Stadtentwicklung ohne Wachstum : zur Praxis kommunaler Siedlungsflächenentwicklung ; empirische Befunde und Folgerungen zu Steuerungsverständnissen und -formen öffentlicher Akteure

  • Urban development without growth : today’s practice ; local government and land use

Klemme, Marion; Selle, Klaus (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2009)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

In: PT_Materialien 24
Page(s)/Article-Nr.: VIII, 299 S. : zahlr. Ill., graph. Darst., Kt.

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2009


Demographic changes are a major challenge for current urban development in Germany. Planners, residents, developers, residential trade and industry have to cope with the effects and consequences of demographic, economic and structural transformations. The observed changes have led to an excess of unused or under-used areas and buildings in many cities. In many cases common mechanisms of re-using (in the real estate market) do not work any longer. As a result there are substantial vacancies in housing and industrial areas. This trends are leading to an ever more differentiated demand for land and buildings.Different players are involved in planning land use and developing settlements. A major focus of this thesis lies on the public stakeholders who are key players in regard to the future development of residental areas. In this dissertation I discuss planning and policy strategies of the local governments targeting the above mentioned changing conditions. The thesis deals with the following key research questions:- How do local decision-makers notice demographic changes and how do they recognise the problems? - How do demographic changes are taken into account into the decision-making-process? What are the current targets in developing residental areas? - Which policy instruments local actors are aware of? What instruments and strategies of urban policies and planning are applied? - Who is involved in developing residental areas? What meaning and influence do other actors have for the strategies of local governments?Furthermore, the multi-dimensional and complex situation of politics, policy and planning has to be taken into account: The role of local parameters, like business environments, budget deficits, planning culture will be analysed. Selected case studies from Western as well as Eastern Germany (Arnsberg, Essen, Fuerstenwalde/Spree, Halle (Saale), Hilden, Schwerin and Sankt Augustin) are a key part of the analysis. The study analyses different situations of "shrinking cities" and the particular strategies, instruments und policies of local governments apply there. For each city the following methodological approach was chosen: - Data and document analysis: e.g. demographic and business statistics, spatial development strategies, masterplans, planning issues, panel reports.- Interviews with local key players: public stakeholders, residential trade and business representatives, environmental pressure groups.Regarding the strategic development of settlements and housing policy, sustainable land use management, innovative area development and temporary use should become more important. For a paradigm shift towards a sustainable land-use management (German Federal Government’s National Sustainability Strategy: reducing land use to 30 hectares a day) new innovative approaches are crucial. From a larger perspective, this involves new ways of thinking and acting - away from greenfield development and urban expansion. However, this requires a shift from the one-dimensional view of growths to a multi-dimensional understanding of development. The thesis concludes that a paradigm shift appears to be out of touch with reality so far. The effects of the demographic changes are often either ignored or only partially noticed by local stakeholders. Major changes of the key strategies can be rarely noticed. As a consequence further land for new residental areas and industrial estates is made available which leads to a loss of green fields. It seems to be likely that until population decline does not reach a certain tipping point public administration is not willing to act. Therefore, the consequences of a shrinking city must be very notable to try new ways to face considerable challenges (e.g. innercity development, redevelopment of brownfield sites, renaturation). But even though a complete stop of further urban expansion could not be observed so far. Strengthening national policy frameworks and stronger involvement of all parts of society and a general awareness raising seems to be necessary to face the challenges towards a more sustainable way.


  • Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development [212110]