U

Umbrella association

Associations of local authorities in Germany are voluntary groupings of territorial authorities created for the purpose of representing common interests. The following such umbrella organisations exist:
• the Deutsche Städtetag (German Association of Cities and Towns) for larger cities;
• The Deutsche Landkreistag (German County Association)
• The Deutsche Städt- und Gemeindebund (German Association of Towns and Municipalities), for smaller towns and municipalities.

Urban and regional marketing

The terms urban or city marketing and regional marketing (sometimes referred to together as planning marketing) denotes a new strategy under which the marketing approach typical in the commercial sector – and with it the associated methods of corporate management – is applied to regional planning and to local authority planning and planning policy. It makes use of marketing tools like market analysis, marketing strategies, and the orientation of products and services on current and future demand. Characteristic features of this approach include thinking in terms of “target groups”, and “customer orientation”, the “customers” here being citizens, businesses, professional associations etc., i.e. the addressees of public planning policy. In local-authority planning and planning policy, municipalities turn to urban marketing in their
endeavour to gain a competitive edge over other municipalities. As far as regions are concerned, regional marketing involves business attraction, umbrella marketing for already established firms, and for territorial authorities in connection with tourism.

Regional marketing is thus more difficult and limited in scope than city marketing, since competing interests within the region have to be reduced to a common denominator and marketed externally as a whole.

Urban and spatial development

“Raumordnung” (translated in the glossary as “spatial planning”), “Raumentwicklung” (spatial development), and “Raumplanung” (also literally spatial planning) are closely related concepts denoting deliberate human intervention in the development of an area (or “space”). The traditional term “Raumordnung” refers to the comprehensive, supra-local and superordinate tier of planning the structure and development of space. The attribute “comprehensive” emphasises the function of coordinating and harmonising those elements of the various types of sectoral planning which have spatial impacts.

“Supra-local” indicates that the territory affected by this tier of planning extends beyond the boundaries and jurisdictions of local authorities. The “superordinate” character of spatial planning is a reflection of the power of central government to play an allembracing and co-ordinating role with regard to planning by virtue of its sovereign powers for the entire national territory. As a consequence, all public planning authorities are subject to government authority and are thus bound by state spatial planning. “Raumentwicklung,” translated as “spatial development” has for some time now been used in place of "Raumordnung" (e.g., European Spatial Development Concept). The more strongly formative, dynamic nature of the development concept is intended to underline that more than an “ordering” function is involved. In general usage, the term “Raumplanung,” also translated as spatial planning, refers quite broadly to the various actions taken within a particular territory with thepurpose of affecting or influencing the spatialdevelopment of the community, of industry and commerce, and of the natural, built and social environment.

From the point of view of German planning law and administration, “Raumplanung” is the cover term which embraces three tiers of suprasectoral planning: federal spatial planning ([Bundes- ]Raumordnung); state spatial planning (Landesplanung), which includes regional planning (Regionalplanung); and urban land-use planning (Bauleitplanung). Taken together, these three planning tiers constitute a coherent spatial planning system. The supra-sectoral and coordinating remit which is a central aspect of the planning system means that “Raumplanung” has to be seen as legally, organisationally and materially distinct from spatially relevant sectoral planning.

Urban borough

The term “Stadteil” refers to a subdivision of a town or city. A number of meanings can be distinguished. In the narrower, administrative sense, “Stadtteil” or “Ortsteil” refers to a district officially designated by the municipality with a name of its own. In many cases the area in question was formerly an independent municipality that has become part of the present municipality by annexation or merger. In many states, representative assemblies can be elected in districts. Furthermore, a district can constitute a planning or statistical spatial unit. In some states in Germany, districts in large cities are integrated into “Stadtbezirke,” superordinate districts which general have a district assembly and administration. Depending on the local government constitution of each state, the powers vested in districts differ considerably.

“Quartier,” “Stadtviertel,” and “Kiez,” in contrast, are informal terms for limited, spatially and socially coherent urban areas best described in English as “neighbourhoods.” Their boundaries are flexible, depending as they do on the perception of residents, and do not correspond to official district boundaries. Such areas defined more in terms of functional criteria are the areas of application for local development promotion programmes such as the “Socially Integrative City” and neighbourhood management.

Urban design

Urban or town planning is control of the development of land allocation and distribution, land use, locational distribution, built development, provision of local public infrastructure, and the use of open spaces in the city, as well as the targeted coordination of the various private and public building activities and demand for use within the municipal territory. The purpose of urban planning is to secure and develop the quality of local living and working conditions in their social, economic dimensions, with respect to the built environment, and to cultural and ecological considerations, and it thus a key task of local self-government.

