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Department of Spatial Planning

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Land policy deals with the relation between spatial planning and property rights. It can be understood as public interventions in the allocation and distribution of land.

The chair of Land Policy, Land Management and Municipal Surveying researches and teaches on land policy and its relations to spatial planning. Special emphasis is given to strategies of municipal land policy in pursuit of political goals such as the provision of housing, the reduction of land use, or urban densification. In addition to these topics, the impact of climate change on property rights is also an important component of teaching and research. In this context, students are taught basic knowledge as well as specialized thematic focuses in the bachelor's and master's degree programs of the Department of Spatial Planning.

Teaching focuses on the relationship between private land and spatial planning. In the bachelor’s degree, the focus is on understanding, application and further development of land policy and land management (Module 14). In the master’s programs (incl. SPRING), the focus is on the strategic application and further development of strategies and instruments of land policy.

Research focus


Land saving and housing shortages represent two of the major planning challenges for dealing with land. However, they conflict with each other. Redensification can help to solve this conflict. The department is involved in various research projects on land policy strategies for mobilizing redensification potentials.

Climate Change & Property

Floods, droughts, and heavy rains affect land uses. Many mitigation measures require land - ranging from "room for the rivers" to increase water retention to private precautionary measures, even in areas previously considered flood proof. Most of the land on which such measures are being implemented is privately owned or occupied. Dealing with the consequences of climate change is thus a land policy challenge.

Problem properties

Land is a scarce commodity that requires efficient use. Vacancies - intentional or unintentional - therefore require land policy interventions. Gaps between buildings, problem properties (“junk properties”) or underused areas also pose major challenges in this respect, since interventions always involve interventions in private property. Valuation and land policy strategies can help to identify possible solutions.

Land policy Europe-wide

Challenges of land policy are not limited to nation states. Rather, an internationally comparative land policy can open new perspectives and also contribute to a better understanding of one's own system. A look at neighboring European countries as well as international exchange in research projects and networks are therefore an essential part of teaching and research at the department.



New Member of the board of land value appraisers in the City of Hagen

Prof. Thomas Hartmann has been appointed as member of board of land value appraisers in the City of Hagen

A Standard Land Value Map of Hagen.

Visiting Talks by Prof. Nir Mualam and Dr. Gabriela Debrunner (PLPR)

Bringing ‘Property’ on the 2020s-Planner’s-Agenda, Dr. Debrunner will argue the question of property and landownership. Prof. Nir Mualam reviews…

A collage of pictures of Nir Mualam and Dr. Gabriela Debrunner and their according research facilities.

Presentation of commemorative publication to Prof. Dr. Kleiber at the 30th Freiburg Real Estate Days

As part of the DIA's 30th Freiburg Real Estate Days, Prof. Dr. Kleiber was surprised with a commemorative publication on October 26, 2023.

The authors and Prof. Dr. Kleiber at the presentation of the commemorative publication at the 30th Freiburg Real Estate Days

International Reflections on Munich's land policy

ARL's International Working Group on Land Policy in Europe, chaired by Prof. Thomas Hartmann, met in Munich in September 2023.

Members of the international Working Group in Munich City Hall

Astrid Maurer`s doctoral thesis has been published

After Astrid Maurer successfully defended her doctorate on the topic of deliberate vacancy in private property in October, the paper is now available.

Books with the inscription dissertation on a bookshelf in the library.

Prof. Dr. Ben Davy gave two guest lectures in module 10.1 Planning cartography

The former chair, Prof. Dr. Ben Davy, gave two guest lectures in the module Planning cartography.


Master's thesis wins Bauland Prize 2022

Henning Olbrich wins the Bauland Prize 2022 with his Master's thesis under the supervision of Thomas Hartmann

Bauland-Preis 2022

„Ohne internationales Netzwerk wäre ich heute wahrscheinlich nicht Professor“

Spotlight Forschung: Prof. Thomas Hartmann zum Aufbau internationaler Kooperationen

Photo by Prof. Dr. Thomas Hartmann.