The Central Institute for Spatial Planning at the University of Muenster (ZIR), a research institute for German and European Law, was founded in 1964. In accordance with its statue, the institute’s mission is to study the legal principles of spatial planning, including questions concerning environmental protection on the federal territory relevant to spatial planning as well as interdisciplinary cooperation with, among others, economic and social sciences. Legal entity of the ZIR is the German Academy for Urban and Regional Spatial Planning.

Attention is directed in particular to the correlation between spatial planning and constitutional law just as European law. Accordingly, the institute’s work furthermore examines numerous questions of public law exceeding the areas of planning law.

The research projects are mostly initiated by its awarding authorities, such as the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Aside, legal expertise and other research are also compiled for third parties.

The state of North-Rhine Westphalia and the federal republic of Germany as well as other institutions applying law in areas of spatial planning, urban development, environmental policy and moreover the legislator benefit from the results of scientific research.

Research directions are mainly, but not limited to,:

  1. Spanning questions of spatial planning law
  2. Public building law and comprehensive spatial planning law
  3. Spatial-related environmental law and sectional planning law
  4. Questions on constitutional law with significance for certain areas of administrative law
  5. European spatial planning law
  6. Questions on European law, in particular the influence of European law on certain areas of German administrative law