The term urban or town planning clearly subsumes a number of other planning categories, e.g., urban landuse planning, urban rehabilitation, and urban development planning. It should, however, be added that there is no definitive legal definition of the German term “Stadtplanung” (urban or town planning). It is often used synonymously with “Städtebau,” also usually translated as “urban planning”.
(Summary from Sander (s.a.) www.muleta.org und ARL 2003)

Urban development contract

The term urban development contract is applied to a range of contractual agreements under urban development or planning law. The subject of an urban development contract can, for example, be the preparation and implementation of urban development measures by, and at the expense of, the private party to the contract. Measures of this type might include land reallocation or soil decontamination. A further possible subject for an urban development contract could the promotion and securing of urban land-use planning aims, with regard, for example, to the use of a property, to impact mitigation measures, or to meeting the housing needs of specific groups of the population. The municipality and a private partner may also enter into an urban development contract to settle the assumption of costs or other liabilities which the municipality has incurred or expects to incur in respect of urban development measures which are prerequisites or direct consequences of the planned development project (e.g. providing the site). In recent years, urbandevelopment contracts have become an important supplementary tool in urban land-use planning, and have to some extent superseded classical governmental measures like bye-laws (or municipal statutes). Urban development contracts are regulated by the Federal Building Code (Sections 11, 124).

Urban development law

Planning law, also referred to as urban development law regulates the use of land. In particular, it governs whether and how a site can be developed. The power to enact planning law rests with the federation, the most important plann of planning law being the Federal Building Code. Other important sources of planning law are the Federal Land Utilisation Ordinance and the Plan Notation Ordinance. 

Urban development measure

The purpose of urban development measures under the Federal Building Code is to develop urban districts or other parts of the municipal territory in keeping with their particular significance for urban development within the municipality, or in accordance with the desired development of the state district or the region, or to make such areas available for new development within the framework of urban reorganisation. Measures of this type are to serve the public interest, particularly in meeting the demand for housing and employment, for public amenities and associated facilities, and in returning derelict land to productive use. Moreover, urban development measures may only be undertaken where there is a public interest in uniform development and speedy implementation. By resolution of the local council (the urban development statute), the municipality may formally designate an area in which urban development measures are to be implemented as an urban development zone. The municipality is then required to draw up binding land-use plans for area without delay and to undertake all of the measures required to implement development.

Urban development plan

Urban development planning is that part of the planning activities of a municipality which is concerned with settling development aims either for the entire municipal territory or for specific sections of it. It thus sets the framework for urban development suited to meeting the social, cultural and economic needs of the community. This framework includes capital investment on the part of the municipality, where this has implications for spatial development, and lays down the sequence and order of priority. Urban development planning also serves to draw together and co-ordinate the various sectoral plans and to focus them on one common goal. It is this crosssectoral dimension of urban development planning that sets it apart from urban land-use planning, the role of which is limited to preparing and steering the use of land in the municipal territory for building or for other purposes. Unlike urban land-use planning, urban development planning does not focus on the graphical presentation of future spatial developments but on mostly verbal statements about the goals and means of steering development. Urban development planning is not governed by federal law; essentially it is up to the municipalities to decide informally and at their own discretion whether to make use of this planning instrument. Concepts are often developed using dialogue-oriented procedures like urban forums, planning and future search workshops, and public urban development discussions. They are accordingly less regulatory than process and procedure-oriented. Such concepts represent no all-embracing claim to control and implementation. They provide a basis for reaching agreement on objectives and guiding principles and a matrix for evaluating individual planning steps and projects. The comprehensive integrated urban development concepts and urban development concepts defining the goals of development in shrinking communities are particularly important in the context of urban redevelopment.

Urban development planning

Urban development planning is that part of the planning activities of a municipality which is concerned with settling development aims either for the entire municipal territory or for specific sections of it. It thus sets the framework for urban development suited to meeting the social, cultural and economic needs of the community. This framework includes capital investment on the part of the municipality, where this has implications for spatial development, and lays down the sequence and order of priority. Urban development planning also serves to draw together and co-ordinate the various sectoral plans and to focus them on one common goal. It is this crosssectoral dimension of urban development planning that sets it apart from urban land-use planning, the role of which is limited to preparing and steering the use of land in the municipal territory for building or for other purposes. Unlike urban land-use planning, urban development planning does not focus on the graphical presentation of future spatial developments but on mostly verbal statements about the goals and means of steering development. Urban development planning is not governed by federal law; essentially it is up to the municipalities to decide informally and at their own discretion whether to make use of this planning instrument. Concepts are often developed using dialogue-oriented procedures like urban forums, planning and future search workshops, and public urban development discussions. They are accordingly less regulatory than process and procedure-oriented. Such concepts represent no all-embracing claim to control and implementation. They provide a basis for reaching agreement on objectives and guiding principles and a matrix for evaluating individual planning steps and projects. The comprehensive integrated urban development concepts and urban development concepts defining the goals of development in shrinking communities are particularly important in the context of urban redevelopment.

