INNIG - Integrated flood risk management in an individualised society

Background and Goals

The project will develop the methodology used for scientific and engineering risk analysis of the flood situation in Bremen, using the latest instruments and model links, and will also study the psychological and sociological dimensions of risk perception, communication and acceptance, against the backdrop of the social change that is taking place. The results will be combined to create a concept for integrated flood risk management, which will include a state of the art Internet-based product for risk communication: known as the flood information platform.

The objective is to provide expertise on precautions against extreme flood events and for dealing with floods. This will be achieved by developing a concept for integrated flood risk management and an Internet-based information platform for the flood situation in the city of Bremen, to support and improve risk communication.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg
  • Lower Saxony
Natural spatial classification
  • North-West German lowland

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

Assumptions for rising sea levels and runoffs for the river weser will be studied (see also KLIMU and KRIM projects)

Parameter (climate signals)
  • River flooding
  • Sea level rise und storm surges

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

The climate effects studied are the increase in the probability of failure of coastal protection facilities and the associated risk in the areas flooded after a dyke breach. In addition, the effects of a combination of storm flood and high inland water flow on water levels in the Bremen city area will be studied.

Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances

Approach and results 

The social vulnerability of different social groups is analysed, particularly in German cities, taking account of social change. A comparison of the social perception of flood risks resulting from different risk communication activities and an analysis of the discussions in the political/administrative system for dealing with climate change and floods will also be carried out.

Adaptation capacity: Analysis of the political/administrative management options for coastal protection and disaster prevention, and the technical risk management options, including cost/benefit considerations.

Urgency and priorization of adaptation needs 

Adaptation is today necessary, as current extreme events (storm floods and extreme inland water flows) also represent flood hazards and determine the resulting flood risks.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The options for changed technical risk management, improved risk communication, integrated flood risk management and an increased willingness to take individual disaster precautions are the adaptation measures studied.

In particular, a prototype for a flood information platform will be developed, which will be accessible to the public and is intended to contribute to supplementing and extending the range of public information on the risks and protection options in Bremen. The interactive platform can be accessed from the project website and contains comprehensive information about:

  •  Coastal protection constructions, dykes and flood barriers in Bremen,
  •  Organisation of coastal protection and responsibilities, and
  •  General water and flood conditions in the city of Bremen.

In addition, users can determine the height above sea level of their own home and view potential flood risks in the form of overview maps, taking into account the effects of climate change. If this is too much, the information platform can prepare and display tailored information if the user completes a short questionnaire. Recommendations on how the citizens of Bremen should behave in case of a flood disaster and how potential damage can be prevented using simple measures round off the information available on the site.

Time horizon
  • 2036–2065
Conflicts / synergies / sustainability 

Risk communication treads a fine line between causing uncertainty or panic and reassurance or trivialisation. Therefore, the development of appropriate communication strategies is essential to avoid conflicts and utilise opportunities.


Funding / Financing 

BMBF-funded programme "Risk Management of Extreme Flood Events" (RIMAX)

Project management 

BioConsult Schuchardt and Scholle GbR


University of Bremen: Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology;

Centre for Computing Technologies;

Research Center Sustainability (artec);

Institute for Risk, Environment and Health;

University of Hanover: Franzius Institute of Hydraulics, Waterways and Coastal Engineering;

University of Lüneburg: Institute for Environmental Communication


BioConsult Schuchardt und Scholle GbR
Reeder-Bischoff-Straße 54
D-28757 Bremen

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Fields of action:
 civil protection and disaster management  coastal and marine protection  water regime and water management