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Federal Building Code

The Federal Building Code is the most important plank of urban development law. It contains four chapters:

  • Chapter One: General Urban Planning Law;
  • Chapter Two: Special Urban Planning Law;
  • Chapter Three: Other Provisions;
  • Chapter Four: Transitional and Concluding Provisions.

General urban planning law covers such areas as urban land-use planning, building permission, land reallocation, expropriation and compensation, infrastructure provision and servicing, and nature conservation. Special urban planning legislation is concerned principally with urban rehabilitation, urban development and redevelopment, the preservation of physical structures and the specific character of areas, and urbandevelopment enforcement orders. Other provisions deal with valuation,  ompetencies, administrative procedures and planning safeguards.

Federal Building Code

The Federal Building Code is the most important plank of urban development law. It contains four chapters:
• Chapter One: General Urban Planning Law;
• Chapter Two: Special Urban Planning Law;
• Chapter Three: Other Provisions;
• Chapter Four: Transitional and Concluding Provisions.

General urban planning law covers such areas as urban land-use planning, building permission, land reallocation, expropriation and compensation, infrastructure provision and servicing, and nature conservation. Special urban planning legislation is concerned principally with urban rehabilitation, urban development and redevelopment, the preservation of physical structures and the specific character of areas, and urbandevelopment enforcement orders. Other provisions deal with valuation,  ompetencies, administrative procedures and planning safeguards.

Federal Council

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the term Bund (“Federation“) is used to refer to central government as opposed to the component states (“Länder”). This division of government into federal and state levels is the result of the federal constitution of Germany. Although the states how their own governments, administrations, and courts, sovereignty at international law is vested solely in the federation.

The distribution of competencies and sovereign rights between the federation and the states is laid down by the Basic Law.
The most important constitutional organs at the federal level are the Bundesrat (Federal Council ), the Bundestag (Parliament), the Federal Chancellor, the Federal Government, and the Federal Constitutional Court.

The administrative institutions of the federation are the federal ministries (government departments) The ministry responsible for spatial planning is the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

Federal Land Utilisation Ordinance

Based on powers drawn from the German Federal Building Code, the Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Building and Urban Development has issued regulations concerning the land-use of land par-cels (Land-Use Ordinance) The Land-Use Ordinance consists mainly of provisions concerning the presentation and stipulation of the type and amount of land-use, building type and permitted building coverage of land parcels. It supplements the regulations of the German Federal Building Code about land-use planning and whether proposals are permissible. The Land-Use Ordinance stipulates, for instance, that the general type of land-use of areas intended for building coverage is to be indicated in the Zoning Plan as one of a number of categories:
1. Residential development land
2. Mixed development land
3. Commercial development land
4. Special purpose development land

In addition, it is possible use the Local Building and Construction Plan to indicate particular uses of land intended for building coverage:
1. Areas of small residential estates,
2. Residential-only areas,
3. General residential areas,
4. Special residential areas,
5. Village areas,
6. Mixed use areas,
7. Core areas,
8. Commercial areas,
9. Industrial areas,
10. Special use areas.

In addition to regulating land-use, the Land-Use Ordinance also regulates at the national level permissible building coverage measured by plot coverage ratio, floor area ratio, number of floors, and development height.

Federal level

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the term Bund (“Federation“) is used to refer to central government as opposed to the component states (“Länder”). This division of government into federal and state levels is the result of the federal constitution of Germany. Although the states how their own governments, administrations, and courts, sovereignty at international law is vested solely in the federation. The distribution of competencies and sovereign rights between the federation and the states is laid down by the Basic Law. The most important constitutional organs at the federal level are the Bundesrat (Federal Council), the Bundestag (Parliament), the Federal Chancellor, the Federal Government, and the Federal Constitutional Court. The administrative institutions of the federation are the federal ministries (government departments) The ministry responsible for spatial planning is the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

Federal Nature Conservation Act

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 andsections of landscapes under natural conditions. There are a number of legal sources for nature conservation law, the most important being EU law, which has adopted the Washington Convention on Endangered Species for European Union, the Federal Nature Conservation Act, and state nature conservation acts. In accordance with Article 75 of the Basic Law, the Federal Nature Conservation Act have to be filled out by state legislation. 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.

