General Data
Name of instrument Early Public Participation (= vorgezogene Bürgerbeteiligung)
Country DE
Spatial level local
Type Voluntary approaches and agreements / cooperation
Subtype Conflict prevention and resolution
Description In the forerun of formal participation processes, municipalities according to § 3, Paragraph 1 Federal Building Code (BauGB), are required to inform the public of planning projects as soon as they materialise and are roughly checked with other veto authorities regarding their general feasibility (water management etc.). This information has to include planning objectives, planning effects and potential alternatives. This early participation can be carried out in various forms (public announcement, public meeting etc.). Concerns and suggestions raised by the public can feed into further municipal plans that undergo the formal public participation as foreseen in § 3, Paragraph 2 Federal Building Code (BauGB). Early public participation is not required if a) the planning project is not in conflict with and requires no changes of the land use plan. b) public participation has already taken place at a regional framework level.
General objectives Resolving conflicts at an early stage
Incorporating public suggestions and concerns in planning processes
General objectives keywords public participation; conflict prevention;
Responsible Local authority/Municipal council
Stakeholder Involved Private individuals; Planners; NGO; Associations/interest groups; Entrepreneurs/businessmen;
Reference nn
General assessment of strength and weakness Strength: The underlying consideration is to resolve planning conflicts at an early planning stage, where changes can be more easily implemented. In that respect, the instrument is effective as long as planning alternatives are acceptable for both parties.

Weakness: Municipality has very much leeway how to implement this early participation.
Instrument does not work in cases where the planning project or its alternatives are not acceptable for either one the parties. E.g. if a part of the population is totally opposed to the construction of a new motorway, early public participation will not contribute to resolving the conflict.
Date of entry 13/04/2007
Legal status mandatory for responsible body, BUT NOT for end-user
Extension all municipalities
Comment In 2004, the law has been amended. According to the amendment, an early participation can also be carried out through a public meeting instead of formal public announcement to accelerate the public participation process. Furthermore, an early public participation stage is from now on required also for housing projects serving an urgent local housing demand (= dringender örtlicher Wohnbedarf). Monitoring is difficult as concerns raised by the public may, but do not have to be included in further planning.
Type of monitoring other (see comment)
Preconditions for implementation Legal basis § 3, Paragraph 1 Federal Building Code (BauGB)
Best practise example
Example Abstract
Attachment Internet-based early public participation in the city of Esslingen/DE. Internet-based_public_participation_1176467200274.pdf
General comment
Status strong direct relevance
Ranking 4
Remark -
Status municipal administration. Local economy, environmental NGOs, municipal residents, superordinate administrations
Ranking 5
Status -
Ranking 5
Remark -
Status Legislation, political will, participation/support
Ranking 3
Remark -
Status Direction of effect, acceptability, perpetuity
Ranking 3
Remark Type of effect unclear as objections do not have to be considered