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Local part , depending on the type of regional authority (administrative unit) also part town , district , part of the municipality , part of a locality or faction , is on the one hand an unspecific collective term in settlement geography , demography and spatial planning for demarcated and named parts of a settlement (a place, a locality in general Senses).

On the other hand, there is the name of the district in some areas as municipal law subdivisions of cities and towns.


Cities , municipalities and also individual places are further subdivided, sometimes in several stages, both in terms of local law and administrative as well as for official statistical purposes.

The general terms for districts include:

Districts can be former municipalities and cities that had to give up their independence through incorporation , often in the course of a regional reform , and became parts of a neighboring or newly created municipality, or new residential areas (new construction areas) that have their own settlement Names were given if they were created according to a uniform plan and spatially delimited from the existing settlement core. In rural areas , the small settlements such as hamlets or farmsteads sometimes form independent places, but are also districts of their nearby central locations or communities. Scattered settlements consist of individual layers .

On an even larger scale, the individual cities of an urban agglomeration ( mega-city ) form a certain unit. Historically grown and spatial / urban planning reorganizations overlap, so that settlements and settlement areas in general show a rather complex, diverse sub-district structure.



Depending on the rules in the Municipal Code of the respective country districts can also district offices ( Ortschaftsrat , Ortsrat, town council , town board) or own village administrations as well as a local chief (village head) or a mayor have. Here one usually speaks of the place (in the legal sense).

The naming of new districts is the sole responsibility of the respective municipality. In doing so, she has to listen to various bodies (e.g. archive administration, statistical offices, post office, surveying offices, etc.) and ensure that no identical district names appear within the municipality.

In larger cities, districts are referred to as urban districts, depending on the country , or are grouped into such. Unlike districts that have their own village representatives can , must municipalities usually have one. The name, mode of election and responsibilities of these district councils also vary from country to country.

Building law

In terms of building law , a district is “any building complex in the area of ​​a municipality which, depending on the number of existing buildings, has a certain weight and is an expression of an organic settlement structure”. A building complex that does not meet the above conditions is called a splinter settlement. The classification of a building complex in one of the categories is handled differently by the courts and depends on the settlement structure of the specific individual case. For example, the Federal Administrative Court has denied that a cluster of four residential buildings was of sufficient weight, while the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg awarded the district quality to a complex of five residential buildings and five outbuildings. The Lower Saxony Higher Administrative Court, on the other hand, saw no district in a development with 13 residential buildings.

The concept of the district plays a role above all in the delimitation of built-up districts from the outside area , which can be decisive in determining the permissibility of building projects.

Individual countries and cities

In Baden-Wuerttemberg the term sub -town is also common, which was incorporated into the false sub-town selection created after the municipal reform in 1972 .

In Bavaria , the Bavarian municipal code only uses the term part of the municipality and stipulates in Art. 2 Paragraph 2 that its official designation is not made by the municipality itself, but by the supervisory authority (usually the district administration). In cities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, the formation of municipal parts has no further legal significance; above this size, as city districts, they receive their own representative bodies. In 2012 there were around 42,000 officially designated municipal parts in Bavaria.

In Berlin the districts since the local government reform are officially in a total of 96 districts divided (see. The list of districts and localities of Berlin ). Districts are of no importance for the administration of the city; they are roughly based on historically created spaces, are used for statistical recording and are intended to encourage residents to identify with “their” urban area. The size of the districts is very different, the Neukölln district has around 160,000 inhabitants, and around 550 people live in the Malchow district.

In Brandenburg , according to Section 45 of the municipal constitution, "In the area of ​​a municipality that is not subject to official registration ... districts can be formed if there are sufficiently large, spatially separated, inhabited parts of the municipality." As a rule, each municipality involved in a community can only form one district, unless it has districts formed beforehand. According to Section 28 (2), the municipal council has the right to designate inhabited parts of the municipality. As a rule, the local and community parts are named in the main statutes of the communities.

