klamis – Climate adaptation in Central and Southern Hesse

Background and Goals

The model region corresponds to a great extent with the Hessian section of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan region and includes the planning regions of Central and Southern Hesse, including the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main conurbation planning association. With an area of around 13,000 km², Central and Southern Hesse is the largest of the KlimaMORO model regions. A total of 4.8 million people live there, with significant variations in population density in different areas. Because of the diversity of the individual areas, different changes and adaptation requirements are expected as a result of climate change.

Academics do not dispute that climate change is intensifying worldwide, and its effects are increasingly impacting on all regions and having an influence on a huge variety of areas of life. Hesse is already experiencing increasingly high macroeconomic losses due to extreme weather events, and their frequency is likely to increase as climate change progresses further. Therefore, development and implementation of effective concepts are necessary to adapt to the inevitable consequences, with the regional planning level playing a central role.

The objective of the project is ongoing development of regional planning policy instruments against the backdrop of climate change and strengthening the position of regional planning in the risk management process, e.g. by setting up regional networks.

Activities:

  1. Evaluation of climate-related forecasts in regional plans;
  2. Assessment of the risks and opportunities of climate effects;
  3. Consequences for regional plans and climate adaptation strategy;
  4. Risk management.

There are four main focus areas:

  1. Municipal climate: The threat of overheating in urban areas requires adapted housing and infrastructure planning, paying special attention to maintaining areas that can impact the climate by ensuring urban ventilation.
  2. Flooding: The increasing flood risk requires adapted spatial planning that protects existing floodplains and promotes the reclamation of potential retention areas.
  3. Agriculture: The objective of spatial planning should be to secure agricultural locations that are productive even under conditions of climate change.
  4. Species and habitat conservation, habitat networks: The changing local conditions caused by climate change and the associated decline or change of species require adaptation of the regional habitat network systems to guarantee the increased migration and exchange conditions needed.

Content time

to

Research area/region

Country
  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Berlin
  • Hesse
Natural spatial classification
  • Low mountain ranges left and right of Rhine
  • Central low mountain ranges and Harz

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

Climate projects from the German Meteorological Office (DWD) will be used;
cold air simulation using the KALM model, UBIKLIM or MUKLIMO_3 urban bioclimate models;
consideration of the characteristics of urban climate

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Heat waves
  • Altered rainfall patterns
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Dry periods

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

Approach and results 

A temperature rise of between 1.8 and 3.1°C is expected in the Central and Southern Hesse model region by 2100, with the possibility of regional and seasonal differences. The total annual precipitation volume will remain approximately the same, but a chronological shift is expected. More frequency dry periods will occur in summer, while more precipitation will fall in winter. In addition, more frequent extreme events such as storms or heavy rain are expected.

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

Approach and results 

The region is susceptible to overheating during hot periods, particularly in the densely populated areas. There is also vulnerability in floodplain areas due to the potential increase in flood risk, in species and habitat conservation due to changing local conditions and in agriculture.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

Work in the region was based on an expert survey designed to provide a geographical specification of the risks and opportunities of climate effects and evaluation of climate-related information in regional plans and the regional land use plan. Consequences for the ongoing development of formal regional planning instruments were derived from this. The thematic work was carried out with broad involvement of stakeholders and experts in three working groups with the following focuses:

  •  Housing climate protection: Development of municipal guidelines for climate adaptation;
  •  Flood protection and flash floods: Development of regional planning methods to delineate areas at risk from flash floods;
  •  Habitat network: Development of a resilient grassland network.

The result is a set of municipal guidelines for climate change adaptation, containing specific measures for individual issues (thermal load, dryness, extreme precipitation, strong gusts of wind and storms). Examples of climate adaptation measures in urban areas: Ground surfaces that do not heat up sharply and are permeable, with tree canopies for permeation and retention of precipitation water. Creation of a checklist for municipal adaptation to climate change (see also urban climate pilot).

Time horizon
  • 2071–2100 (far future)

Participants

Funding / Financing 

Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR): KlimaMORO

Project management 

Regierungspräsidium Gießen;
Regional research assistant: regioTrend, Office of Regional Development

Cooperation/Partners 

Hessian Ministry of Economics, Transport and Regional Development, Regional Authority FrankfurtRheinMain and Hessian Centre on Climate Change

Contact

Regierungspräsidium Gießen
Landgraf-Philipp-Platz 1-7
D-35390 Gießen

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Fields of action:
 agriculture  biological diversity  human health  soil  spatial, regional and urban land use planning  water regime, water management