Climate resilient urban regeneration – transfer of results of the research programme StadtKlimaExWoSt (2014-2016)

Background and Goals

The project records the results of the research programme StadtKlimaExWoSt (Urban Strategies for Adapting to Climate Change) and other research looking at the implementation of climate adaption measures in municipalities. In ten case study cities, the factors of success and good examples for urban adaption processes were investigated. In discussion with municipal representatives the need for support with the daily tasks of planning has been evaluated. The results of this discussion were included in a practical tool for the implementation of climate change adaptation measures in urban development.

BBSR explores previous research results for climate change adaptation in urban regeneration within this research project. Furthermore, results were examined in order to prepare the municipal planning. Within the project a guide was published.

The guide

  • provides good arguments onto why municipalities deal with climate adaptation
  • shows approaches on how the topic can be taken into account in urban redevelopment
  • shows best practices in consideration of urban regeneration
  • presents further information in order to facilitate research

2017 a new project with the same name started.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Bavaria
  • Bremen
  • Hesse
  • Northrhine-Westphalia
  • Rhineland Palatinate
  • Saxony
Spatial resolution 

Ten case study cities were selected, which were already active in varying degrees at the interface of climate adaptation and urban redevelopment. In exchange with the municipal representatives, success factors of the municipal adaptation processes and exemplary project approaches were identified.

  • Bottrop
  • Bremen
  • Dortmund
  • Hagen
  • Karlsruhe
  • Leipzig
  • Ludwigsburg
  • Regensburg
  • Speyer
  • Wiesbaden

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Parameter (climate signals)
  • River flooding
  • Heat waves
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Storm

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

Approach and results 

Urban areas are particularly sensitive to extreme weather events such as heat, heavy rain, storm and floods. Especially in quarters which are densely built up and which have high levels of soil sealing or older buildings and infrastructure the impacts could be serious. Built-up city quarters face enormous challenges adapting to climate change, because changes can only be made gradually and the type of ownership as well as the population are often heterogeneous. Existing measures of urban regeneration and reconstruction are suitable for the implementation of climate change adaptation.

Adapting cities and municipalities to climate change is an important political goal of the government which is pursued in politics in an ecological, economical and socially manner for sustainable urban development.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The challenges of implementing adaptation measures already became clear during the research programme. These challenges include the legitimacy of land use planning regulations, problems of dealing with technical guidelines and difficulties of convincing other authorities, politicians or the public.

Because of the amendments to the Federal Building Code in 2011 and 2013, it is now possible to consider issues of climate protection and climate adaptation during urban reconstruction and redevelopment. Hence, municipalities can now benefit from funding to implement measures for existing buildings.

Through the exchange with planners it became obvious, that these changes to the building code and the related sources of funding are not well known. Possible reasons for this were discussed as part of this project: one reason might be that politicians and the administration are not yet aware that climate adaptation is a compulsory task. Besides that, many federal ministries do not have climate adaptation as part of their urban redevelopment strategies and their federal funding guidelines.

The perceptions of the present project reveal that further information and increased motivation is necessary. From the cities' point of view there is a need for support to assess the local impact of climate change, to commission expert reports, for intercommunal exchange, for the acquisition of knowledge, for finding and funding of measures, for interdisciplinary communication and for placing climate adaptation in different departments and at administrative levels as well as in public relation activities.

Step 4: Plan and implement measures

Measures and/or strategies 

Within the Social City program, green and open space structures can contribute to climate adaptation. The implementation of measures can be compartmentalized.

The programs urban redevelopment East and West deal with functional losses in urban planning by creating potential for a reorientation in inner city locations, residential areas as well as brownfield and conversion areas. Measures can be implemented in the areas of buildings, open and green areas and of infrastructure. Exemplary measures are possible through the reactivation of brownfield as green spaces or the creation of retention areas and diversion roads.

The Urban Heritage Conservation Program is able to preserve or develop urban and cultural historical city centers and areas with monument-worthy buildings and should take climate adaptation into account.

The Smaller Cities and Communities program supports smaller cities and communities in coping with demographic change, especially in services of general interest, domestic development, infrastructure adaptation and supra-local cooperation.

The Active City and Suburban Centers program focuses on strengthening central care areas and counteracting social or urban development grievances and loss of function.

In addition, information offers can be taken into account (for example on Internet portals, such as,,, Publications such as the BBSR special publication flood and heat precaution through urban development, ExWoSt information 46/1 Urban redensification in climate change, etc. are recommended. In addition, tools and guides aree presented (Stadtklimalotse, Klimalotse, INKAS, etc.)


Funding / Financing 

The project belongs to the research program "Experimental Housing and Urban Development" (ExWoSt) and is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federal Institute for Building, Urban and Spatial Research (BBSR) in the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR).

Project management 

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development



  • BPW baumgart + partner
  • plan + risk consult
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Fields of action:
 building sector