Initiative "Ways to a better LEP for Bavaria" - an appeal

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Barbara Weihs, representative of bdla Bavaria in the initiative Wege zum besseren LEP in Bayern (Ways to a better LEP in Bavaria), reports on the current status of the regional development programme.
© Klaus Leidorf

© Klaus Leidorf

State development planning is a central task of the state government, and in Bavaria it is set out in the State Development Programme (LEP). The first LEP of 1976 was groundbreaking - far beyond Bavaria's borders. In the meantime, state planning has been scaled back to a more tracking than planning instrument.
The LEP, which has been in force since 2013, disappoints as a guideline for a sustainable Bavaria, lacks a clear concept, coordination and creative power for the sustainable development of Bavaria and here in particular for the protection and further development of the Bavarian cultural landscape.

Out of social responsibility, the planning professions, including bdla Bavaria, as well as academies and organisations of landscape and environmental protection, came together under the leadership of the German Academy for Urban and Regional Planning (DASL) to form the initiative "Ways to a better LEP for Bavaria". Before the 2018 state election, the memorandum "A better LEP for Bavaria" was placed, which formulates clear demands and proposals for the reorientation of Bavarian regional planning.

The main approaches, to the "better LEP for Bavaria" are:

  • A new planning process - for the transformative development of Bavaria.
  • Landscape as the basis of life and space for action
  • New ways to the LEP - learning from others, and model-like design

A "learning", open planning process should be initiated in which citizens, civil society and local authorities are also involved and included, a kind of "Bavarian spatial laboratory". Objectives must be developed from and integrated into spatial images supported by society as a whole. Economic and ecological sustainability and quality of life must be the central guiding principles. Only with participation can the necessary transformation succeed.

Landscape is the soil, the basis of all spatial needs, the foundation for life and quality of life. Landscape can be the structural provider for a holistic development of services of general interest. Only with integrated, cross-sectoral spatial planning can the urgent challenges of climate, resource and biodiversity crises, of landscape loss and land consumption be overcome.

New ways are proposed, first an international congress on spatial planning should create insights and awareness of the problem; due to the pandemic this could not be implemented so far. However, in April 2021, a conference on the topic "What can the LEP contribute to a future-proof Bavaria?" could be organized. More than 400 participants from the professional world, politics and other interested parties demonstrated the explosive nature of the topic.

Soon, the hearing of the associations for the announced overall update of the LEP will begin. It is to come into force as early as the end of 2022.

The topics are set: climate change, digitalisation, equal living conditions, spatial justice.

The seriousness of the situation has not yet been recognised by everyone. A great deal of commitment is still required on the path to a sustainable Bavaria. The initiative will continue its efforts to shake things up, to inform, to mobilize, to develop proposals and demands in order to influence the political level.

It needs the commitment of all of us. Especially we landscape architects are in demand as experts for landscape development and should get involved on all levels.

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