2019 Volume 7 Issue 4 Pages 148-166
Compared to other countries, in Germany landscape planning was developed early and has many variations in different federal states. This has generated many experiences with different planning arrangements. Additionally, it makes Germany an interesting example for learning about the strengths and pitfalls of landscape planning under certain framework conditions. The objective of this paper is to describe the system of German landscape planning, its development and its features in the context of governance conditions. The method applied for this purpose is a literature review. An important milestone for landscape planning was its inclusion into the Federal Nature Conservation Act in 1976. Here, landscape planning was established as a precautionary planning, covering a broad range of natural assets and spatially specifying the general legal objectives of nature conservation and landscape management. It turned out to be effective for the inclusion of environmental concerns into spatial development. However, landscape planning could not halt strong driving forces such as urbanization and intensification of agriculture. The specific form and implementation options of German landscape planning can be explained by (i) a governance context with rather strong legalization and respective boundaries for public participation; (ii) by the constitutional barriers to unlimited use of private property and (iii) by a federal system with an unbalanced distribution of competencies between planning tiers. For enhancing the effectiveness of German landscape planning, recommendations are deduced, which include, for example, better access to and homogenization of the information in landscape plans. Furthermore, links between planning and implementation instruments should be strengthened.