The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication Towards a national urban development policy in Germany

Memorandum. Eds.: BMVBS/BBR, Bonn December 2007

Series: Individual publication Published: December 2007

On the initiative of State Secretary Dr Lütke Daldrup, a Memorandum on the formation of a National Urban Development Policy for Germany is presented by an interdisciplinary group of experts.

The strategic approach of this Memorandum and the proposal for a broad campaign for its implementation are in keeping with the tradition of two successful historical initiatives for urban reorientation. The appeal of the Deutscher Städtetag (German Association of Cities) 'Save our Cities Now' set off a sequence of fundamental criticisms of the misguided functional development of cities in the early 1970s. In 1975, the European-financed initiative for the Heritage Year prompted a process that, reaching far beyond the professional public, led to a radical change in stance towards the cultural heritage of cities and their historical building stock.

At the beginning of the new century, a fundamental shift in the outlook for our urban future occurred, suggesting a rethink in the direction of urban development and any initiatives for implementation. Such an aspiration can only achieve success if borne collectively in the realm of civil society.

The Memorandum proposes two levels for a National Urban Development Policy:

  • Urban development policy must adapt quickly to changes in cities, it must be regularly reviewed (Good Practice). At national level, this demands the integration of urban development policy into the activities of the state as a whole and in the enhancement of support programmes. The Memorandum develops related proposals which are based on a culture of democratic and federal processes in association with transparency, competition and cooperation.
  • A temporary campaign ("For City and Urbanity") should raise public awareness of urban development options, suggest individual courses of action in fields of urban activity and make room for committed citizens and businesses to engage. It should also disseminate to partner countries in the European Union.

The proposed campaign comprises many projects, initiatives, conferences, publications, exhibitions and partnerships for which the Memorandum develops ideas.

The Commission recommends that the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development should first publicly discuss the course of action for the National Urban Development Policy outlined in the Memorandum and then implement it.

Prof. Peter Zlonicky

Authors of the Memorandum
Klaus Beckmann, Harald Bodenschatz, Wolfgang Christ, Ulrich Hatzfeld, Bernd Hunger, Michael Krautzberger, Folkert Kiepe, Norbert Portz, Rudolf Raabe, Stephan Reiß-Schmidt, Christiane Thalgott, Julian Wékel, Peter Zlonicky

Project management BBR:
Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, Bonn
Dr. Peter Jakubowski , Stephan Willinger

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1. Cities in Germany

2. A national policy approach to urban development - Contents and Objectives
Actors and Partners
Two levels of a National Urban Development Policy

3. Modules of a National Urban Development Policy: Good Practice
Progress of Urban Development Policy at national level
Support Programmes. Integration of Policy Areas.
Urban Task Force. Internet

Campaign 'For City and Urbanity'
Formation of Cities - The Making of Cities-Exhibitions.
City Forums - Talking about Cities.
Economy - Responsibility for Location.
Urban Future Talks. Local Urban Development Policy.
Cities and Ecology. Cities and Knowledge - Contributions from German Universities.
German Urban Development Award.
Specific Competitions. Town - Country Dialogue, Innovation Exchange.
Urban Planning and Design Exhibition 2010

4. Steps towards Implementation
Members of the group of experts on the formation of a National Urban Development Policy

Thematic Studies


German version: Auf dem Weg zu einer nationalen Stadtentwicklungspolitik
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