Enhancing Urban Development Through Legal and Land Readjustment Amendments: Identifying German Urban District Requirements


  • Laura Mato Julcamoro Technical University of Darmstadt


Land Readjustment , German Building Code Amendment, Resilient Urban Development, Expert Involvement




The requirements of urban districts have evolved, necessitating legal adaptations for efficiency. Recognizing this, Germany is in the process of amendment of its Building Code (Bundesministerium für Wohnen, Stadtentwicklung und Bauwesen, 2023). In addition, the German Building Code stipulates developing inner rather than outer areas of urban districts in its first paragraph. Furthermore, the shift towards resource-efficient, resilient urban areas introduces new challenges in reorganizing ownership and tenure structures. Implementing infrastructure like local heating networks, wastewater reuse plants, and providing affordable housing are part of these challenges (Linke and Mato Julcamoro, 2023).

Land readjustment (LR), a tool in the German Building Code, reorganizes ownership and tenure structures in line with binding land-use plans, ensuring equitable distribution of burdens and benefits among the affected property owners. The new urban development requirements call for adjustments to LR for sustainable, legal application. Analyzing international LR mechanisms helps evaluate their suitability for enhancing German regulations. Another eminent challenge is that past law amendments - partly made without specialist knowledge - have impacted negatively the effectiveness of such instruments (Stefani, 2023). For instance, changes in real estate transfer tax regulation affected LR (Brunzel and Krusenotto, 2023, p. 96), underlining the need for informed political decisions. This study employs expert interviews to develop action options for political decision-making, aiming to strengthen and enhance instrument usage.

To meet all mentioned challenges, a systematic approach is proposed, which is going to be developed in general and then tested using the example of LR. The developed procedure is as follows: (1) identifying German urban district requirements, (2) elaborating general LR mechanisms, (3) examining suitable mechanisms to meet the previously identified requirements, (4) examine the feasibility of adequate mechanism, and (5) documentation of recommended actions. The process starts with identifying land management needs in urban districts, using literature reviews and expert interviews. This includes experts from urban planning, valuation, and LR, with additional inputs from electricity, heat supply, telecommunications, municipal water, and environmental management. An initial survey at the annual meeting of the LR committees (AGUA) of North Rhine-Westphalia (October 2023) supported this expanded expert selection.

Summarized this study focuses on gathering and analyzing expert-knowledge and suggestions for urban development requirements. It then compares these insights with literature-discussed urban requirements, assessing their relevance and practicality. This article specifically addresses the elements of step (1): selecting experts, formulating interview guidelines, conducting interviews, and analyzing the findings.

Author Biography

  • Laura Mato Julcamoro, Technical University of Darmstadt

    Research and Teaching Associate at the Department of Land Management


Brunzel, A. and Krusenotto, M. (2023) Fachexperten-Gespräche 2023 zur Modernisierung des Städtebaurechts [Expert Talks 2023 on the Modernization of Urban Planning Law]. Available at: DOI 10.34744/difu-impulse_2023-9 (Accessed: 08 January 2024).

Bundesministerium für Wohnen, Stadtentwicklung und Bauwesen [Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building] (2023) Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Stärkung der Digitalisierung im Bauleitplanverfahren und zur Änderung weiterer Vorschriften [Draft Law to Strengthen Digitalization in the Urban Land-Use Planning Process and to Amend Other Regulations]. Available at: https://www.bmwsb.bund.de/SharedDocs/gesetzgebungsverfahren/Webs/BMWSB/DE/digitalisierung-im-bauleitverfahren.html (Accessed: 08 January 2024).

Linke, H.-J. and Mato Julcamoro, L. (2023) 'Berücksichtigung neuer Infrastruktursysteme in der Baulandumlegung' ['Consideration of New Infrastructure Systems in Land Readjustment'], Flächenmanagement und Bodenordnung, 2023(4), pp. 170-180.

Stefani, T. (2023) 'Grunderwerbsteuer - Hinweise zur Neuregelung bzgl. der Baulandumlegung' ['Real Estate Transfer Tax - Notes on the New Regulation Regarding Land Readjustment'], Deutscher Städtetag - Arbeitskreis Baulandbereitstellung [German Association of Cities and Towns - Working Group on the Provision of Building Land], 20 June.