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Public welfare: Consequences for planning?

(original title: Gemeinwohl – Konsequenzen für die Planung?)



Cover: IzR 5/2018

In times of rapid change and complex relationships the call for a commitment to public welfare is becoming heard. The term is of topical interest in many disciplines. Urban and spatial planners ideally aim in their work for the sustainable balance of different spatial claims and hence for general welfare. The Basic Law protects property, but it also simultaneously refers to the accompanying obligation for responsibility. Whether the issues are services of general interest and sustainable mobility, affordable housing and social balance or economic structural change, the sustainable use of open spaces or participation in society: the orientation towards public welfare has become a guiding principle in planning and a part of many space-related promotion instruments and demonstration projects.

But what does public welfare actually mean and whose welfare is meant? Who determines this, and if "we" are well, what about "the others"? In this issue we ask planners and economists, lawyers and persons specialising in ethics, social scientists and geographers with their different special perspectives to consider some issues that are relevant for planning under the catchword "public welfare".

Considerations on a new land law or a reform of the land tax are linked to the IzR 4/2018 in terms of content. In addition to scientific-theoretical papers, concrete examples from practice show how cooperation develops for added social value and how voluntary engagement can be generated and continued locally. New opportunities for participation are considered, for instance through digital instruments, but also an (urban) society which does not forget the day after tomorrow. But it also becomes clear: public welfare does not happen on its own. Public welfare means taking over responsibility; politically, institutionally and individually. It means negotiation and compromise – with a common aim in view, although this is rather vague sometimes.

Most articles are in German (one is in English).

Birgit Kann (,
Verena Kluth, Daniel Regnery, Lisa Schopp, Eva Schweitzer, Friederike Vogel