Urban-Act: Integrated Urban Climate Action for Low-Carbon & Resilient Cities

Institute of Spatial and Regional Planning (IREUS)

Description of Urban Act project

Climate change and urbanization are two global mega-trends that modify risk and opportunities in many world regions, particularly also in Asia where most of the population is already living in cities. Climate-related hazards and risks emerge as complex phenomena with cascading effects on urban development and adaptation. Besides the natural dynamic of global climate phenomena, due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, regional and local climate conditions are also significantly influenced by land-use changes and urban development. Yet, strategies for addressing emerging risks due to the interaction of urbanization and climate change often neglect the complexities of urban development, human vulnerability and low-carbon development opportunities, which depend on development choices.

Given that, climate-resilient development for cities requires integrative adaptation and risk reduction policies that consider climate data and non-climatic drivers of risks across different spatial and temporal scales. Despite the fact that tremendous ongoing efforts in mainstreaming climate risk in planning and policy monitoring are inevitable in the Asia-Pacific region, one of the major challenges is lacking integrated planning guidelines, practical planning tools, innovations and capacity building that enable institutional capacity and robust decision making for climate-resilient urban development across strategic levels, such as local, sub-national, national and regional across different sector policies.

In this regard, Urban-Act project supports a transformation towards low-carbon and resilient urban development in Asian Countries (China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand) and contributes to the implementation of NDCs and the 2030 Agenda. The German Universities team Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörn Birkmann (IREUS) and Prof Dr. Markus Friedrich (ISV) at the University of Stuttgart together with Prof. Dr. Stefan Greiving from IRPUD, TU Dortmund) work closely with different political and implementing partners in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The German Universities team provide technical support to the Urban-Act project partners in strengthening capacity and enabling the environment to mainstream evidence-based integrated planning for climate-sensitive and climate-resilient urban development through effective multi-level climate governance frameworks and instruments.

The University of Stuttgart, particularly IREUS and ISV, focus on research related measures for strengthening planning and decision making through sound information and decision support tools in the areas of indicator development for operationalizing low carbon development and urban resilience to climate change, the analysis of the applicability and feasibility of selected intervention tools to strengthen urban resilience and the development of planning tools for integrated transport and settlement planning.


October 2022 – September 2026

Project partners:

German university partner(s):

  • Institute of Road and Transportation Science (ISV), University of Stuttgart
  • Institute of Regional Planning (IRPUD), Technical University of Dortmund

Thailand partners:

  • German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Thailand
  • Chulalongkorn University (CU)
  • Thai Meteorological Department (TMD)

Philippines partners:

  • German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Philippines
  • Clean Air Asia
  • Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC)

India partners:

  • German Development Cooperation (GIZ), India
  • National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), India
  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India

Regional partners:

  • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
  • United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC)
  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

Funding authority:

International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)

Project management agency:

German Development Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH

Further information:



Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil Joern Birkmann

Dr.-Ing. Ali Jamshed

To the top of the page