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„Baltic Challenges and Chances for local and regional
development generated by Climate Change“
Target Area Assessment
Project
Partner
Westmecklenburg
Inventory Phase

#2:
Regional
Planning
Association
3) Existing Planning Documents/ Instruments
Germany is the only country in the Baltic Sea Region, which has three levels of power in its
political, administrative and planning system.
Structure of the Political and Administrative System1
The principle of the vertical separation of powers, which contrasts with that of the unitary
state, is crucial in understanding the structure of government and administration in Germany.
The distribution of state authority in Germany between the Federation and the 16 individual
states means that not only the Federation itself but also the constitutive states possess
statehood.
The federal structure laid down by the constitution provides for statehood at two levels:
 The federal state is composed of a central government (Bund) and a number of
constitutive states (Länder or Bundesländer).
 The states have united to form a Federation under the name Federal Republic of
Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
 The constitutions of the 16 constitutive states of the Federation vest them with state
authority and with territorial and personal sovereignty.
The third level of political and administrative power is represented by the municipalities:
 Municipalities (Kommunen), as corporate local self-governing bodies, have the right to
manage all the affairs of the local community on their own responsibility within the limits
set by law (selfgovernment tasks).
 In this respect they are exempt from direction and subject only to supervision limited to
the question of the legality of administrative activities.
This principle of local self-government for the municipal level is pivotal the operative key for
the planning system in Germany.
The federal structure of the state with the three levels of federal, state, and local government
is decisive for the system of spatial planning in Germany.
 Spatial planning is accordingly decentralised. The distribution of competence and
functions between the three levels of government produces a system with legally,
organisationally, and substantively differentiated planning levels.
 While they are legally, organisationally, and substantively defined and clearly
differentiated, they are interlinked by the mutual feedback principle as well as complex
requirements of notification, participation, coordination and compliance.
Federal spatial planning:
Federal spatial planning is limited essentially to the development of:
 guiding principles
 and principles of spatial planning which also provide the legal basis for state spatial
planning and superordinate specifications for sectoral planning.
State spatial planning:
State spatial planning authorities have to ensure
 that the goals and principles of national spatial planning and state spatial planning are
respected and taken into account in local government planning.
 the acceptance of suggestions from local authorities and the required coordination of
the local development goals with superordinate planning goals within the system of
mixed top-down/bottom-up planning. The aim is to ensure that urban land-use planning
does not contradict the development aims of state spatial planning but supports them,
thus avoiding investment mistakes.
Regional planning (as a part of state spatial planning)
1
Interreg-Projekt COMMIN (www.commin.org)
Regional planning is concerned with
 the detailed elaboration, sectoral integration, and implementation of the goals of state
spatial planning.
 the mediation between state spatial planning and local urban land-use planning.
 the adjustment of regional planning with federal and state spatial planning.
Local urban land-use planning
 is a formal tool on the basis of the Federal Building Code.
 has to prepare and control the use of land for building or other purposes.
 has its aims and principles laid down in the form of planning guidelines. (Objectives
include ensuring sustainable urban development and a socially equitable utilisation of
land for the general good of the community, contributing to a more humane
environment and to the protection and development of natural resources, and to the
preservation and development of the urban cultural heritage.)
 is carried out on two levels: the preparatory land-use plan and the binding land-use
plan.
Regional Planning in the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Within the German spatial planning system, in keeping with the federal structure of
government and the principle of decentralised administration, regional planning is a function
of state spatial planning concerned with subdivisions of the territory. It is independent of
comprehensive spatial planning, state spatial planning, and local planning, with its own
functions of the Federal Spatial Planning Act. It is concerned with broad, supra-local, and
cross-sectoral, foresighted planning for the spatial and settlement structural development of
a region. It is differently regulated from state to state. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern the
planning regions are defined by state law. The state is divided into four planning regions.
Westmecklenburg is one of
these four planning regions. In
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,
regional planning associations
are the local government
authorities responsible for
spatial planning. Planning
associations
are
bodies
governed by public law
(federal ministry of transport,
building
and
regional
development) on the principle
of
the
special
purpose
association of local authorities.
A planning association is a
grouping of several counties/
cities for the purpose of joint,
coordinated urban land-use
planning. The aim is to take better account of the interests of closely interlinked communities
than can be achieved if each municipality acts in isolation.
A Regional Planning Association deals with territorial matters (settlement structure, open
space structure and infrastructure) and has the duty to draw up a regional spatial structure
plan (on basis of the state spatial structure plan) and to coordinate the spatially relevant
sectoral planning (transport, energy, environmental, waste management and water
management). Instruments to implement these duties are subdivided into formal instruments
(spatial planning procedure, regional spatial planning programmes, statements and
appraisals) and informal instruments (regional management and marketing, cooperation and
project work).
Planning Documents in the TA are:
Name
Focus of the planning document
Regional
Spatial
Structure Plan
Overall coordination plan for the
Planning Region including the
spatially relevant sectoral planning
Giving specific form to the spatial
planning goals set for the Target
Area
Overall coordination of the public
transportation in the Target Area
Responsible
institution(s)
Regional
Planning
Association
Westmecklenburg
Regional
Regional
Public
Planning
Transportation
Association
plan
Westmecklenburg
Federal state Implementation of urban land use Regional
level
planning
Planning
appraisals
Association
Westmecklenburg
Time
horizon/
validity
Generally
10 years
Geogra
phical
area
Whole
Target
Area
According to Whole
necessity
Target
Area
Permanent
work
Planning Documents in the TA dealing with sustainability and climate change are:
Name
Focus of the planning document
Responsible
Time
institution(s)
horizon/
validity
Regional
Including sustainability and climate Regional
Generally
Spatial
change (mitigation and adaptation) Planning
10 years
Structure Plan into the overall planning goals of the Association
region and with more detail into Westmecklenburg
sectoral planning (spatial structure,
settlement,
transport,
energy,
environment etc./ the latest RSSP
will be completed in 2010-11)
Regional
Including mitigation and adaptation Regional
According to
Public
strategies
into
the
public Planning
necessity
Transportation transportation planning (the latest Association
plan
RPTP will be completed in 2010-11)
Westmecklenburg
Federal state Implementation of urban land use Regional
Permanent
level
planning in sustainability and climate Planning
work
appraisals
change related topics
Association
Westmecklenburg
Whole
Target
Area
Geogra
phical
area
Whole
Target
Area
Whole
Target
Area
Whole
Target
Area