New Technology for a New Century
International Conference 
FIG Working Week 2001, Seoul, Korea 6–11 May 2001



Rainer MÜLLER-JÖKEL, Germany

Key words: land readjustment, land management, urban development, Germany.


1. Urban Development in Germany

One of the major tasks of the municipalities in Germany is to provide building land. The municipalities have a comprehensive planning authority. The function of urban land-use planning is to prepare and control the use of land for building or for other purposes. The land-use plans are set up in a formal procedure, including an intensive participation of the citizens. In order to realize these planning concepts there are different instruments to achieve a sustainable urban development.

2. Models of Interim Purchase

The voluntary municipal interim purchase as a tool for land management has to be done for the whole project area. That means the willingness of all landowners and the financial ability of the municipality. The voluntary interim purchase of the land can also be done by private companies or private investors on the voluntary level. In the special declared urban development project as a special kind of municipal interim purchase the municipality can expropriate the individual landowner if he denies to sell his plot(s). But the special urban development measure can only be implemented if its special requirements are given. Many landowners refuse the project because they want to make a higher profit by the land value increase for themselves. That makes this instrument very unpopular.

3. Land Readjustment

Land readjustment is a special method to exchange the plots in a project area for building and other use in a special procedure. The basic idea of land readjustment is to add all plots of the project area to the so called readjustment mass. Out of this readjustment mass there have to be excluded the areas for public streets and green spaces including children's playground, provisions for protection against environmental conditions and for purification and overflow basins for rainwater. In accordance with the purposes of land readjustment landowners receive plots out of the so called redistribution mass. In land readjustment procedure the participation of the landowners is much more intensive than in the planning phase.

In Germany the competence to decide on a land readjustment project is delegated to an independent land readjustment board. To prepare and implement a successful urban development and urban redevelopment it is very important to have a qualified staff.

4. Case Studies

Two case studies show the possibilities and variety of land readjustment project to be implemented for urban development and urban redevelopment.

5. Implementation of Land Readjustment in the Eastern Part of Germany 

A special experience in Germany was the implementation of land readjustment in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) after the reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany. So from one day to the other the Building Law Code as the main urban development law (including land readjustment) was valid in East Germany and no one had any experience and knowledge in that field.

6. Land Readjustment in Seoul 

Land readjustment also played a significant and very successful role in Korea and particularly in Seoul. Entering the 1980s, however, the land readjustment programmes were assessed from a different viewpoint and the government policy preferred the purchase method. This tendency has run parallel with the central government's involvement in urban land development under the provision of the Residential Land Development Promotion Act of 1980. The Seoul-Gaepo land readjustment project is one of the greatest projects in Korea.

7. Conclusion 

Land readjustment is a very elegant and economic way for urban development and urban redevelopment. In Germany land readjustment has a very long tradition and really many projects have been completed with thousands of hectares of new building land for residential, commercial, industrial and other use as well as for public infrastructure. So German land readjustment is an excellent tool for ecological, economic and social land management as an essential part of sustainable urban development.


Mr. Rainer Müller-Jökel graduated as a land surveyor from the University of Bonn, Germany, with main subjects concerning land management and land evaluation. He is working for the Municipal Survey office of Frankfurt am Main as the Head of the Department of Land Readjustment.

He is Chairperson of Working Group 8 in DVW (German Association of Surveyors) and German delegate to FIG Commission 8. Rainer Müller-Jökel is Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt am Main and the Institute of Town Planning Berlin as well as Deputy Chairman of the Land Evaluation Board of the City of Frankfurt am Main.


Rainer Müller-Jökel
Stadtvermessungsamt - Municipal Survey Office
Abt. Bodenordnung - Dept. of Land Readjustment
Braubachstr. 15
D-60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. + 49 69 212 30062
Fax: + 49 69 212 40532

23 March 2001

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