The BVV (Bezirksverordnetenversammlung) is responsible for tasks at municipal level across and within districts (Bezirke), including:

  • construction and landscape: green areas, road traffic, housing
  • the transfer of specific operations to private companies
  • the purchase or sale of properties in the district
  • economic development, e.g. location marketing and establishing professional relationships with companies in the district
  • cultural and educational offers located nearby, such as theatres, music schools or district libraries;
  • the setting up of district offices, municipal public order offices and youth and welfare agencies.

By way of example, the BVV plays a decisive role in the future of youth centers, sports complexes, playgrounds, public swimming pools, cycle lanes and barbecue spots in local recreation areas.

Practical example for the division of competences in Germany: House building

Another pertinent example is housing. Housing in Berlin is scarce. With more and more people opting to move to Berlin, the amount of available accommodation needs to be increased. However, the location of such accommodation and the actual number of residential units to be built – whether to be sold, rented or used as social housing – come with a number of complex issues. The districts themselves set out construction plans for the area, including the specific location, number and type of apartments to be built. Once these plans reach a certain scale, the Senate of Berlin must review them. In the case of extremely large-scale construction plans that are relevant to the city as a whole, the Senate may decide to assume responsibility for the plan.