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NEILA – Sustainable development through intercommunal land use management in the region Bonn / Rhein-Sieg / Ahrweiler
Client:Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Partner(s):Dortmund University/Dortmund School of Planning (coordination); City of Bonn; Rhein-Sieg-district; district Ahrweiler; WWG Königswinter
Time frame:09/2018 – 08/2023

development phase: 09/2018 – 08/2021, implementation phase: 09/2021-08/2023

Growing regions are increasingly facing the challenge of development pressure on land as a finite resource. Land reserves for the designation of new residential and commercial space are often already exhausted and the capacity of transport infrastructure is partly overloaded. This goes hand in hand with conflicts over and competition for land. Within such regions, small-scale disparities between the municipalities can often be observed, ranging from growth through stagnation to processes of shrinkage in some areas. The Bonn / Rhein-Sieg / Ahrweiler region too is confronted with these challenges. It also has a long tradition of informal inter-municipal cooperation: For more than 25 years already, the Regional Working Group Bonn / Rhein-Sieg / Ahrweiler (:rak) has been particularly supporting the structural and housing development in the region.

The NEILA project aims to re-adjust the established cooperation in the :rak region in view of sustainable regional growth. For this purpose, a transdisciplinary approach has been chosen in which professionals from the region and scientific partners work together. The core objectives of the project are the development of an evidence-based intercommunal burden-benefit balance system and the derivation of instrumental and institutional implementation requirements for sustainable regional growth. The research project comprises two phases (development and implementation phase) which are temporally separated but conceptually intertwined. The core of the analysis is the conception and development of a regional spatial development monitoring. The results will be used for a region-wide integrated decision support system for regional prioritization of land development. This serves as preparation to create an intercommunally agreed guiding principle for the future settlement development in the: rak region (Intercommunal Settlement Development Concept). In addition, an intercommunal compensation and distribution system will be developed and implemented as a contribution to improved reconciliation of interests between the municipalities. It is not primarily about fiscal equalization, but in accordance with the principle of "exchange and sharing" practiced in the region, the development of a "virtual balancing pool" that particularly takes into account the particular qualities of the respective areas. In addition, the instrumental and institutional requirements for a successful and practicable implementation of the planned measures in the region are discussed and implemented. The focus is on increasing the binding nature of intermunicipal cooperation in land management.

The ILS’ main focus is on the development phase of NEILA. Among other things, it contributes to the set-up of the regional spatial development monitoring. For the integrated decision support system, it adapts the open source tool "ProfiCheck", which was co-developed by the ILS within the scope of precursor projects, to evaluate the benefits and costs of land development in accordance with the requirements of NEILA and the specific conditions of the :rak region. Another focal point is the conception and implementation of the intercommunal compensation and distribution system. In addition, as a scientific partner, the institute ensures the transfer of knowledge into the scientific community via scientific publications and specialist lectures as well as the transferability of NEILA's experience and tools to other regions.

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