Holger Magel

Prof. Assessor Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Ing.

Former professor of land management and development
Former Director of the international master programmes "Land Management" and "Land Tenure"
TUM School of Engineering and Design

born May 3, 1944



Interview with TUM Emeritus of Excellence Holger Magel

"I was lucky to be able to put my own theories into practice"

At school Holger Magel developed a liking for the sustainable design of villages and landscapes. Today the TUM Alumnus has gained a national and international reputation for his commitment in village renewal and rural development. [read more]


Before Holger Magel’s appointment to TUM, where he became professor of land management and development and director of the Institut für Geodäsie, GIS und Landmanagement, he worked in the Bavarian government administration, where he ultimately became head of the Bavarian Administration of Rural Development. He founded the Bavarian village rezoning program and, through his initiatives in land-scape planning, also contributed to making rezoning a more landscape-friendly development enterprise in rural areas, satisfying the needs of both environmental protection and society.

Holger Magel’s research encompasses theories, methods and processes of sustainable village renewal, participative landscape planning, community development and land usage planning as well as theories and concepts of sustainable land management in an international context. In 2000, he founded the international master's program “Land management and land tenure in urban and rural areas”. This enables future leaders, particularly from developing countries, to receive training to deal with the special challenges occasioned by urbanisation and structural problems in the rural areas of their home countries. In order to support a dialog between theoretical and practical application, Magel also founded the annual Munich Tage der Bodenordnung und Landentwicklung (land zoning and development conference), which has since become a forum for all of Germany. His strong commitment to his work has brought him national and international recognition and numerous important state, community and professional honors and distinctions. Magel also holds many honorary positions, such as president of the respected Bavarian Academy “Ländlicher Raum” (Rural Areas)


Short biography

1963 - 1968 Study of Geodesy, TU München
1968 - 1971 Legal clerkship with assessor's examination 1971, place number 1 in Bavaria
1972 - 1974 Land consolidation engineer in Upper and Lower Bavaria at the Land Consolidation Directorate in
Munich; awarded state prize for exemplary land consolidation
(Thalheim, Erding district)
1975 - 1977 Senior engineer at the Chair of Rural Reorganisation and Land Consolidation at the TUM;
Doctorate 1977
1978 - 1997

Head of Division for Village Renewal, Landscape Planning, Public Relations and Organisation
and Personnel (1979-1995) in the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry,
at the same time deputy head of office of StS Hans Maurer (1987-1990);
head of department and head of the Bavarian Rural Development Administration (1995-1997)

At the same time Chairman of the Federal-States Working Group on Village Renewal (1984-1995) and
EU Commissioner for Rural Development in the New Federal States (1992/1993)

1986 - 1997  Lecturer at UniBW and TUM, honorary professor at TU Munich
1994 - 2019 President of the Bavarian Academy for Rural Areas
1995 - 2020 Member of the Board of the German Association "DVW Bayern e.V."
1998 - 2012 Full Professor of Land Management and Development and Director of the Center for Land,
Water and Environmental Risk Management as well as collegial head of the Institute for
Geodesy, GIS and Land Management at the TU Munich
1999 - 2012 Member of the German Geodetic Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities,
Chairman of the Working Group "Land Planning and
Land Management" / now Section "Land and Real Estate Management
2005 - 2016 Speaker of the Working Group of all German Academies of Rural Areas (Arge LR)
since 2009 Member of the Round Table "Civic Engagement" of the Bavarian Ministry of Social Affairs



Chair of the federal-state working group on village renovation (1984-1995)

EU representative for rural development in the former East German states (1992/1993)

Honorary President (since 2019), formerly President (1994-2019) and Vice President (1988-1994) of the Bavarian Academy for Rural Areas

Spokesperson of the alliance of all the German Academies of Rural Areas (Arge LR) (2005-2016)

Honorary president (since 2007), formerly President (2003-2006) and Vice President (1999-2002) of the International Federation of Surveyors (Fédération Internationale des Géomètres FIG)

Member of the Bavarian Spatial Planning Advisory Board (1994-2019) and the German Federal Advisory Board for Spatial Planning and Development (2009-2013)

Chairman of the scientific working group Land and Real Estate Management of the German Geodetic Commission (DGK) at the Bavarian Academy of Science (2003-2009)

Member of the “Civic Involvement” round table of the Bavarian Ministry of Social Affairs (since 2009)



  • Medal of Honour of the French Conseil D'Etat (1987)
  • Hans-Kudlich-Award, Ecosocial Forum Austria (1988) – the first non-Austrian to receive the award Silver Medal of Honor, Salzburg state (1988)
  • Silver Badge of Honour of the Province of Salzburg (1988)
  • Tiroler Adlerorden in Gold (1988)
  • Bavarian Monument Protection Medal from the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts (2000)
  • Federal Cross of Merit (2002)
  • Lion of the Bavarian Municipal Association (2004)
  • Soldner Medal from the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance (2006)
  • Bavarian Constitution Medal in silver awarded by the Bavarian State Parliament (2006)
  • Bavarian Order of Merit (2007)
  • Honorary citizenship of the Chinese model village Nan Zhang Lou, Shandong Province (2008)
  • Nominee of the TU University Board for the Schelling Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • State Medal in Gold of the Bavarian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2009)
  • Helmert Memorial Award of the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management e.V. (DVW), Honorary Member and Golden Badge of the DVW Association (2009)
  • Commander of the Royal Order of SOWATHARA, Kingdom of Cambodia (2010)
  • Silver Commander´s Cross for services to Lower Austria (2011)
  • Technical adviser to the Council for Land Policy (2011) as well as to the senior minister for land management – “Urban Planning and Construction” (2013) and awarded the title of “Excellency” (2013), Kingdom of Cambodia
  • German Federal Officer's Cross of Merit (2013)
  • Golden akademic jubilee medal from the State University of Land Use Planning, Moskow, Russia (2016)
  • Certificate of Ambasador of Friendship of Shandong Province (2019)
  • Bavarian State Medal for outstanding Merits to the Environment (2021)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF] 


Key publications

Magel H: „Grund und Boden - Salz und Engpass jeder gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung“. ZfV. 2010; 1: 1-10.

Magel H: (2004): “Urban-rural-interrelationship for sustainable development. Stadt-Land-Beziehung für die Nachhaltige Entwicklung“. Geomatik Schweiz. 2004; 1: 19-24.

Magel H: (2003): „Landmanagement – Die neue Herausforderung an Bodenordnung und Landentwicklung“. Flächenmanagement und Bodenordnung. 2003; 1: 11-15.

Magel H: Dorferneuerung in Deutschland. Frankfurt a. M.: DG Bank, 1991.

Magel H: „Zum Stellenwert der Landschaftsplanung in der Flurbereinigung“. ZfV. 1988; 3: 13.

Magel H: Räumliche Gerechtigkeit – Ein Thema für Landentwickler und sonstige Geodäten?! In: zfv – Zeitschrift für Geodäsie, Geoinformation und Landmanagement, 141. Jg., Nr. 6/2016, ISSN 1618-8950, S. 377–383.

Magel H: Landlust, Landfrust oder beides? Aktuelle Anmerkungen zu gleichwertigen Lebensbedingungen in Stadt und Land. In zfv – Zeitschrift für Geodäsie, Geoinformation und Landmanagement, 144. Jg., Nr. 3/2019, ISSN 1618-8950, S. 147–156.