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Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.5 Architecture and spatial planning

As early as 1950, a federal Law on Art for Public Buildings ("Kunst am Bau") was passed to promote visual artists and to bring art into public spaces (actually, a regulation of the same name for the Reich, the Länder and the towns already existed in 1934). The law foresaw that 1 percent – later 2 percent – of the construction budget of public buildings should be spent on works of art connected with the architecture. This regulation was reworked several times and is known today as the "K7" component of the "Guidelines for the Realisation of Construction Assignments of the Federal Government" (RBBau K7). At the beginning of the 1990s, the 2 percent rule was taken out of the regulation.

The RBBau K7 applies only to constructions carried out on the federal level. The Länder introduced similar regulations for constructions carried out under their responsibility, some of them with the same name "K7", others under the title "Art in the Public Space". Some local authorities also developed similar guidelines.

More general definitions relating to architecture and town-planning are laid down in the Federal Construction Code and in building regulations, above all at state level.

In 2005, the Bundestag / Federal Parliament decided unanimously to establish a National Foundation for Architecture (Stiftung Baukultur). However, this plan failed because of the resistance of the Bundesrat (Chamber of the Länder in the Parliament) and because some Länder feared too much influence from the national authorities.

Environmental care and landscape protection in general do not fall into the area of cultural policy in Germany. Both on the national and regional level, they are administered through separate laws and regulations by ministries for environmental affairs. However, the protection and care of the natural heritage and built monuments in the narrow sense are at least partly addressed by authorities in charge of the care of monuments, based on the laws for monument protection of the 16 Länder (see chapter 5.3.3).


Chapter published: 04-09-2013

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              Council of Europe/ERICarts, "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 15th edition", 2014 | ISSN 2222-7334