platform for citymakers more Information

National Urban Development Policy

Use of cookies

Cookies help us to provide our services. By using our website you agree that we can use cookies. Read more about our Privacy Policy and visit the following link: Privacy Policy


Navigation and service

Baustelle aus der Vogelperspektive mit Einblick in eine Großstadt

Background of the National Urban Development Policy

How did the National Urban Development Policy come about and how did it develop? What are the foundations and how do we work? What are our tools? Who are our partners?


In 2007, the ministers responsible for urban development in the EU Member States committed themselves to strengthening sustainable and integrated urban development and taking responsibility for particularly disadvantaged urban areas with the “Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities”.
For this purpose, the "National Urban Development Policy" was created in Germany in 2007 under the leadership of the Ministry of Building as a joint initiative of the federal government, the states and local umbrella organizations. The memorandum "Towards a national Urban Development Policy" describes the foundation of how the city can become a "public topic" and how the practice of urban development in Germany can benefit from the efforts and strong impulses of different actors.

Five years later, the memorandum "Urban Energies - Future Tasks for Cities" (2012) updated the basis of the National Urban Development Policy with a focus on global responsibility in climate change. Against the background of digital transformation, growing social polarisation and the acceleration of climate change, the further development of the National Urban Development Policy was initiated in 2017 after an evaluation.

In preparation for the EU Council Presidency of Germany 2020, a comprehensive national and European dialogue process has resulted in "The New Leipzig Charter - The Transformative Power of Cities for the Common Good". Together with the "Urban Agenda for the EU", it will serve as a new basis for urban development policy in Europe. The “New Leipzig Charter” is to be adopted at the ministerial meeting in Leipzig in late November / early December 2020.

Further information


Urban development is always a collaborative effort. The National Urban Development Policy offers three central tools for building a city, testing new solutions, developing good examples and promoting the public dialogue on these topics:

  • "Good practice": With the ongoing constant developments in funding, legislation and research, we create the best possible framework conditions for urban development on site, for example with the Urban Development Funding
  • “Project series for city and urbanity”: Since 2007 we have been supporting a large number of pilot projects in developing and testing creative ideas that are exemplary for practical implementation in the district, city or region.
  • “Platform”: The National Urban Development Policy has established itself as the central communication platform for urban development in Germany, especially with the annual federal congresses and their publications. Interested parties from business, science and civil society continuously exchange ideas on innovative solutions and strategies for the future of our cities with the federal government, the states and local organisations as well as international guests.

Good practice: Urban Development Promotion Programmes

Urban development funding is one of the most important instruments for promoting sustainable urban development. Since 1971, it has been helping to support the municipalities in their urban and structural challenges and to substantiate the goals of socially, economically and ecologically balanced urban development and urban renewal.

As a learning and developing instrument, it is constantly renewed and stands for an almost unique cooperation between the federal government, the states, cities and municipalities. Together, concrete improvements for the residents are to be achieved in the districts and quarters. With the three programs "Living Centres", "Social Cohesion" and "Growth and Sustainable Renewal", it forms the overarching umbrella for interdepartmental action.

Integrated (urban) development concepts are mandatory! They are created in close cooperation with local civil society actors and stakeholders. Federal grants are supplemented by the federal states and municipalities - usually one third each. In addition, the urban development programs make an important contribution to the local economy by stimulating private and public investments (triggering 7.1 times the private and public investments). Urban development as a "good practice" is a central component of the National Urban Development Policy.

More on Urban Development Promotion Programmes (in German)


We make city together! Since 2007, the National Urban Development Policy has been implemented as a joint initiative by the federal government, the states and local umbrella organisations in productive cooperation. At the invitation of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, representatives of the Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag), the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund) and the Conference of Building Ministers (Bauministerkonferenz) as elected members of the Urban Planning Commission meet regularly to discuss the specific structure of the activities and to discuss current challenges, projects and strategic approaches of the National Urban Development Policy.

Logo des Bundesministerium für Wohnen, Stadtentwicklung und Bauwesen

Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building

Logo Konferenz der für Städtebau, Bau- und Wohnungswesen zuständigen Minister und Senatoren der Länder (ARGEBAU)

Conference on Building Ministers (in German)

Logo Deutscher Städtetag

Associaton of German Cities


Logo Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund (DStGB)

German Association of Towns and Municipalities (in German)