Federal Soil Protection Act

Soil conservation includes all activities for conserving and protecting soils and soil functions under the general heading of nature conservation and environmental protection. The soil, which has to be regarded as the basis for all life and as an integral component of the natural environment, is threatened by a multitude of factors, e.g. the extraction of raw materials, land take, surface sealing, compaction, erosion and contamination by harmful substances. Special care needs to be taken to give the soil the protection it requires. The Federal Soil Protection Act aims to provide long-term protection for soil functions, and to restore these functions where they have been impaired. The Act includes provides for

• the prevention of harmful changes to the soil,

• the remediation of soil and contaminated sites, and of consequently contaminated water, and

• precautionary measures to avert adverse impacts on soil.

Under the Act, soil polluters and landowners can be required to take preventive measures and remediate contaminated sites. The pertinent provisions determine the parties responsible for remediation, define the powers of the public authorities, and regulate remediation planning.

Federal spatial planning (Bundesraumordnung)

Since the federalism reform of 2006, the Basic Law assigns competence in spatial planning to the federal government in the context of concurrent legislation (formerly framework legislation). Federal law settles the fundamental issues of spatial planning; the states can derogate from the provisions adopted. Under the Federal Spatial Planning Act as currently amended, the federation is not limited to formal, organisational arrangements but can also lay down substantive spatial planning principles constituting the general, superordinate model for spatial development, planning, and protection of the national territory. An amended version of the Federal Spatial Planning Act is planned following changes in the distribution of competencies between the federal and state governments under the federalism reform. Over and above the Federal Spatial Planning Act, the federation has legislative and administrative powers in a number of other fields of relevance for spatial planning at the national level (e.g., spatially relevant sectoral planning).

Federal Spatial Planning Act

The Federal Spatial Planning Act is a federal act containing provisions on the conditions, functions, and guideline of spatial planning. Legislative competence is vested in the federation. The Federal Spatial Planning Act is divided into four parts: Part 1 contains all the general provisions which apply directly to spatial planning at the federal and state levels. They cover the function, guideline, and principles of spatial planning and definitions of key terms; they also establish the binding effect of spatial planning requirements. Part 2 assigns powers to the federation to pass framework legislation to guide spatial planning in the states, and, as well as setting out the rules to be observed in drawing up spatial structure plans, provides the instruments for securing spatial planning requirements. Being framework legislation, this part requires filling out by state law. Part 2 also establishes the power to issue ordinances. Part 3 regulates spatial planning at the federal level and introduces the duty of mutual notification and consultation between federal and state governments. Particular emphasis is given to the role played by federal-level spatial planning as the link between state spatial planning and EU planning. Part 4 covers the usual transitional and concluding provisions.

Federal state

The Federal Republic of Germany is composed of sixteen states (Länder, singular Land). The states are also commonly referred to as “Bundesländer” (“states of the federation”), although this term has no legal status. They are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia, and the three city-states Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg. The city-states are both cities and states, and are not subdivided into municipalities. Other subdivisions of states, often with administrative autonomy are districts (Regierungsbezirke), counties, associations of municipalities, and municipalities. In keeping with the federal principle of government, the sixteen states have their own constitutions and territories, independent state authority encompassing legislature, executive, and judiciary.

The states perform the governmental functions assigned to them by the Basic Law and the state constitutions. The focus is less on independent legislation than on administration and on participation in federal legislation, which state governments exercise through the Federal Council  Bundesrat). In the system of territorial units for statistical purposes (NUTS) developed by Eurostat for us in Europe, the 16 states of Germany are NUTS 1 entities.

