In Germany, sustainability developed into a guiding, normative concept for spatial planning and spatial development following the Brundlandt Report 1987 and the Earth Summit in 1992. Since the idea of societal transformation suggests fundamental changes in social relationships and practices, this also includes questioning spatial planning practices and the roles of urban planners in the context of urban development. Planning practitioners can thus influence sustain-ability transitions at niche or regime levels and contribute to sustainable spatial development in a variety of processes and ways. In particular, planners with innovative, rather than business-as-usual, approaches, concepts, and views have the potential to become such pioneers. Planning pioneers emphasise the need for constant learning in view of real-life problems and for developing new methods to deal practically with the challenges of sustainable development. Flexibility and the experimental use of new techniques of communication and cooperation are recurring characteristics of the instruments and methods of the innovative planning practitioners.