Land consumption for settlement and infrastructure development has been extensively discussed and analyzed in the last two decades . In Germany, existing governance at the state level seems to hardly foster effective land management at the municipal level to achieve overarching goals at the level of the European Union such as``no net land take". Germany aims to limit land consumption to less than 30 ha per day by 2030 . This goal is hardly translated to the municipal level where actual land-use decisions are taken due to the municipal planning sovereignty . In order to address these deficiencies, this study characterizes land consumption in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region with self-organizing maps and identifies major factors explaining cluster differences using boosted regression trees . We identified four major clusters: booming, prosperous, moderate, and transition regions . Generally, beneficial demographics (population growth and lower old-age dependency ratio) and financial power of municipalities come at the expense of considerable settlement and traffic infrastructure development (i.e., increased land consumption), creating the impression of a rather unregulated market despite the existing planning framework in Germany . Based on these clusters, we developed an indicator set through a participatory process to improve land-use planning following three dimensions: efficient land use, preservation of cultural landscapes and its services, and fostering the regional added value of agricultural products beyond the current local political focus . Future research should assess whether municipalities with better information will reduce land consumption due to increased awareness.
Index: Governance, Indicators, Land consumption, Land management, Land take, Spatial planning