Sustainable development of cities is the overarching objective of spatial development and planning activities by municipalities. The key term in this context has become the concept of integrated spatial development planning as the basis for achieving sustainable urban development. However, research so far has tended to focus on planning practices on the level of metropolises and larger cities, while the level of smaller spatial units tends to be neglected. On the basis of empirical research, in ten small and medium-sized city municipalities in Germany and Poland, this contribution will evaluate the congruence of municipal spatial planning practices with an integrated approach. The aspects looked at include, e.g. the prevalence of area-focused operational initiative planning in contrast to estate-focused regulative demand planning, as well as the municipal claim to actively steer spatial development, and the visibility of pursuing spatial priorities (such as brown field site development, or inner-city development). While there are some outcomes, notably concerning operational planning aspects, deriving from the two different national planning systems, results also show a strong dependence of integrated planning practices on the cities' socioeconomic and hierarchical situation beyond the national context.
Integrated planning sustainability small and medium-sized cities Germany Poland