning between support for urban areas and regional aid. There are not only EU development programmes but also federal, state, and joint federal/state programmes. EU programmes include URBAN/URBAN II (aid for neighbourhoods in crisis) and the EFRE structural fund (European Fund for Regional Development: for the development of disadvantaged regions) and ESF (European Social Fund). The federal government and state governments provide assistance under the joint programme “Improvement of Regional Economic Structures” and through urban development promotion. State government aid includes local investment funds and the promotion of infrastructure. The federal/state Reconstruction Loan Corporation (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – KfW) provides aid in many areas including the development of local infrastructure and housing modernisation.