14 Mar 2023, 13:12
Carolina Kyllmann

Long way to go to increase digitalisation in Germany’s urban planning process – experts

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background

There is still a long way to go to increase digitalisation and make planning procedures faster and more efficient, for example for site planning for wind parks, experts said during a housing and urban development committee hearing in parliament. Discussing a draft bill to accelerate Germany’s urban land planning procedures, Anne-Kathrin Tögel of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) said the draft law falls short of expectations and Tine Fuchs from the Central Real Estate Committee (ZIA) said the proposals don’t go far enough. Currently, land use plans and development plans have largely been analogue or not sufficiently integrated into digital systems, but digital standards and files that can be searched and read by computers are still missing which can facilitate communication with the authorities, the experts said. A legal framework should also ensure that data formats are compatible, Kai-Uwe Krause from the State Office for Geoinformation and Surveying in Hamburg said. Moreover, data should be regularly updated online so everyone involved is able to see “where the procedure stands”, ZIA’s Fuchs added.

Germany’s government wants to accelerate planning and approval procedures for projects in the energy sector. The draft bill should make urban land use planning simpler and faster and bring it into the “digital present”, buildings minister Klara Geywitz said at the beginning of March. The digitalisation strategy should ensure that construction planning is linked to the digital Building Information Modeling (BIM) process, Tagesspiegel Background reports. BIM uses digital models to plan and control construction processes and calculate CO2 balances of buildings before they are built, thus increasing their overall efficiency. Additionally, the draft law envisages the digital monitoring of the designation of areas for onshore wind farms.

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