A study by the research and consulting institute Empirica took a closer look at 51 reports in Berlin and Hamburg. The reports served as the basis for the designation of social conservation areas, the so-called milieu protection areas. However, the result casts doubt on its informative value.
The designation of a social conservation area is intended to maintain the composition of the resident population. This means that all changes, changes in use and conversions of residential buildings within the area are subject to approval and can be prohibited, according to the Association for the Promotion of Home Ownership in Berlin e.V. (VWB).
Credit should check requirements
As the VWB states in a press release, the designation of social conservation areas or milieu protection areas has been practiced in Berlin for around ten years. Meanwhile, in many other large cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne or Leipzig, milieu protection areas are designated or at least discussed, according to the VWB. To do this, the responsible authorities check the requirements for expulsion in the area, which is usually done through any credit. Using certain criteria, the credit checks whether the requirements are met. There are no legal requirements to which the applicable criteria have to be subject.
Reports show “weak methodological level”
As the chairman of the VWB Jacopo Mingazzini points out in the press release, the results of the study show “that the environmental protection reports in Berlin and Hamburg have little actual informative value and so far there is no sound scientific basis.” The results of the expert reports examined could not be reconstructed on the basis of the analysis and interviews listed therein. This is the result of the study undertaken by Empirica, and at the same time raises the question of what criteria and clues were used to produce the results of the expert opinion. Prof. Dr. Harald Simons from Empirica AG is amazed at the “weak methodological level” of the many reports. “But a scientific exchange has not yet taken place.”
A written survey of the population is at the center of all credits. In this regard, Empirica complains that the “validity of the indicators used is extremely problematic”. In the vast majority of cases, the connection between the selected indicator and the criteria is merely asserted and extremely rarely proven, according to the study. In addition, apart from a few exceptional cases, no comparative figures are used, which, however, would be extremely important in many cases. For example, to be able to assess whether the calculated indicator values are high or low. If comparative figures are given, they are unsuitable in most cases.
Lack of transparency and consistency in the reports
Mingazzini complains that there is no transparent, uniform methodology for the reports. The VWB was astonished at how “arbitrarily” the designation of the milieu protection areas was carried out and therefore commissioned the investigation. Prof. Dr. Harald Simons notes that a large number of implausible results were found. At the same time he promotes a scientific exchange so that a better methodology can be worked out for future reports.
The contribution Empirica Study: Arbitrariness in environmental protection reports? first appeared on investing in real estate.