Change requires order
Building codes and state building regulations are an essential part of public building law. They determine the legal requirements for building projects – from the plot of land to the details of the development. Since the first municipal building codes were drawn up in the late Middle Ages, the statutory law of local authorities has taken into account the demands of the diverse interests of the residents and users of the public space and reflected the changing respective issues over time. While avoiding danger and establishing general public order were initially the focus of the ordinances, ensuring barrier-free accessibility and mobility and also environmental protection concerns have long been included. The Model Building Code (MBO) ensures that the regulations are largely standardised throughout Germany. It is constantly updated by the Conference of Building Ministers, in which all the German states are represented. As a result, the building codes of the federal states essentially contain identical regulations that differ only in details. Nevertheless, in these details building owners will find important standards to which their building projects must be oriented.
Bicycle mobility needs infrastructure
The number of parking spaces for cars has long been specified in state building codes. With new regulations on parking spaces and parking facilities for bicycles, the state building codes are now also responding to the increasing importance of environmentally friendly bicycle mobility in Germany. Municipalities can adapt the state provisions to the respective local conditions through their own parking space statutes.
Municipal development and parking space requirements
The more recent development of the state building codes provides for greater involvement of the municipalities in the regulation of public space under building law. Thus, cities and municipalities are given the opportunity to set their own specifications. They can determine for themselves how and to what extent parking spaces for motor vehicles and bicycles are to be created in construction projects.
Every city and municipality can influence the design of construction projects, urban planning and traffic development with their own parking space statutes. The advantage: Municipal parking space statutes can be differentiated and tailored to local conditions and development strategies and thus be used for municipal traffic development and mobility management.
Model parking space statutes, such as the one adopted by the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament in 2016, are intended to make it easier for cities and municipalities to create them and to harmonise their application throughout the state.