SUDPLAN – Sustainable Urban Development Planner for Climate Change Adaptation

Background and Goals

The SUDPLAN project deals with adaptation measures for urban technical infrastructures faced with climate change. This will be done by developing a web-based planning, forecasting and training tool. It will be developed and launched in the pilot cities Stockholm, Wuppertal, Linz and Prague. However, the aim is for it to be transferable to other European cities for adaptation planning.

Components of SUDPLAN: The project will produce long-term forecasts for environmental factors affecting planning of urban subsystems such as building and landscape architecture, transport, local water drainage and sewage assessment. This will be achieved by creating a "general service" allowing visualisation of environmental and climate data, which can then be used as an input for local models. A further component is the "Scenario Management System (SMS)", which is an interactive graphic-based decision support system providing a web environment that gives users access to local applications in the pilot cities.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Bavaria
Natural spatial classification
  • Low mountain ranges left and right of Rhine
  • West German lowland bay
Spatial resolution 

Stockholm, Wuppertal, Linz, Prag

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

With the "general service", SUDPLAN provides models for downscaling climate and environmental data for direct visualisation and as input data for local models. The global climate models ECHAM5, HADCM3 and CCSM3 are being used with emissions scenarios A1B and A2, the RCA3 regional model, the MATCH air quality model and HYPE for hydrology from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

Parameter (climate signals)
  • River flooding
  • Heat waves
  • Altered rainfall patterns
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Low water
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Storm
Further Parameters 

air quality

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

Approach and results 

The effects of extreme precipitation, flooding, air pollution, heat waves and storms will be analysed.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The models used in the pilot city of Wuppertal can satisfactorily simulate the surface drainage during a heavy rain event, allowing the influence of climate change on the frequency and intensity of future rainfall to be studied. This can be done using SUDPLAN's special web services. In addition, local construction measures to reduce flood risks (e.g. raising kerbs) can be run through in simulations. This makes use of the innovative visualisation options, which are capable of impressively portraying the effectiveness of these measures. This creates a good basis for the approval process with all affected decision makers and for advising affected property owners.

The Austrian case study examines adaptation measures for the sewage infrastructure in Linz to deal with more intense heavy rain events. In Prague, a planning tool will be developed to assess the city's impact on its surroundings and vice versa. This will be assessed using the environmental quality (air quality) and its influence on population migration from cities to suburbs or surrounding areas. In Stockholm, a planning tool will be developed to determine the air quality, incorporating the risks from exceeding national standard values and environmental targets for current and future climate scenarios.

Time horizon
  • 2071–2100 (far future)

Step 4: Plan and implement measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The planning, forecasting and training tool is intended to help urban infrastructure planning in adapting to climate change, in order to prevent or mitigate potential damage. Urban planners can use the web-based system to assess the consequences of current and future infrastructure, transport system and town planning development.


Funding / Financing 

European Commission (7th Framework Programme); specific "Cooperation" programme – Research topic "Information and communication technologies"

Project management 

Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)


AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (AIT) cismet GmbH,
The Czech Environmental Information Agency (CENIA),
Apertum IT AB,
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI),
The Stockholm-Uppsala Air Quality Management Association (SULVF),
City Wuppertal,
Graz University of Technology (TUG)


Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)
Folkborgsvägen 1
601 76 Norrköping

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