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.


TeilraumgutachtenTerritorial subarea report

Subspace opinions are informal planning concepts for a manageable sub-space of a region (such as one or more counties) with the aim of problem-specific and solutions and strategies to develop or order of the sub-region to develop. They primarily are in the state and regional planning to apply.

Träger der RegionalplanungRegional planning authority

The organisation of regional planning is laid down by state spatial planning acts. There are two organisational models:
local and state regional planning. In states with local regional planning, municipalities and counties organise themselves in joint planning associations, which vary in name from state to state:

  • “(Regionaler) Planungsverband” (regional) planning association (Bavaria, Saxony, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania),
  • “Regionalverband” regional association (Baden-Württemberg),
  • “Regionale Planungsgemeinschaft ” regional planning community (Brandenburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt),
  • “Regionalrat” regional council (North Rhine-Westphalia),
  • “Regionalversammlung” regional assembly (Hessen).

The structure and composition of these bodies also differ. In states with state-level regional planning (Schleswig-Holstein, Saarland), the state spatial planning authorities, although responsible for regional planning, are required to involve local authorities and associations of local authorities in regional planning by means of a formal procedure. In Lower Saxony, the counties and county-free cities are responsible for regional planning authorities.

In Hessen and North Rhine-Westphalia, the planning regions coincide with administrative districts (Regierungsbezirke), and planning bodies make use of district administrative agencies. The influence local authorities or the state can exert on regional planning depends on the organisational form.