Nuremberg climate adaptation: Summer in the city - Effectively combating climate change

Background and Goals

The second largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg has around 504,000 inhabitants and, with its current positive population trend and forecast future increases, is a growing municipality.

Particularly in the summer months, Nuremberg is faced with the phenomenon of urban heat islands. As a compact city with an intensively developed city centre, it experiences increasingly frequent heat stress as the number of hot and dry periods increases. The urban structure includes very few fresh air corridors. In addition, the inward flow of air is hampered by the topographical position in the Central Franconian Basin.

As a result, the model project has focused on two city centre areas with different town planning characteristics:

  1. The historic medieval old town, very intensively developed and with a high degree of sealing, and
  2. The industrial West of the city with heterogeneous building stock, subject to dramatic structural changes due to the insolvency of companies such as Quelle and AEG.

These districts, which will be particularly susceptible to climate effects due to being intensively development and highly sealed, also represent very differing requirements in terms of the options for action and the risks. The old town is a protected grouping of monuments, and cautious measures are needed to preserve its historic structure as an attractive place to live, work and stay, while the West of the city provides extensive disused land as a result of structural change.

The model project has addressed the following issues:

  • What does the local climatic situation currently look like and what developments are anticipated in the future?
  • Is it necessary to improve thermal comfort?
  • What measures can be taken and implemented?
  • What is the need for action in terms of health risks and precautions?
  • How can the population and municipal authorities be convinced of the necessary of the measures to be taken and involved in the process?

Objectives: The aim of the Nuremberg model project was to draw up a targeted city adaptation and response strategy for climate change. This should primarily contribute to a sustainable improvement in the local climatic situation.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Bavaria
Natural spatial classification
  • Alp and North Bavarian hills
Spatial resolution 


Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

The German Meteorological Office (DWD, Senior federal authority in the BMVBS) is providing the required climate data for all Urban Climate projects as a basis for climate effect estimates.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Heat waves
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Dry periods
Further Parameters 

temperature threshold days, heat extremes, dry periods

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

Approach and results 

The focus is on the health effects of temperature increases and more summer days, as well as increasing hot and dry periods, in cities (including associations with demographic change).

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

Approach and results 

Not analysed: In both model areas, the impact of climate effects as well as opportunities, risks and potential actions were analysed.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The aim of the adaptation strategy to be developed was to formulate adaptation measures based on the examples of the Nuremberg old town and West city areas. In addition, concrete options for implementing the strategy will be integrated into the Nuremberg climate protection timetable and ongoing planning processes. The adaptation and response strategy should also include establishment, recognition and upgrading of the relevant of climate change in the city's political and public discourse. Specific measures and actions, along with implementation proposals, were drawn up particularly in the areas of urban development, landscape planning and construction. Public involvement was the central area of activity. The aim was to raise awareness of the issue among particularly affected population groups. Adaptation measures include green and open space planning with new shady areas, green roofing, fresh air corridors and drinking water points.

Time horizon
  • 2071–2100 (far future)


Funding / Financing 

Ministry of Transport, Construction and Urban Development (BMVBS) and Federal Institute of Construction, Urban and Spatial Research (BBSR): KlimaExWoSt - StadtKlima

Project management 

Research assistance: Department of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Environment Agency in Nuremberg, BPW office baumgart + partner Urban and Regional Planning, Office plan + risk consult


Environmental Office Nuremberg, city internal, interdepartmental border AG climate changel, German Weather Service (DWD), The nature conservation


Stadt Nürnberg
Lina-Ammonstr. 28
D-90471 Nürnberg

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Fields of action:
 building sector  human health  spatial, regional and urban land use planning