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GERICS Adaptation toolkit for cities (Stadtbaukasten)

– the individually applicable advisory service for sustainable adaptation to climate impacts

New challenges for cities and agglomerations

It is widely accepted that man has a decisive influence on the changes of global climate. The concentration of people, assets, critical infrastructure and economic activities in urban areas make cities highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as more frequent and intense heavy rain events and heatwaves or increasing mean temperature. These climate impacts cause considerable stress for the urban population and infrastructure. It is therefore necessary to adapt to local and regional projected climate change impacts at an early stage. These impacts need to be considered in planning and design processes to positively influence quality of life and the persistence of infrastructure in the future.

Beside mitigation and adaptation strategies, there are many other challenges for cities, such as rising settlement pressure or demographic change. Yet, even though other issues may appear more immediate and pressing in everyday business of cities and municipalities, it is important to answer the following questions:

  • How operative and resource-friendly are cities and municipalities under the conditions of climate change?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges arising from climate change for city administrations but also for the inhabitants?

Climate proof urban planning – individual advice for cities

Generally, mitigation and adaptation need to be considered jointly and equally for all solution. The cities toolkit’s main goal is the planning of adaptation measures and their integration into existing planning processes in order to avoid additional pressure for the increasingly scarce human and financial resources at city administrations (Fig.1).

Stadtbaukasten Grafik Schnittstelle englisch

Fig.1: Example for the integration of the adaptation toolkit for cities into the typical process chains for a development plan or an environmental audit.

This flexible structure allows to address each cities specific environmental and administrative framework. The development of practicable strategies or measures and their implementation is carried out in close cooperation with the contracting cities or municipalities.

The adaptation toolkit for cities provides in its standard configuration eleven module groups that cover the most important areas of activities of a city (Fig.2). Within each module group, there are one or more modules with specific priorities.

Stadtbaukasten Grafik Kloetzchen englisch

Fig 2.: Standard configuration of the adaptation toolkit for cities and a detailed view on the module group urban water and its modules

Video: Explaining the GERICS Adaptation Toolkit for Cities

Municipalities can use the modular adaptation toolkit for cities in cooperation with GERICS for individual application. It aims at supporting municipalities in the development and implementation of adaptation measures in order to cope with the impacts of climate change. The short film produced by explainity shows which areas of activity can be focused in cities and regions within the modules of the toolkit and how it is adapted in practice.

Screenshot Stadtbaukasten Film Video: GERICS Adaptation Toolkit for Cities

Interview on the practical application of the Adaptation Toolkit for Cities

Read the interview: „Swamped“ in Bleckede: GERICS scientists flood city (771 KB)

Articles about the GERICS Adaptation Toolkit for Cities on

The Smart City Charter and the missing link to climate resilience Adaptation in cities – The art of lateral thinking Climate change: Urban transformation and the relevance of critical infrastructure


Apl.-Prof. Dr. Steffen Bender

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 432

E-mail contact