ISAP - Integrative urban-regional adaptation strategies in a polycentric growth region: Model region - Stuttgart Region

Institute of Spatial and Regional Planning (IREUS)

For the Stuttgart model region, as a polycentric, high-density area with strong economic growth, adaptation to the effects of climate change is a key prerequisite for maintaining the quality of life and living conditions in the 179 cities and towns, as well as the security and competitiveness of the region as a whole. The region is already experiencing massive summer heat stress and air quality problems. Heavy rain events have hit key infrastructure facilities on multiple occasions. Compared to existing textual adaptation recommendations in planning and qualitative assessment tools, the originality of the ISAP project lies in the development of a quantitative adaptation check that includes indicators of adaptation capacities as well as costs and benefits of adaptation measures at the city-regional level. It also breaks new ground with the development of an urban-regional hydrodynamic heavy rainfall risk map based on regional climate modeling. Overall, the ISAP project aims at improving the planning basis as well as its application in decision-making processes in order to establish the use of climate adaptation measures as a self-evident and integrative part of spatial development planning.

To this end, ISAP is working with the region and the city of Stuttgart to develop a new innovative city-regional online information and advisory system. First, the system includes tailored city-regional information and analysis tools for climate adaptation, such as climate data, vulnerabilities and adaptation needs, which also focus on the specific user needs in the model region. Here, the "Regional Climate Atlas" published in 2008 can be built upon. However, in addition to new climate information, data on future land use change and on the future development of societal vulnerability must be integrated into the information system in order to concretize adaptation needs. Second, strategies and tools for adaptation action, such as the quantitative adaptation check, indicators and criteria for adaptation capacities, and extended cost-benefit methods, must be developed on this basis. New integrated analysis and assessment methods are used. Furthermore, the dynamic perspective is innovative, i.e. adaptation needs as well as costs and benefits of measures are determined against the background of integrated scenarios of regional climate and land use change as well as changes in vulnerability. In addition to region-wide testing, local focus areas will determine the practicality of the new online information and advice tool. This will involve analyzing and improving the applicability and user-friendliness for formal and informal planning tools. Exchange with other regions (national and international) will ensure that the results can be used by other regions. Overall, the work is based on the fundamental understanding that climate adaptation should not be dealt with as a stand-alone component of action, but rather as an integral part of municipal, district-wide or regional development planning.

To access the project website please click on this link.

Project partners:


Lead Partner:

University of Stuttgart, Institute of Spatial and Regional Planning (IREUS) under the lead of Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil Jörn Birkmann

Funding authority:

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project management agency:

German Aerospace Centre (DLR)

Prof. Dr. Ing. habil. Jörn Birkmann and M.Sc. Britta Weisser

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