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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Nachhaltige EntwicklungSustainable development

In conceptual terms, the principle of (ecological) sustainability in both the Federal Nature Conservation Act and the Federal Forestry Act means that natural resources should be used and managed only in a manner which leaves the capacity of ecosystems undepleted for future generations. Since the 1992 environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro, the principle has often been linked with the concept of “development.” The expansion of the sustainability concept to one of “sustainable development” is directed in more general terms towards balanced development (taking equal account of economic, social, and environmental aspects) and towards longterm development in all areas of life (thus conserving resources). The Federal Spatial Planning Act sees sustainable spatial development as the key guideline and substantive vision for spatial planning in Germany. The social and economic demands made on an area and its ecological functions are to be harmonised so as to establish sustainable, comprehensive order throughout the area in question.

NachhaltigkeitSustainability

View in Compendium

In conceptual terms, the principle of (ecological) sustainability in both the Federal Nature Conservation Act and the Federal Forestry Act means that natural resources should be used and managed only in a manner which leaves the capacity of ecosystems undepleted for future generations. Since the 1992 environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro, the principle has often been linked with the concept of “development.” The expansion of the sustainability concept to one of “sustainable development” is directed in more general terms towards balanced development (taking equal account of economic, social, and environmental aspects) and towards long-term development in all areas of life (thus conserving resources). The Federal Spatial Planning Act sees sustainable spatial development as the key guideline and substantive vision for spatial planning in Germany. The social and economic demands made on an area and its ecological functions are to be harmonised so as to establish sustainable, comprehensive order throughout the area in question.

NaturschutzNature conservation

Nature conservation covers the whole range of measures to conserve and foster wild species of fauna and flora, their biotic communities and natural resources and to safeguard landscapes and sections of landscapes under natural conditions. There are a number of legal sources for nature conservation law, the most important being EU law, which has adapted the Washington Convention on Endangered Species for European Union, the Federal Nature Conservation Act, and state nature conservation acts. The Federal Nature Conservation Act have to be filled out by state legislation.

The states have to implement the framework provisions in state nature conservation law, in which they enjoy a certain discretionary scope. The Federal Nature Conservation Act applies directly only in exceptional cases, e.g. for the purposes of species conservation, in enforcing the EU Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna and with respect to administrative and penal provisions. The Federal Nature Conservation Act defines the task of nature conservation and landscape management as to conserve, manage, develop nature and landscape both inside and outside the areas of human settlement in order to safeguard on a lasting basis the functioning of the ecosystem, the sustained availability of natural resources for human use, fauna and flora, and the diversity, characteristic features and beauty of nature and landscapes as resources for human life and for human recreation. This is also the function of protected areas that can be established pursuant to the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

The most important categories of protected area are nature conservation areas, national parks, biosphere reserves, landscape conservation areas, and nature parks. They may overlap or even coincide. There are also natural monuments and protected components of landscapes. These are isolated or very restricted protected areas to individual creations of nature or elements of particular importance for the ecosystem and for enlivening and structuring the landscape.

NaturschutzrechtNature conservation law

Nature conservation covers the whole range of measures to conserve and foster wild species of fauna and flora, their biotic communities and natural resources and to safeguard landscapes and sections of landscapes under natural conditions. There are a number of legal sources for nature conservation law, the most important being EU law, which has adapted the Washington Convention on Endangered Species for European Union, the Federal Nature Conservation Act, and state nature conservation acts. The Federal Nature Conservation Act have to be filled out by state legislation.

The states have to implement the framework provisions in state nature conservation law, in which they enjoy a certain discretionary scope. The Federal Nature Conservation Act applies directly only in exceptional cases, e.g. for the purposes of species conservation, in enforcing the EU Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna and with respect to administrative and penal provisions. The Federal Nature Conservation Act defines the task of nature conservation and landscape management as to conserve, manage, develop nature and landscape both inside and outside the areas of human settlement in order to safeguard on a lasting basis the functioning of the ecosystem, the sustained availability of natural resources for human use, fauna and flora, and the diversity, characteristic features and beauty of nature and landscapes as resources for human life and for human recreation. This is also the function of protected areas that can be established pursuant to the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

The most important categories of protected area are nature conservation areas, national parks, biosphere reserves, landscape conservation areas, and nature parks. They may overlap or even coincide. There are also natural monuments and protected components of landscapes. These are isolated or very restricted protected areas to individual creations of nature or elements of particular importance for the ecosystem and for enlivening and structuring the landscape.

NormenkontrollverfahrenJudicial review proceedings

Judicial review proceedings are undertaken by the courts on request. A distinction is made between abstract judicial review, in which the validity of a law is examined independent from concrete cases, and concrete judicial review in which the court rules on the validity of the norm in examining the case at hand.
Judicial review addresses not only issues of material appropriateness but also compliance with superordinate laws and regulations. The plaintiff is entitled to take action only if directly affected. Private persons cannot therefore take legal action against spatial structure plans, since such plans cannot infringe individual rights under public law because, unlike binding land-use plans, they do not involve any direct reorganisation of land holdings. Potential plaintiffs are territorial authorities like municipalities, because they are bound by spatial structure planning. Judicial review proceedings are undertaken by the courts on request. A distinction is made between abstract judicial review, in which the validity of a law is examined independent from concrete cases, and concrete judicial review in which the court rules on the validity of the norm in examining the case at hand.