Urban district

The “kreisfreie Stadt,” (county-free city, independent city, county borough or urban district) a city that constitutes a county in its own right. In addition to municipal functions, it performs all county functions itself. The average minimum population for countyfree cities is about 100,000, although the figure is much lower in some states and higher in others. 114 cities in German have county-free status (status 2003).

Urban land-use planning

View in Compendium

On the basis of the Federal Building Code, local authorities undertake development planning in the form of urban land-use planning on their own responsibility (local planning autonomy). The function of urban land-use planning is to prepare and organise the use of plots within the municipal territory for building and other purposes in accordance with the Federal Building Code.
Land-use plans drawn up by local authorities are to safeguard sustainable urban development and a socially equitable utilisation of land for the general good of the community, and to secure a more humane environment, and to protect and develop natural resources. Land-use planning “dedicates” land for specific uses (e.g., housing, commerce, public amenities). It may also lay down restrictions (e.g., maximum lot coverage, maximum number of storeys, etc.), obligations (e.g., housing for specific categories of person), and requirements with respect to the implementation of the use in question (e.g., noise control, greenery).
Urban land-use planning is a two-stage process involving two types of plan:
• the preparatory landuse plan (Flächennutzungsplan, FNP)
• the binding land-use plan (Bebauungsplan).

The preparatory land-use plan provides the framework for preparing binding land-use plans The two types of plan differ essentially as regards spatial scope, detail, legal form, and legal effects. Otherwise there are governed by largely similar rules, especially with respect to planning principles and procedures for plan preparation. The Federal Building Code and the Federal Spatial Planning Act require local planning authorities to ensure that land-use plans conform with the goals of spatial planning. The Federal Building Code thus takes account of the functional dovetailing of state or regional planning and urban land-use planning. At the same time, the importance of state and regional planning in setting the framework for urban land-use planning is stressed.

Urban network

A city network is a voluntary cooperative grouping on an equal footing of cities in a region or neighbouring regions. The prime aim is to optimise the efficient use of the partners’ endogenous potentials. Central places provide the basis for city networks. To this extent, city networks complement existing planning elements. They can make an important contribution to making planning both more flexible and more oriented towards action and implementation. It is helpful if implementation-oriented objectives are set in cooperation for specific core tasks with spatial impacts in the region.
Two types of city network are distinguished. The first type is the interregional network based on functional commonalities, in which geographical proximity is not decisive. The aims of this type of network might include to join forces to assert common interests in an increasingly integrated Europe, whilst guarding their separate identities, and developing joint strategies for certain policy areas (e.g. university research, technology transfer, city marketing and culture).
The second type is the intraregional network, where cooperation is based on geographical proximity. Networks of this type aim to provide a common focus for the talents and locational assets which exist within a coherent region, and to develop a sense of common regional identity, thereby reducing the rivalry which frequently exists among local authorities, achieving cost savings and exploiting synergies, and establishing a joint regional policy. Under Section 13 of the Federal Spatial Planning Act, cooperation between local authorities must be supported in order to promote developments in individual regions (city networks).

Urban planning

View in Compendium

Urban or town planning is control of the development of land allocation and distribution, land use, locational distribution, built development, provision of local public infrastructure, and the use of open spaces in the city, as well as the targeted coordination of the various private and public building activities and demand for use within the municipal territory. The purpose of urban planning is to secure and develop the quality of local living and working conditions in their social, economic dimensions, with respect to the built environment, and to cultural and ecological considerations, and it thus a key task of local self-government.
The term urban or town planning clearly subsumes a number of other planning categories, e.g., urban landuse planning, urban rehabilitation, and urban development planning. It should, however, be added that there is no definitive legal definition of the German term “Stadtplanung” (urban or town planning). It is often used synonymously with “Städtebau,” also usually translated as “urban planning”.
(Summary from Sander (s.a.) www.muleta.org und ARL 2003)

Urban planning law

Planning law, also referred to as urban development law regulates the use of land. In particular, it governs whether and how a site can be developed. The power to enact planning law rests with the federation, the most important plank of planning law being the Federal Building Code. Other important sources of planning law are the Federal Land Utilisation Ordinance and the Plan Notation Ordinance.

