Building communities and their legal implications - A German case study

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, 2015, pp. np - np
Issue Date:
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In the form of an innovative adaptation of older concepts, the German real estate market has witnessed over the last 15 years a substantial growth in the number of developments that are led by groups of private individuals. The reasons for this trend towards so-called building communities (German terminology - "Baugemeinschaften") are manifold, including the financial motivation to save the developer's margin, the quest for alternative architectural products not provided by the professional market, as much as the creation of long-lasting social connections through the participation in a communal planning, design and construction effort. This paper, jointly authored by an urban designer and a lawyer, focuses on the identification of the German case-studies' major legal issues and their implications on architectural and urban questions. The reason for a multi-disciplinary approach is based on the desire to uncover and highlight the interplay of social and economic forces that otherwise might remain hidden behind the specialists' separations. Ultimately, the practical aim is to help identify the critical moments in the building communities' development process, in which a modification of the legal system might be productive, or the interference of the public sector helpful.
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