shopping mall with many different stores and supermarkets in Troisdorf-Rotter See

Retailing concept


Retail facilities on "greenfield" sites weaken city centres

The existence of city centres continues to be threatened by competition from car-friendly sites. Competitors offering products traditionally sold in town centres are particularly damaging. These goods, particularly textiles and clothing, account for the bulk of sales and enhance the appeal of city centres.

On the other hand, the importance of town centres is not threatened by the relocation of more space-intensive product ranges, such as furniture, which can no longer find suitable large-scale retail facilities to rent here. Now that a hesitant start has been made to intervene in a changing local market economy by means of an urban location strategy, the necessity of effective management is now widely accepted.

Protection of consumer-oriented town-centre structures

By taking supportive measures to redevelop town centres since the end of the 1960s, the federal, state and municipal governments have acknowledged the importance of town centres as primary shopping locations.   The aim of these redevelopment schemes was to protect established town centres from the relocation of retail businesses. Redeveloping the centres is not sufficient in itself, however, if non-integrated sites actively compete with neighbouring municipalities to win and retain purchasing power. This is why additional restrictive measures are necessary outside town centres to protect them.

Special zones for large-scale retail businesses

Since 1968, it has been necessary to provide suitable, specially designated areas for large-scale retail stores setting up in non-integrated locations. Legislative and judicial processes require increasingly detailed concepts to prove that greenfield sites have no adverse impact on urban development. In 2007, federal and state governments drew up more effective legal criteria for the management of retail development.

shop window and jackets in front of the shop enlarge picture

Retailing concept for Troisdorf continuously updated

Troisdorf has had a comprehensive overall approach to retail activity in the city since 2006, when a new concept for retailing and local shopping facilities was drawn up. The council approved the latest version on 31.05.2011. The updated version takes account of the state's legal framework, which was modified after the preliminary plan in 2006, § 24a of the state development programme, which was launched on 19.06.2007, and the edict for the retail industry in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which was revised on 22.09.2008. The updated concept, which is agreed with the regional government of Cologne, provides planning reliability for all those involved. The city can decide directly on applications to build large-scale retail enterprises within established city-centre shopping areas and specially designated zones without referring to the regional authority.

Centre concept for effective use of space

According to § 24a of the state development programme, a hierarchically structured city-centre concept with demarcated shopping areas is a prerequisite for the designation of core and special zones for large-scale retail businesses. As the concept has been updated, a clearer distinction has been made between primary, secondary and minor shopping centres and more recent jurisprudence has provided for these to be divided into precise lots. Market data have been updated. Troisdorf's register of centre-appropriate goods now defines product ranges on the basis of the new statistical classification of economic activities from 2008.

You will find further information (available in PDF format) on the German site.