Urban redevelopment

The term “Stadtumbau” (urban redevelopment) as used in Germany since the 1990s refers to adjustment of existing communities to urban shrinkage with respect to urban design, social structures, municipal and financial policy, and infrastructure. Changes in needs and supply in all areas of life have been caused by a decline in the German population due to outmigration and low birth rates. The aim of urban redevelopment in this sense is to maintain, strengthen, and develop the functional and performance capacity of cities under changing conditions. For this purpose, the federal government initiated the urban development promotion programme Urban Redevelopment East (Stadtumbau Ost) in 2002 and a comparable programme Urban Redevelopment West for West Germany in 2004. Urban redevelopment measures are introduced in areas severely affected by the loss of urban functions, where adjustments are needed to produce sustainable urban structures. Such measures are particularly needed in areas where a persistent surplus of physical structures, especially housing, has developed or is anticipated. The most important measures include the development and redesign of major housing estates on the urban fringe built between the 1960s and the 1980s, revitalisation of city centres, and the conversion of previously developed in-centre and edge-city sites. Measures and funding are contingent on implementation-oriented, citywide development concepts providing a basis on which to plan and steer regeneration. In 2004, urban redevelopment was included in the Federal Building Code under special urban planning legislation.

Urban region

"Stadtregion” or urban region is the term applied to the core of a conurbation, consisting of a core city and surrounding suburban communities (umland or urban field). In contrast to the broader concepts agglomeration, conurbation, or metropolitan region (Gm: Agglomeration, Ballungsraum, Metropolregion), the urban region does not include rural peripheral areas but only the immediate, heavily built-up surroundings of the core city.
Unlike “Verdichtungsraum” (sometimes translated as “urban concentration”) which is a spatial planning category and as such is defined in the relevant plans, “urban region” is a statistical concept. It is also often used in connection with the city/environs issue, where it denotes the sum of city and environs, i.e., the spatial frame of reference of the conflict. Suburbanisation continues to shift the focus of residential, industrial and commercial development within urban regions from central cities to the suburbs.

Urban renewal

View in Compendium

The aim of urban and village renewal is to preserve, renew and revitalise communities. Such measures strive to improve and adjust the settlement and built structure of all sections of the national territory, both to provide the general population with healthy living and working conditions and to meet changing social, hygienic, economic and cultural requirements. They also play an important part in improving economic and agricultural structure, satisfying conservation requirements, improving the visual quality of localities and landscape, and in the conservation of historic monuments. Urban rehabilitation instruments can be used for urban renewal. Some states have introduced special rules for village renewal (village renewal guidelines) relating to such matters as the preparation, implementation, and promotion of village development and renewal.

Urban sprawl

Suburbanisation is the process by which a population and jobs shift from the core city of an urban region to outlying areas. Suburbanisation has taken place in the major cities of the Western world in several waves since the 19th century. It is closely associated with shifts in transport modes from public transport to private motorisation and with sociospatial segregation processes. Owing to less dense land use in suburban residential, commercial, and industrial locations, suburbanisation exacerbates land consumption, urban sprawl, and the proliferation of private
motorised transport. Whereas during the suburbanisation wave from about 1960 in western Germany the exodus of the urban population preceded the departure of commerce and industry from the core city, “catch-up” suburbanisation in East Germany from 1990 onwards was led by large-scale retail establishments before residential outmigration occurred. In recent decades, suburbanisation, especially as far as housing is concerned, has tended to shift to rural areas increasingly distant from cities. This process is termed “exurbanisation” or “periurbanisation”.

Urban structural guiding principle

Models for urban development are projections; they formulate objectives and principles for action without prescribing the final result. They are informal tools for orientation, coordination, and motivation. They come in various forms: programmes and manifestos, statements of principle and general plans, quality standards and procedural concepts.
Such models have been an explicit subject of debate in Germany only since the Second World War, where the term arose in connection with the reconstruction of war-damaged cities. Since the mid-1990s, the issue of models has experienced a renaissance after attracting little attention during the 1970s and 1980s. This new boom is the result of economic and societal structural changes and the uncertain prospects they have engendered. The urban development models developed during the first years of the Federal Republic were still authoritarian and normative. Present-day models are based on planning policy discourse between societal actors.
Models are now being generated or relaunched at all levels of spatial planning – district, city, and region (guiding principles for spatial development). City authorities use models as tools for clarifying fundamental development perspectives and for positioning themselves in the European city network. Furthermore, precise models provide the basis for many urban marketing concepts, which a large number of cities in the 1990s hoped would bring results in intermunicipal competition. One key question is whether the model of the European city can still point the way for urban development and urban policy.
Since models reflect points of view, values, and the state of the art of the period when they are developed, they can apply only for a limited period of time. They have to be updated and adapted to meet changing conditions and values. Communication is the focus. The loss of certainty about the future has brought greater openness in thinking about what is desirable, and greater willingness to take risks and to make more radical course corrections.

Utility services

The provision of public utility services is an important element in land improvement.
Utility services include:

  • water supply, a distinction being made between drinking water and industrial/process water,
  • sewage/waste water disposal and treatment,
  • refuse/waste collection, transport, treatment, and storage,
  • power supply, including the disposal of all substances created or arising during power generation,
  • telecommunications.