Making the National Urban Development Policy fit for future challenges

Over the past two years, the global community has adopted several landmark decisions that are relevant to urban actors: the New Urban Agenda has become the global roadmap for sustainable urban development. The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement also assign cities a key role. At European level, decisions such as the EU Urban Agenda place new demands on cities. What effects do these international and european decisions have on German municipalities and national urban development policy? To what extent are they relevant to the municipal system in Germany? And how might concrete implementation strategies look like at the local level?

In Germany, the National Urban Development Policy provides answers to these questions and provides both impetuses and a framework for the concrete implementation of such agendas and agreements. However, the last revision of the National Urban Development Policywas took place in 2007. Aligning existing principles with current challenges, debates and developments is therefore urgently needed to effectively support municipalities on their way to a sustainable transformation.

This research and advising project examined the impact of global and European agreements on the National Urban Development Policy and on municipal planning. On the basis of this analysis, recommendations for the further development of the National Urban Development Policy and – at the European level – the Leipzig Charter for a Sustainable European City (Leipzig Charter 2.0) were developed.

The project provided a comprehensive qualitative evaluation of existing policy decisions and follow-up processes at international, european and national levels. At the same time, an open dialogue and exchange with cities and citizens was in the foreground, so as to better understand their experiences and challenges in dealing with international agreements and to link these with the continued development of the National Urban Development Policy. In cooperation with Urban Catalyst, innovative ideas and development pathways for implementing the resolutions were developed with municipalities via planning workshops. The intermediate results of the project were discussed and developed further in workshop discussions with experts.

adelphi led the project, coordinating the activities of the project partners, and was responsible for the project research activities.