Economic stimulus and future package with far-reaching effects for landscape architecture
In view of the negative economic effects of the Corona pandemic, the Bundestag passed an economic stimulus and future package with a volume of 130 billion euros on 2 July 2020. Many measures are welcome, such as the additional strengthening of climate protection and economic support for companies and municipalities.
Cities and municipalities are called upon to adapt to climate change
However, since the economic stimulus and future package hardly provides any direct incentives for climate impact adaptation measures, the cities and municipalities are called upon to act. They must use the scope that is now emerging for additional climate adaptation measures and strengthen the green infrastructure. This will be made possible in particular by the following projects announced in the economic stimulus package:
- the noticeable financial relief for the municipalities as a whole,
- the provision of an additional one billion euros this year and next year for the expansion of kindergartens, daycare centers and crèches,
- the acceleration of the investment program for the expansion of all-day schools and childcare,
- the increase of programmes from the joint expenditure "Improvement of the regional economic structure" by 500 million euros,
- the additional support of the national climate protection initiative in the amount of 100 million euros,
- the promotion of climate adaptation measures in social institutions,
- additional funds for bank restoration and the reconstruction of waterways.
Effects on planning offices and landscape architects
Some measures lead to changes in the economic conditions for the profession:
- reduction of VAT,
- temporary simplification of public procurement law for public projects,
- stabilisation of social security contributions,
- tax loss carry-back,
- declining balance depreciation for wear and tear.
Of importance for planning practice are, for example, the following objectives:
- programme to reduce bureaucracy,
- acceleration of planning law,
- simplification of public procurement law,
- material preclusion in conformity with European law.
In order to increase acceptance, the federal states will be given the option of specifying minimum distances of 1,000 metres for wind turbines when expanding renewable energy.
Central proposals for a stimulation of the economy by the planning and construction industry, which were brought to the attention of politicians in various position papers, have found their way into the law. However, the immense range of possible fields of action for the industry, such as urban-relevant climate adaptation, the mobility turnaround and the transformation of our cities, the qualification of public spaces or the promotion of social housing, was hardly represented.
Nevertheless, it is important to implement the economic stimulus package in a targeted, swift, complete and high-quality manner. The planning and construction sector offers the potential to have an enormous economic stimulus effect of high social value.
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