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Urban Planning

Urban Development Plans

Spatial Planning System Berlin (simplified)  © SenStadtWohn

Berlin’s Urban Development Plans (UDP) are five spatial development frameworks, each dedicated to a single spatial subject:

  • housing
  • economy (industry and commerce)
  • town centres
  • mobility and transport
  • climate adaption and mitigation

Each UDP covers the entire administrative area of Berlin and, with regard to its specific spatial subject, refers to future land use and the built environment. The five plans are coordinated and in consonance with each other, so rivalries among different land use claims are avoided at an early stage. In doing so, the UDPs contribute to the development of Berlin in a balanced, integrated and public welfare oriented way. This is important to deal with Berlin's growth in a way that existing infrastructure is used as efficient as possible, nature is being protected and today’s and future land use demands, for example for residential and industrial land, can be met.

As strategic plans the UDPs function as a hinge between the town-wide level of the Land Use Plan (Zoning Plan) and the local level of the Local Building Plans. Through mutual feedbacks they indicate further legal planning requirements, especially necessary alterations to the Land Use Plan or necessary elaborations/­alterations of Local Building Plans. Typically a UDP includes an in-depth analysis, sets objectives and guidelines for future planning and defines spatial and temporal priorities as well as necessary measures to be taken. Regarding their legal status the plans are considered informal as no form and no procedure is determined by formal German federal law. Nevertheless, the fact that they are informal does not mean that the plans are non-binding: they are agreed on by the Senate of Berlin and acknowledged by the House of Representatives and therefore the UDPs determinations have to be taken into account by all planning authorities in Berlin.

The Urban Development Plans are being elaborated by the Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing – except for the UDP on mobility and transport, which is in charge of the Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection. The elaboration process includes a constructive participation of relevant stakeholders, e.g. other Senate Departments, the Berlin Boroughs, politicians, experts, associations and initiatives.

For more information please see the summaries (English) in the UDP brochures:

and see the following website (German):

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