In Hamburg , the area of ​​the Free and Hanseatic City is divided into seven districts as a lower administrative unit. The districts in Hamburg each consist of several named districts . The total of 104 districts are subdivided into one or more official districts for statistical and administrative tasks . There are a total of 181 districts, each designated with a three-digit number.

In Hesse , the cities and municipalities can form local districts for their area by resolution of the municipal council in accordance with Section 82 (1) of the Hessian Municipal Code (HGO) . The establishment and delimitation of the local districts is regulated in the main statute of the municipality. Local districts that were created as part of the regional reform in Hesse are usually identical to the area of ​​the formerly independent municipalities. A local council is elected in each local district , the chairman is the local mayor . A district can comprise one or more city districts; the boundaries of the local districts do not have to coincide with the boundaries of the city districts.

In Rhineland-Palatinate the situation is similar according to §§ 74–77 of the state's municipal code (GemO).

In Leipzig , the area of ​​formerly independent municipalities is referred to as a district with the municipality name after their incorporation . The term district is therefore a historical category. The administrative structure of the city (since 1992) divides ten districts into 63 districts , which partly coincide with the districts, but also combine or divide those or use names that are not districts in the above sense.

In large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia , districts form unofficial subdivisions of city districts, which in turn are subsets of an urban district . In Münster the level below the city district is called the living area .

In Saxony-Anhalt , a distinction must be made between the concept of the district and the locality. A municipality is initially only divided spatially by named districts. The districts can be defined by the main statute of the municipality. In the case of incorporations through the municipal area reform Saxony-Anhalt 2009/2010/2011, the districts can also arise indirectly from the law for the implementation of the municipal area reform of 2010. If the main statute of the new large community does not define local parts separately, the newly incorporated communities as well as all the districts that existed up to then became local parts of equal rank in the large community by virtue of the law.

The locality, on the other hand, is a sub-area of ​​a municipality in which, through the introduction of the local constitution, the residents have been given the right to participate in matters that affect the locality (Section 81 of the State of Saxony-Anhalt's Municipal Constitutional Law). A locality is formed from the area of ​​a district or from several districts. District and locality can therefore be congruent. In many cases, however, a village combines several districts under the name of their most important district. In everyday use, this often leads to incorrect use of the terms.

Only municipalities that do not belong to an association municipality can form localities in accordance with Section 81 (1) of the municipal constitution. With a town size of 300 inhabitants or more, there is basically the option of choosing between the local head model, which is compulsory for up to 300 inhabitants, or the local council model and mayor. Both models allow the citizens of the district to submit their district-specific interests directly to the organs of the municipality (municipal council and mayor), with whom the organs then have to deal with pending decisions.

In Saxony , Section 65 of the Saxon Municipal Code knows the term “district”, but uses it for a previous municipality that loses its independence after merging with another or after integrating into a receiving municipality.

In Thuringia, a distinction is also made between districts and localities . All municipalities belonging to the district and independent cities can, by resolution of the municipality or city council, form districts with their own district council and their own district mayor by regulation within the main statute. If neighboring municipalities belonging to a district come together to form a rural municipality, a local constitution is to be introduced for the districts. These districts then have the status of a locality.


Subdivision under local law

In Austria the terms are part of municipality , district , local government part in certain contexts in Tirol - - and village similar uses and are available for the subdivision of the municipality diocese as space of local authority community . The exact name is inconsistent under national law . Federal law uses all terms.

Districts of statutory cities are referred to as city ​​districts , in Vienna as municipal districts .

Apart from these national and state-wide terms, each municipality can also independently manage certain districts, partly as a municipality structure under local law, partly non-binding for reasons of tradition. The cities in particular often have their own separate structures, such as Vienna with the municipal districts and Graetzln , Graz with urban districts , Linz with urban districts and statistical districts , Salzburg with districts, settlement areas and landscape areas , and so on. In parts of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, the municipal parts (localities) are also explicitly called parliamentary groups .


