The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Region gestalten

Shaping the Region

Logo des Programms "Region gestalten"

The living and working conditions in Germany are undergoing rapid change, which is posing major challenges, especially to structurally weak rural areas. In its decision of 10 July 2019 on the implementation of the results of the Commission on Equal Living Conditions (“Our Plan for Germany”), the federal government reaffirmed its goal of using its policy to promote the creation of equal living conditions in all sub-regions of Germany. With diverse approaches to its domestic and regional development policies, the federal government wants to counteract existing disparities and shape a future-proof, sustainable Germany, in which social cohesion is strengthened and people are at the centre.

As part of the Shaping the Region initiative, The Home Department of the Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB) is allocating funds for projects in the area of spatial planning and social cohesion with a special focus on rural areas. Support will be given for innovative concepts for the development of rural areas, which will be implemented and studied in model projects and individual projects. The experience and results from the individual projects are to be made available to a broad expert audience and used for the further development of homeland policy. The measures are oriented around “Guiding principles and Action Strategies for Spatial Planning Development in Germany” and will be financed from funds of the Federal Programme for Rural Development (BULE).

The BMWSB sets the following thematic priorities for the support of rural areas:

  • Regional and intercommunal cooperation:
    Urban-rural partnerships, governance
  • Securing public services to ensure equal living conditions:
    Regional technical services (e.g. mobility), social services (e.g. health) including the exploitation of digital potential
  • Structural change and regional structural policy:
    - Support for specific rural regions affected by structural changes (e.g. coal regions), decentralisation, instruments and individual projects of an active structural policy
    - Model projects for macroeconomic integrated funding approaches in regional development, strengthening of regional development planning
  • Demographic change, regional and cultural identity

The implementation of Shaping the Region takes place through:

The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) is supporting Shaping the Region professionally and administratively. Among other things, its task is to turn promising new approaches into practical action and to derive transferable findings for the development of rural areas. The BBSR organises the transfer into practice and advises the BMWSB regarding changes in governmental framework conditions.

Conclusions of the Commission on “Equal Living Conditions” (in German)
“Leitbilder und Handlungsstrategien für die Raumentwicklung in Deutschland” (in German)

Are you interested in how Shaping the Region is structured, the aims of the programme and the progress of individual projects?

Then subscribe to the Shaping the Region Newsletter! Our newsletter will keep you regularly informed about ideas and future topics, innovative approaches to solutions, research results as well as news and events around the federal programme Shaping the Region.

Click on the banner to open the registration form for the newsletter "Region gestalten" ("Shaping the region")


  • Jessica Ritter
    Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development
    Division FWD 3 "Project Development and Support – Investment Programs"
    Phone: +49 30 18401 8251

  • The contact persons for the individual projects can be found under "Contact".

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