Research Area:
Resourceefficiency of Settlement Structures

From external to internal development of towns and municipalities – development of proposals for action, as well as analyses of ecological, economic and social repercussions of revised policies on residential development.

Short title: Costs paradox in the development of land

The classification of new building sites and the resulting growth of built-up areas (residential and roadways) have considerable negative effects on the environment. Enormous follow-on costs arise for the general public. Individual decisions which can be economically rational from a subjective view-point often interact to produce an overall rise in costs for residential structures. This contradiction is described in the study as the "costs paradox in the development of land", and described as follows: "actors involved in property development try to minimise their respective costs. However, the end re-sult of these individual decisions is a highly cost-intensive regional settlement structure". In order to systematically determine the causes of this costs paradox, the various constituent elements are ex-amined individually: what makes a settlement structure cost intensive from the regional perspective? Who are the actors involved in property development? What are their motives? Which decisions do they take, and how do these decisions interact to produced non-transparency in costs? 5 patterns of non-transparency are then described, enabling the development of diverse approaches and measures to encourage less land-intensive development. This framework for analysis is one central result of this study in terms of developed methods. The main substantive results are the formulation of con-crete demands to make the costs of development more visible and to remove false incentives. This will limit future burdens on the general public, while at the same time coming closer to the goal of reducing the uptake of new land.

Run Time



UBA Dessau


Dr.-Ing. Georg Schiller (provisional) 
Phone + 49 351 4679 259