Burgenland municipalities have to divide their territory into local administrative parts if this is appropriate for cultural, historical, geographical, administrative or economic reasons and is in the interests of the residents of these municipal parts. In doing so, they must take into account the boundaries of the cadastral communities. A local mayor and a local committee are to be appointed for parts of the local administration . Local government parts are granted rights in connection with community assemblies and referendums.

Lower Austria

Lower Austrian municipalities can divide their area into districts if this is appropriate for geographical or economic reasons and simplifies administration. For districts can Ortsvorsteher be ordered.


Styrian municipalities can divide their area into local administrative parts if this is appropriate for geographical or economic reasons and serves to facilitate administration. In doing so, they must take into account the boundaries of the cadastral communities. If a local administrative part is a former municipality, the municipality coat of arms of the lost municipality can be used as the local part coat of arms. A mayor or - if the part of the local administration is a former municipality - a district mayor can be appointed for parts of the local administration .


Tyrolean municipalities can appoint a local mayor for individual localities and set up a local committee if this is appropriate in the interests of better connecting remote settlements to the local government.


Vorarlberg municipalities can organize certain business of the municipal office for individual districts separately, if this seems appropriate, and appoint a local head to manage them.

Other subdivisions of parishes and places

The hinged to the breakdown by political communities breakdown by towns is the one used in Austria system of the settlement division. Village constituents  (OB) was in the parlance of Statistics Austria a collective term for parts of villages, if it is geographically separate, independent settlements with fixed names acted.

Often, the term district is also used for the land register administrative unit cadastral municipality (a territorial division). However, a cadastral municipality can contain several localities and parts of the municipality (apart from the legal restrictions with regard to local administrative areas in Styria and Burgenland), and vice versa, a village can comprise several cadastral municipalities.

Further district terms are represented by the statistical counting districts / counting districts and the election districts, some of which are traditional districts, but some are artificial collective structures over several streets and places.

See also:


In Switzerland , many political communities consist of several localities. Officially, the term “ locality ” is used when they have a geographically delimited settlement area with their own name and zip code. In ordinary language, a district denotes a local subdivision of any kind.

In the cantons of Graubünden , Ticino and Vaud , the parts of the municipality are called fractions, in the canton of Bern district communities or in the Bernese Oberland bäuerten , in the municipality of Schwyz branches and in the canton of Zurich Aussenwachten (so in the Winterthur region and in the Zurich Oberland). In cities, the districts correspond to the districts , some of which go back to earlier villages.

As a rule, the districts do not enjoy their own autonomy. Exceptions are the Bernese farmers and district communities, the parliamentary groups in Le Chenit in the canton of Vaud and (the last of the Davos parliamentary groups ) the Davos Monstein parliamentary group , and until the end of 2009 the civil communities in Zurich as well . District autonomy is occasionally demanded in the cities, which is expressly made possible by the new Zurich cantonal constitution of 2005 (Art. 88); but so far it has not been realized anywhere.


In Italy and San Marino , smaller towns that do not form their own municipality are called frazione (German fraction ). For instance, Mittenwald a fraction of the municipality of Fortezza .

The parts of larger cities are called circoscrizione ( city ​​district / city district).

Web links

Wiktionary: district  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: District  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. VGH Munich of September 15, 2006 Az. 23 BV 05.1129
  2. BVerwG, decision of April 19, 1994 - 4 B 77/94
  3. Judgment of December 11, 1998 - 2 B 92.3565
  4. Nds. OVG, judgment of November 21, 1985 - 6 A 90/83
  5. Bavarian official community directory at the Bavarian State Library Online
  6. Municipal constitution of the state of Brandenburg, December 18, 2007 ( Memento of the original from January 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.politische-bildung-brandenburg.de
  7. § 1 Burgenland municipal code
  8. § 33a Burgenland Municipal Code
  9. § 40 Lower Austrian Municipal Code
  10. § 1 Styrian municipal code
  11. § 4 Styrian Municipal Code
  12. § 48 Styrian Municipal Code
  13. § 57 Tyrolean municipal code
  14. § 27 Vorarlberg Municipal Law
  15. SR 510.625 Art. 3 Definitions