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Wenn Kommunen planen: Schutz der Umwelt vor den oder durch die Gemeinden?

Ulrich Ellinghaus
Keywords: Kommunale Planungshoheit, Schutz der natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen, Kommunaler Umweltschutz, Hessische Verfassung, Wald

According to the Hessian constitution, the natural living conditions enjoy the protection of the state and the municipalities. What does this mean in practice? What have municipalities done in the past to protect the natural living conditions in their respective territories? The essay “When communities are planning: Environmental protection by or against municipalities?” briefly outlines the history of environmental law in Germany and the – quite limited – role of communities, in particular when it comes to zoning and regional development. The author asks whether this is beneficial or detrimental for the environment, considering the large amounts of land loss for development purposes that take place each year. He mentions other fields where communities can play a helpful role in environmental protection and identifies communities as natural guardians of the forests which they own as well as in nature conservation and landscape management in their respective jurisdictions. In order to become the protectors of natural living conditions which the Hessian constitution expects municipalities to be, most of them will have to significantly step up their efforts to avoid further land use, acknowledge the important role of environmental protection in their daily business and rethink forest management.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ellinghaus, LL.M. (UW Madison) ist Partner der internationalen Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Baker & McKenzie (Frankfurt), Honorarprofessor für Öffentliches Recht an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen und Fraktionsvorsitzender für die SPD in der Gemeindevertretung Wettenberg.


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