Trends and tendencies in settlement development and their effects on the achievement of federal land policy goals

To reach the federal targets for sustainable urban development requires considerable efforts from policy, economy and society. While trends in land take statistics show a substantial reduction, a change towards the long term goal of a circular land management with no net land take appears still to be out of sight. A particular challenge in urban development is the simultaneous occurrence of an oversupply of buildable land in peripheral regions and housing scarcity in urban agglomerations.

It is the overall goal of this research to critically analyse current patterns of settlement and land use development and to assess them in terms of the application of land use instruments. On this basis, chances for adapting and improving these instruments are identified and highlighted.

We address three key topics:

1) The evolution of regional land markets, their relevance to currently observable spatial patterns of residential development and housing activity, and their implications for the land-saving goal,

2) the interaction of demand for single-family housing and supply by municipalities and developers, and its consequence for land take,

3) the functioning, obstacles and success criteria of inter-municipal land management and its contribution to land-saving settlement development.

Research questions:

How do land markets evolve? What do they effect spatial patterns of urbanisation and construction in housing?

Which housing types (according to their and use intensity) are currently experiencing high demand? How is this demand affecting supply by municipalities?

What hampers or promotes co-operation in developing residential land and housing policies in terms of inter-municipal land management?

Which conditions need to be met to reach the 2030 federal land thrift target? Which implications does this have for the adaptation and improvement of land policies as well as planning policies and the instruments to implement these?

Result of the Settlement Development Typology (SDT)

The SDT serves to record trends in settlement development since 2011 and to identify patterns. It is also the basis for the selection of case studies in the project and represents an up-to-date data basis for the further course of the project. Based on a multidimensional classification approach, indicators on land consumption, building land and population development as well as land and real estate markets were evaluated. The result is a nationwide typology at the level of the municipal associations.

As a partial result, the figure shows the general characteristics of land use, crossed with growth and shrinkage tendencies. Municipal associations within the German metropolitan regions are shown.

Source: IOER 2021. Own calculation, geodata: VG25 © GeoBasis-DE/BKG (2019)

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.