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Department of Spatial Planning

Integrated residential location information as a contribution to reduce land consumption

Despite stagnating housing markets in many regions, the suburbanisation of households and their choice of non-integrated residential locations still play an important role in spatial development. These choices cause a number of problems, including extensive land consumption, increasing traffic volume, and high infrastructure costs. At the same time, the results of population surveys show that location decisions might be impacted by better information on the negative individual effects of suburbanisation (car dependency, transport costs, insufficient local shopping and service facilities etc.). This opens up chances for an active communication and urban development policy of cities and urban regions. The project focused on the following research question:

Can comprehensive and independent information affect residential location decisions of private households in favour of integrated and less land-consuming locations?

The nucleus of the project were two tools complementing each other for residential location information and advice. The first tool is a GIS-oriented, internet-based housing information system. The second tool is an individual, personal residential location consultancy for house-hunters. Both of the tools aim at informing households who plan to move about characteristics of various urban neighbourhoods on a small-scale level, e.g. shopping and leisure facilities, schools, public transport, housing price level, or the social composition in the neighbourhood. They are targeted at finding neighbourhoods that fit the location preferences of the respective household. The two tools were implemented in the two case cities Schwerin and Wilhelmshaven. The potential of the tools was evaluated in the project.

The tools were prepared and accompanied by various analytical modules that aimed to improve understanding of the reasons for suburbanisation and intra-regional migration to peripheral locations as well as of the decision structures preceding migration. Housing and location requirements and preferences, experiences after relocation, and motives of return migrants into the cities were analysed for different user groups (e.g. household types) and processed for the consultancy. To ensure the success of the tools, a specific marketing strategy was developed.

The project approach focused on the demand side and the individual concerns of the house-hunters. It complemented the established measures to reduce land consumption that are more (spatial) structurally or economically oriented. The information-based approach should be effective within the existing settlement stock. As a low-cost approach it provides an interface between the structural concepts of "classical" planning and the private households' acting. It supplements spatial concepts and helps to make more effective use of such concepts.

The project was executed at the transport research group, Department of Spatial Planning.


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (

Executive organisation:

PT Jülich (

The project is part of the research programme "Research for the Reduction of Land Consumption and for Sustainable Land Management" (REFINA) which has been implemented by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (


Project partners:

Fachgebiet Verkehrswesen und Verkehrsplanung, Technische Universität Dortmund (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Holz-Rau, Prof. Dr. Joachim Scheiner)

Institut für Raumplanung (IRPUD), Technische Universität Dortmund

Büro für Integrierte Planung Berlin (

plan-werkStadt (Bremen) (

Capital of the Bundesland Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Schwerin (

City of Wilhelmshaven (

DV - Gesellschaft des Deutschen Verbandes für Wohnungswesen, Städtebau und Raumordnung (

Project coordinator:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Holz-Rau.

Project start: October 1, 2006; termination: March 31, 2010.


Prof. Dr. Joachim Scheiner, joachim.scheinertu-dortmundde, Tel.: ++49 (0)231 755-4822



Related publications:

Scheiner, Joachim / Holz-Rau, Christian (2011): A residential location approach to traffic safety: two case studies from Germany. In: Accident Analysis & Prevention 43(1), S. 307-322

Holz-Rau, Christian / Scheiner, Joachim / Schwarze, Björn (2010): Wohnstandortinformation privater Haushalte: Grundlagen und Erfahrungen aus zwei Modellstädten. Dortmunder Beiträge zur Raumplanung - Verkehr 9. Dortmund: IRPUD.

Scheiner, Joachim / Bauer, Uta / Holz-Rau, Christian / Schwarze, Björn / Wohltmann, Heike (2010): Ist das Leben in Suburbia nachteilig? Wohnstandortzufriedenheit und Mobilität in Stadt und Umland. In: Standort - Zeitschrift für angewandte Geographie 34(3), S.88-96.

Bauer, Uta / Holz-Rau, Christian / Scheiner, Joachim / Schwarze, Björn / Wohltmann, Heike (2009): Wohnstandortwahl privater Haushalte: Flächensparen durch bessere Informationen? In: Bock, Stephanie / Hinzen, Ajo / Libbe, Jens (Hrsg.): Nachhaltiges Flächenmanagement - in der Praxis erfolgreich kommunizieren. Berlin. S. 121-132.

Holz-Rau, Christian / Scheiner, Joachim (2009): Verkehrssicherheit in Stadt und (Um-)Land: Unfallrisiko im Stadt-Land-Vergleich. In: Zeitschrift für Verkehrssicherheit 55(4), S. 171-177.

Schwarze, Björn (2009): A Residential Location Decision Support System (RLDSS) as a Contribution to More Sustainability in Urban Regions. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM 2009), University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Bauer, Uta / Holz-Rau, Christian / Scheiner, Joachim / Schwarze, Björn / Wohltmann, Heike (2009): Gezielter suchen, besser wohnen. Unabhängige Wohnstandortinformation zur Stärkung städtischer Standorte. In: PlanerIn 1/09, S. 15-16.

Scheiner, Joachim (2008): Verkehrskosten der Randwanderung privater Haushalte. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung 66(1), S. 52-62.

Bauer, Uta / Holz-Rau, Christian / Scheiner, Joachim / Schwarze, Björn / Wohltmann, Heike (2007): Reduzierung der Flächeninanspruchnahme durch Wohnstandortberatung. In: Genske, Dieter D. / Ruff, Ariane (Hg.): Nachhaltiges Flächenmanagement - Potenziale und Handlungsfelder für Regionen im Umbau. Nordhäuser Hochschultexte, Schriftenreihe Ingenieurwissenschaften 002/2007. S. 163-174.