Federal State Development Plans

State development plans outline the desired spatial and structural development for the territory of the state. The name given such plans varies from state to state. They are termed state development plan (Landesentwicklungsplan), state spatial planning programme (Landesraumordungsprogramm), state development programme (Landesentwicklungsprogramm), etc. Plans for subdivisions of states (regions) are referred to as regional spatial structure plans (regionaler Raumordungsplan) or regional plans (Regionalplan) (see regional plan).
Procedures for preparing spatial structure plans and their content differ widely from state to state. In 1998, the Federal Spatial Planning Act therefore laid down general rules for state development plans. For instance, they are required to address settlement and open-space structures and infrastructure, and sectoral planning in the fields of the environment, transport, and pollution control.

Federal state spatial planning

The legal framework for state spatial planning is set by the Federal Spatial Planning Act (ROG), with state-specific regulation being provided by state spatial planning acts. State spatial planning is carried out by the administrative authorities in the states. Its task is to prepare comprehensive, superordinate spatial structure plans in conformity with the principles of spatial planning and to coordinate the relevant planning and measures. State spatial planning thus involves both planning functions proper as well as coordination and safeguards. Legal instruments are available for both fields.

Federal state spatial planning acts

State spatial planning acts govern spatial planning within their own territories on the basis of the Federal Spatial Planning Act. All states – except the city-states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg – have enacted state spatial planning acts, however they differ in many aspects. Some states restrict the scope of legislation to organisational matters and instruments; others go beyond this minimum content to include substantive provisions in the form of spatial planning principles.

Federal state spatial planning authorithy

State spatial planning authorities are charged with the implementaion of spatial planning law. In all states the highest state spatial planning authority is the relevant ministry. The highest state spatial planning authorities of the states together with the federal ministry responsible for spatial planning constitute the standing Conference of Ministers for Spatial Planning (MKRO). The state spatial planning authorities prepare spatial structure plans for the state territory (termed either state development plan or programme). State spatial planning is governed by state spatial planning acts.

In addition to the highest state spatial planning authorities at government level in the states, there are regional and county planning authorities. In some states there are is a two-tier structure. Subordinate state spatial planning authorities have consultative and supervisory functions, as well as being required to inform and notify superior authorities. State spatial planning authorities also coordinate the work of various planning bodies, for example, in spatial planning procedures.

Federal State Spatial Planning Programme

State development plans outline the desired spatial and structural development for the territory of the state. The name given such plans varies from state to state. They are termed state development plan (Landesentwicklungsplan), state spatial planning programme (Landesraumordungsprogramm), state development programme (Landesentwicklungsprogramm), etc. Plans for subdivisions of states (regions) are referred to as regional spatial structure plans (regionaler Raumordungsplan) or regional plans (Regionalplan) (see regional plan).
Procedures for preparing spatial structure plans and their content differ widely from state to state. In 1998, the Federal Spatial Planning Act therefore laid down general rules for state development plans. For instance, they are required to address settlement and open-space structures and infrastructure, and sectoral planning in the fields of the environment, transport, and pollution control.

Fiscal 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.

Floor-space index

The main purpose of stipulating the density of built use or degree of building coverage is to stipulate the density of development and the construction height of physical structures, and the proportion of a development site which may be built on. The density of built use can be determined by including stipulations on

  • the site occupancy index or plot coverage rate,
  • the floor-space index or floor area,
  • the cubing ratio or building volume,
  • the number of full storeys
  • the height of physical structures.

The site occupancy index is the ratio of the actual surface area of a plot to permissible coverage. It is expressed as a simple ratio of built surface area to site area. This value makes it possible to calculate the proportion of the surface area of a development site which may be covered.

The floor-space index indicates the relationship between the total floor space of all of the storeys in a building and the size of the development site. The total floor space is calculated on the basis on the external dimensions of all full storeys; i.e., it includes external and internal walls and stairways, although exceptions are possible for certain types of physical structure and sections of buildings. The cubing ratio indicates the maximum volume of buildings per square metre of plot area. It is calculated on the basis of the external dimensions of buildings from the floor of the lowest full storey to the ceiling of the uppermost full storey. In respect of industrial, commercial and special-use areas, planning designations may be made without the need for details on the number of storeys. Depending on the building use category, the Land Utilisation Ordinance sets limits to the site occupancy index, floorspace index, and cubing ratio, which may for specific reasons be exceeded. When the degree of building coverage is set in a binding land-use plan, the site occupancy index or the proportion of the site to be covered by physical structures must always be stated; the number of full storeys and the height of construction need to be set if failure to do so might be detrimental to the public interest, and especially to the appearance of the locality or landscape.

