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The ResourcePlan—An Instrument for Resource-Efficient Development of Urban Neighborhoods

Hörnschemeyer, Birgitta; Söfker-Rieniets, Anne; Niesten, Jan; Arendt, Rosalie; Kleckers, Jonas; Klemm, Christian; Stretz, Celestin Julian; Reicher, Christa; Grimsehl-Schmitz, Winona; Wirbals, Daniel; Bach, Vanessa; Finkbeiner, Matthias; Haberkamp, Jens; Budde, Janik; Vennemann, Peter; Walter, Gotthard; Flamme, Sabine; Uhl, Mathias

In Germany, the current sectoral urban planning often leads to inefficient use of resources, partly because municipalities lack integrated planning instruments and argumentation strength toward politics, investors, or citizens. The paper develops the ResourcePlan as (i) legal and (ii) a planning instrument to support the efficient use of resources in urban neighborhoods. The integrative, multi-methodological approach addresses the use of natural resources in the building and infrastructural sectors of (i) water (storm- and wastewater) management, (ii) construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure, (iii) urban energy system planning, and (iv) land-use planning. First, the development as legal instrument is carried out, providing (i) premises for integrating resource protection at all legal levels and (ii) options for implementing the ResourcePlan within German municipal structures. Second, the evaluation framework for resource efficiency of the urban neighborhoods is set up for usage as a planning instrument. The framework provides a two-stage process that runs through the phases of setting up and implementing the ResourcePlan. (Eco)system services are evaluated as well as life cycle assessment and economic aspects. As a legal instrument, the ResourcePlan integrates resource protection into municipal planning and decision-making processes. The multi-methodological evaluation framework helps to assess inter-disciplinary resource efficiency, supports the spatial identification of synergies and conflicting goals, and contributes to transparent, resource-optimized planning decisions.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su14031522, MDPI