Living space

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In terms of settlement geography and demography, a residential area is a spatially closed, permanently inhabited settlement . In addition, depending on the specialist area and administrative unit, the term is used at the municipal or state level, deviating from the purely settlement-geographic definition.

Types of living places

Official gazetteers - mostly living space directory called - different living spaces on the type, the following names appear:

  • Village , church village; closed collection of houses and courtyards, i. d. Usually with appropriate infrastructure (e.g. church, inn, shop); the village can be an independent political municipality or part of a municipality (or city); A village can have additional residential areas of the following types
  • Hamlet ; closed settlement without essential infrastructure; a hamlet usually belongs to a neighboring village or town
  • Settlement ; Planned group of houses or courtyards (e.g. new housing estate, sometimes called a colony ), usually on the edge or outside of a place and no separate municipality.
  • Group of houses or courtyard collection; A settlement that consists of only a few houses or farms, similar to a hamlet
  • Wasteland ; Common namein Bavaria for a settlement with one or two residential buildings
  • Single house; Detached house (mill, forester's house, restaurant, establishment ) or farm (Einsiedlerhof), also so-called Aussiedlerhöfe
  • Chateau, castle, manor; nobility residences generally inhabited in historical lists of residential areas.

Regional particularities


Every spatially delimited, specially named and permanently inhabited place is referred to as a living space, in particular also the main places of communities. For example, the living space directory of Württemberg-Baden , published in 1952, classifies the residential spaces into the following groups: city (more precisely: the main town of a municipality called “city” ), parish village, village, parish hamlet, hamlet, castle, courtyards, houses, courtyard, house.

The Baden-Württemberg municipal code (GemO) does not use the word residential space. However, residential spaces often serve as the basis for the definition of the following municipal units, the delimitation and designation of which is regulated in the main statute of the respective municipality:


The term residential space in Brandenburg covers settlements and parts of settlements that are neither districts according to § 45 of the municipal constitution of the state of Brandenburg (BbgKVerf), nor are named as part of the municipality in the main statute of the municipality. Residential places have grown historically.

North Rhine-Westphalia

As a living space will be referred deviating from the purely geographical definition settlement spatially closed in some places, continuously inhabited settlements are a politically of dependent statistical part of a community. Only a few cities in North Rhine-Westphalia use this term according to their main statutes and designate sub-units of their statistical districts as residential areas, regardless of the settlement history. Examples are Neuss and Hennef and until 2015 in Bergisch Gladbach .


The geographic information authority of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, the State Office for Surveying and Geographic Information Saxony-Anhalt (LVermGeo) uses the term in official maps to identify settlements that are not classified as districts or higher. In state law, the term residential space is not used.


In archeology , especially in northern Germany, living space is sometimes used as a synonym for site or settlement , such as the "living space of Hohen Viecheln". The presence or number of buildings is irrelevant here. Thus Duvensee living space 13 as a single structure, a fire pit , the findings show the short-term presence of a person who did not even stayed here for sure. Bokelmann therefore also uses the more neutral expression “storage place” ( storage ).

Individual evidence

  1. Bavarian State Statistical Office (ed.): Official city directory for Bavaria, territorial status on October 1, 1964 with statistical information from the 1961 census . Issue 260 of the articles on Bavaria's statistics. Munich 1964, DNB  453660959 , Section I, p. 3 * ( digitized version ).
  2. Württembergisches Statistisches Landesamt (Ed.): State manual for Württemberg-Baden. Housing directory. Part of northern Württemberg . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1952.
  3. ^ Municipal code for Baden-Württemberg in the version of July 24, 2000
  4. Definition of the term residential space in the service portal of the Brandenburg state administration
  5. The population in the living quarters of the city of Neuss on 1 January 2008 ( Memento of 20 September 2011 at the Internet Archive ) (PDF, 23 kB)
  6. ^ Housing directory of the city of Hennef. Retrieved August 3, 2017 .
  7. Saxony-Anhalt viewer of the State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation ( notes )
  8. Ewald Schuldt, Hohen Viecheln, a Mesolithic place of residence in Mecklenburg. Writings of the Section for Prehistory 10, Akademie-Verlag Berlin 1961.
  9. Klaus Bokelmann: Rest under trees. An ephemeral Mesolithic camp site from the Duvenseer Moor. Offa, 43, 1986, 149-163