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Land Use Planning Berlin

Explanatory comments on the Land Use Plan

Functions and contents of the Land Use Plan

Based on a formal decision of the city council, the Berlin Land Use Plan (FNP) provides a general planning framework for the long term development of the whole area of the city. It forms a strategic foundation for decisions on land uses and on the allocation of resources.
The Land Use Plan is a general development plan. It shows in general terms the proposed distribution of land uses according to the strategic objectives of city development and relating to the foreseeable needs of the community. In addition, the plan contains policies relevant on the regional planning scale. As a general rule, the plan is not concerned with areas smaller than 3 ha.
The zoning map of the Land Use Plan distinguishes between land for development and land to be kept as open space. It shows residential land of different densities, mixed building land, industrial/ commercial land, and building land for special purposes, as well as community facilities and public utilities (provided these are of more than local importance or cover an area larger than 3 ha), major traffic corridors, green spaces, forests and agricultural land.

Components of the Land Use Plan

The Berlin Land Use Plan has been effective since 1994. Since then, numerous amendments (modifications) to the plan have been made; an updated zoning map including these modifications was last-republicised in 2015. The Land Use Plan now consists of:
  • the zoning map (as publicised in January 2015),
  • the written statement, including explanatory maps (as publicised in July 1994), supplemented by information on subsequent modifications to the plan (published in the form of "modification sheets"),
  • the modifications to the plan which became effective after January 2015.
The zoning map will be updated and republicised again at certain intervals, depending on the number of modifications to be incorporated.

Reasons for amending the Land Use Plan

The Berlin Land Use Plan has to be regularly kept up to date in order to fulfil its role as an effective long term planning instrument for strategic decision making on land use matters. This often requires modifications of the original plan, taking into account changes in overall and local circumstances as well as changing political and planning objectives relating to the city as a whole, to certain subject matters or to local development issues. Planning procedures geared to the scope and complexity of different types of modifications, the coordination of procedural stages, and the possibility of "early decisions" on urgent matters make for efficient and flexible processes to keep the plan up to date. An "early decision" can be taken in order to facilitate undisputed developments, before the planning process for a complex modification covering more than one subject can be brought to its formal conclusion.

Binding character of the Land Use Plan

The Land Use Plan is legally binding for local authorities and for public and statutory bodies consulted during its preparation; their own plans have to conform to the general framework of the Land Use Plan (ยง 7 BauGB).
For the individual citizen, the Land Use Plan is not legally relevant; in particular, the plan does not confer a right to be granted planning permission for a specific development, even if this conforms to the plan. However, Local Plans containing specific and legally binding regulations for the development of individual sites have to follow the general zoning framework of the Land Use Plan.
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