Municipal real estate policy – how does it affect Baukultur?

Land is, and always will be, a prerequisite for the development of towns and villages. However, land is by no means freely available. As a rule, the general community does not have the right to use the available land, as this is in private ownership. Furthermore, urban design significantly contributes to increasing the value of land, particularly in cases where land has been designated for building for the first time. Besides – Baukultur is always (also) a reflection of land policy! Every owner has an interest in privatising this increase in value. Owing to the fact that town planning creates property value, town planning tends to lose its neutrality even though its objective is to enhance the common good. This then also has a negative impact on Baukultur.

It is therefore not surprising that private beneficiaries have a “natural” interest in influencing planning institutions for the purpose of increasing the return on their property. From the point of view of the town planning authorities, this leads to certain negative impacts of the real estate market on planning decisions, i.e. town planning is frequently not focused on those locations that are “predestined” for development from the town planning perspective, or land remains under-used (e.g. gaps between buildings). In some cases, town planning is also completely blocked so that, in these instances, the plans originally intended are not implemented. At the core of the problem lies the fact that – to this day in Germany – there is a general attitude of trying to square the circle between a strong ambition to control urban and regional development and a land policy that allows a maximum of freedom to land owners, both original and intermediate.

The lecture was held within the framework of the Baukultur Workshops in 2014.

Uses Public construction
Planning culture
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