Urban Development Plans for City and District Centres
Since 1999 Leipzig has had an Urban Development Plan for City and District Centres (STEP Zentren). It has been successfully used in the past to develop the retail infrastructure. Although it cannot directly influence the opening or closing of supermarket locations, it does offer a framework for functional zoning, economic development and district development. This ensures planning and investment security for owners, traders and investors.
Transforming Retail - The New City and District Centre Concept
The Urban Development Plan for City and District Centres was last updated in 2017 in response to the changing requirements and is now available in its third version following a resolution by the City Council on 20 September 2017 (VI-DS-04512). The current revision, which was created with experts from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Saxony Trade Association and the Free State of Saxony, takes into account changes in the legal framework as well as structural changes in the retail trade and the current development of population figures and purchasing power.
Division of Service Areas
The plan outlines a total of 42 central service areas. These include the city centre with its strong regional appeal (category A), nine district centres (two B- and seven C-centres, usually related to local districts) and 29 local service centres (D-centres) as well as the locations Gorkistraße-Nord, Riebeckstraße and Bernhard-Göring-Straße, which also have the potential to develop into local service centres. Based on the experience gained since 2009, the current updated version does not include local service locations as a fifth category. In the past, there had been no actual centre formation in this area. In urban areas where no centres are currently identified, a more flexible settlement strategy adapted to demand is now possible.
The updated version focused on nine major streets including Eisenbahnstraße in the east, Georg-Schwarz-Straße in the west and Georg-Schumann-Straße in the northwest. They were included in the Urban Development Plan as a special category at the request of the City Council. Also at the request of the City Council and on the basis of corresponding information from the participation procedure, suggestions have been incorporated as to how gaps in supply, identified in the urban peripheries, can be bridged. In addition, new retail projects should take into account urban qualities with appropriate structural density and utilisation mixes and improve their functional and urban integration into the surrounding area.
The Urban Development Plan for City and District Centres is intended to direct the retail sector towards locations that make sense from an urban planning point of view as part of a future-oriented urban development plan. One of the reasons for this is to ensure the provision of local supply facilities within the residential areas and for all groups of the population in accordance with the possibilities available. Moreover, existing and prospective negative effects on the district centres or the thinning out of the local shopping facilities should be avoided. Furthermore, the aim is to preserve important Leipzig shopping streets and to protect jobs and apprenticeships, especially in medium-sized retail and service businesses. Changes in the legal framework, structural changes in retail trade and the current development of population figures and purchasing power have been incorporated into the current updated version as well.
The major objectives are:
- Strengthening Leipzig's position, especially the inner city, as a leading regional centre
- Stabilisation, strengthening and development of centralised areas of local supply
- Ensuring spatially balanced provisions of local supplies close to residential areas
- Targeted management of specialist store locations
- Creation of planning and investment security through a binding guideline framework
The Urban Development Plan for City and District Centres is based on an economic and urban structural assessment of the retail trade environment. The Leipzig retail holdings and retail-related services in the centres are assessed every three years. The objectives and strategies for future retail trade and centre development in Leipzig were derived from the results of these evaluations, taking into account the legal and planning requirements.
The Urban Development Plan for City and District Centres is divided into three parts: district centres, local supply and speciality stores. This allows the spatial structure of Leipzig's retail trade to be assessed holistically.
The Urban Development Plan also includes the Leipzig Retail List, which specifies where in Leipzig retail outlets are to be found in the three categories. Most of all, it is an instrument for the urban planning management of retail projects in obligatory functional zoning. Other important implementation elements include management principles as a guideline for decisions on settlements, changes and extensions of retail facilities.