Joint regional planning in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg
Topic of the practice
Land Use and Transport Planning
Good Practice Information
Capital Region Berlon-Brandenburg shows a good example of a joint regional planning to create the best possible precondition for a sound basis for economic growth and the development of infrastructure of the whole region.
The federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg started immediately after the fall of the Berlin wall to adjust their planning and to work together on a joint spatial vision. To avoid friction losses and recurring discussions on competences and to guarantee a smooth communication and clear process in 1996 the Joint Spatial Planning Department of Berlin and Brandenburg (JSPD) was established. At federal level the JSPD is the only federal state authority responsible for two federal states in the area of regional development. The main objective is the provision of a consistent planning framework for the whole territory of the Metropolian Regions. Regarding this the main functional objectives are the limitation of urban sprawl, the concentration on development cores and development along axes of settlement, the protection of green areas and the limitation of the need for transport.
By governing the overall spatial development the JSPD provides a sound and reliable basis for sustainable economic growth and the infrastructural development. The JSPD has a central role concerning the cooperation and communication between both federal states. It guarantees a constant, reliable and intensive exchange and common results and projects. It consists of 80 staff members currently working in the department (15 from Berlin and 65 from Brandenburg), paid accordingly from the states. Material costs are equally shared. Key success factors are equal and joint decisions, clear and transparent structures, as well in case of conflicts, solid staffing and long-term secured financing and strong support by politics. Transfer of the practice is possible, but adjustments will be necessary due to the legal framework. Necessary are clear and defined competences, the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, clear structures and agreements on conflict resolution procedures.
Evidence of success
With regard to quantitative aspects, success can be measured by the fact that due to common planning guidelines there is hardly any uncontrolled urban sprawl around the metropolis. Another measurable effect is the number of prevented development projects (e.g. large retail centres) at non-integrated or non-appropriate locations.
The established structures and competences guarantee predictable (investment) conditions for the MR, irrespective of administrative borders. It creates a reliable framework for the development of rules and procedures and it is able to support new challenges (e.g. the handling of demographic change). The JSPD became an established and accepted institution which is "used" more and more as well for important cross-state projects like setting up a guiding vision for the MR.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Frank Segebade, Head of Unit
Joint Spatial Planning Department Berlin-Brandenburg
Annex completed on: 06-15-2011