SP 5 - Regulatory Systems of Environmental and Spatial Planning Law in Land Use

The subproject focuses on the regulatory system of environmental and spatial planning instruments according to land use and its management. It contributes to enhance the understanding of complex interdependencies between land use decisions, e.g. of land owners on one hand, and the socio-economic as well as statutory and informal framework of contemporary governance on the other.  So the development of sustainable land management strategies in the project will not only be guided by aspects of the natural sciences but also by socio-economic issues and regulatory planning aspects.

University of Münster
Department of Local, Regional and State Development / Spatial Planning
at the Department of Geography


The scheme seeks to analyse and assess statutory environmental measures and spatial planning policies, socioeconomic incentive systems as well as informal approaches and ramifications within rural governance in terms of their relevance and suitability with respect to land use and to the implementation of sustainable land management systems.  Relevant regulatory contents of these tools for current and future land utilisation and their respective institutional frameworks will be elaborated on respective areas of planning (EU, federal, state, communities).

Based on this aforementioned procedure concrete measures for the improvement of these tools will be drawn up and the conditions and ramifications of their implementation will be formulated. In constant feedback with the results of the related modules diverse strategies for the adaptation and continued development of environmental and spatial land use regulations will be drawn up. Different forms of sustainable land management to be developed in the overall project shall be integrated in the system of spatial planning and the relevant legislation as well as in the spatial structures theirselves. Foremost the subproject helps to identify the relevant stakeholders – on a national level, and in the chosen case study regions – and contributes such to the social acceptance of the overall project and its output.

Research approach and methods:

The subproject is based on a broad inventory of knowledge in rural development research and planning regarding the legislative scheme of spatial planning as well as of the environmental and agricultural legislation.

Within the scheme of contemporary governance it focuses at the same time on informal processes and tools of rural development. The corresponding governing issues, accesses and instruments will be evaluated in terms of the degrees to which they show ability to contribute to the implementation of sustainable land management systems. Therefore a set of assessment-criterias will be elaborated in order to analyse and check the adaptability of these instruments and approaches regarding future climate-induced exigencies. Thus from spatial planning and evaluation research perspective the set of present governancing-instruments will be examined. This approach - in an applied-scientific manner - will allow to formulate options for their future modification and for derivative planning strategies. Thus the results will in a much broader sense give advices for future governance strategies. In the course of the accompanying stakeholder participation the measures will be presented to the relevant decision holders and public actors. Therefore the transferability of the results, potentials and restraints is considered.

Contributions of the subproject will be applied constantly in the overall proceedings of the project. The further development of its results and achievements will be carried out in close adjustment with the project partners in the different modules, e.g. the development of future land use scenarios. The subproject feeds into the overall stakeholder process by putting forward - by the means of empirical social research - specific governance-related questions to the participatory process. The early inclusion of experts and decision-makers on different planning and decision-making levels will safeguard the integration of external expertise of different disciplines and ensures a validation of the attained results.