Framework development plan

A framework development plan is an informal master plan intended to eliminate or mitigate potential conflicts through cooperative processes in the run-up to legally binding planning. In the planning hierarchy, the framework development plan comes between the urban land-use plans – the preparatory landuse plan (Flächennutzungsplan) and the binding land-use plan or binding land-use plan (Bebauungsplan). It specifies development goals for an urban area. It sets design, organisational, and use objectives that are, however, not legally binding. The early and comprehensive involvement of the parties affected by planning is sought to facilitate later implementation of the binding land-use plan and its integration in the urban development context. The framework development plan therefore provides a suitable framework and guidelines for flexible and citizen-focused planning. Moreover, the framework development plan helps higher public authorities in evaluating, supporting, and approving urban development planning and measures, and provides public agencies and investors with information about the intentions of the municipality.

Framework for Action in Spatial Planning Policy

A framework development plan is an informal master plan intended to eliminate or mitigate potential conflicts through cooperative processes in the run-up to legally binding planning. In the planning hierarchy, the framework development plan comes between the urban land-use plans – the preparatory landuse plan (Flächennutzungsplan) and the binding land-use plan or binding land-use plan (Bebauungsplan). It specifies development goals for an urban area. It sets design, organisational, and use objectives that are, however, not legally binding.

The early and comprehensive involvement of the parties affected by planning is sought to facilitate later implementation of the binding land-use plan and its integration in the urban development context. The framework development plan therefore provides a suitable framework and guidelines for flexible and citizen-focused planning. Moreover, the framework development plan helps higher public authorities in evaluating, supporting, and approving urban development planning and measures, and provides public agencies and investors with information about the intentions of the municipality.

Freeze on development

If a community has taken a decision on the establishment, modification, amendment or repeal of a development plan, it can to ensure the planning for the future planning area pursuant to § 14 Buliding Code decide to change lock. This prevents that in the period until the completion of the project development plan process or change is made in the plan area, hampering the implementation of municipal planning would prevent or intentions. The change lock is decided by the community as a statute (§ 16 para 1 Building Code). It occurs after two years in force, the municipality, the period of one year and - if particular circumstances require it - to extend for another year.

 

FTIP

Transport planning is a sectoral field of planning concerned with the causes of traffic, traffic and transport itself, and its effects. Transport is not an end in itself but a “subservient function.” The aims of transport planning is therefore to ensure that all regions are accessible thus enabling the entire population is enabled to participate in economic, societal, and cultural processes, and to avoid any traffic-related impairment of environment and the quality of life. Statutory objectives include the promotion of environmentally friendly modes of transport (public transport, cycling, pedestrian). Among the current challenges facing transport planning are continuing suburbanisation, separation of functions, and diminishing use density. Transport planning needs to integrated into overall spatial planning and coordinated with other sectoral planning. It takes place on all levels of planning, from the EU to the urban district level. In order to assess transport requirements and planning alternations, transport planners need comprehensive data.

Transport planning is the area of sectoral planning that attracts the greatest attention among the general public and politicians.
Coordinated, medium to longterm federal transport planning is laid down every 5 to 10 years in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan (FTIP). At the state level, public transport plans provide the basis for developing public transport.
Municipalities, regions, and states may draw up general transport plans (Generalverkehrsplan or Gesamtverkehrsplan) providing a strategy for dealing with all transport and traffic in the planning area. At the citywide level, transport development planning adopts a similarly comprehensive approach, albeit with greater regard for the social and environmental compatibility of urban transport and traffic.
The transport planning instruments used differ from project to project depending on their scale. They include thep lanning approval procedure and the urban land-use plan.

Funding

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.