Development of Climate Adaptation Processes for the StädteRegion Aachen (ESKAPE)



Municipal actors (i.e. the planning administration, but also policymakers) are supposed to give more consideration to climate change in future urban development and land-use planning (BauGBNovelle 2011, Climate Protection Law NRW). This also applies to the StädteRegion Aachen and its towns and municipalities. In the face of more and more tests for land-use planning procedures required by law, municipalities have so far adopted a wait-and-see attitude regarding questions of climate change adaptation. This is partially due to the insufficient amount of data on climate adaptation available on and to the municipalities. In addition, there is a lack of small-scale prognoses and information about effective measures.


Aims of the project:

ESKAPE seeks to counter this development by providing services in the StädteRegion: The goal of the project is to improve the data and information available on the effects of climate change in the StädteRegion Aachen by establishing a climate information system, as well as to develop and implement concepts and solutions for an appropriate consideration of questions of climate adaptation in urban planning and development in cooperation with the planning administrations in the municipalities in the region. For this purpose, basic data for these municipalities will be gathered and made available. As a final product, an online supra-regionally applicable tool will be developed that will allow urban planning actors (planning administration, planning offices, specialist planners) to identify and control the measures necessary to integrate issues of climate adaptation into land-use planning.


Project contents and structure:

A process stretching over several years will be initiated in which the shared demand is defined, findings and data are analysed and an approach is agreed upon for the entire StädteRegion. The StädteRegion Aachen will moderate and coordinate this process of knowledge generation and implementation; the institutes of RWTH Aachen University will provide scientific assistance over the entire project duration.

Developing skills and networks

A further goal of this project is to promote the development of skills and networks at the level of the clerks in the municipal administrations. For this purpose, regular workshops are offered for the employees of the planning and/or environmental offices of the municipalities in the region to foster the exchange of experiences and ideas.

Data bases

Simultaneously to the networking and skills development, the level to which the entire StädteRegion Aachen is affected by climate change is studied spatially. Geo-referenced data is provided that can be integrated into municipal planning information via geographic information systems. For this purpose, modellings and GIS analyses for climate change effects in the StädteRegion regarding thermal stress, heavy rain and wind will first be conducted and maps created that show the current situation and a possible development scenario. At the same time, socio-economic data to depict vulnerabilities will be uncovered. In addition, the maps on exposures and vulnerabilities will be combined into depictions of the susceptibility to climate change effects so that they can finally be made available to the municipalities and other users permanently in the database of the StädteRegion.

Planning recommendations

Suitable methods and tools to identify the need for action towards appropriately considering climate change in land-use planning will be developed in parallel to the analyses. In doing so, the aim is to develop a practical recommendation for checking climate effects in land-use planning as well as to implement it exemplarily. The plan is to develop the suggested procedure in collaboration with municipalities using specific land-use planning methods and then document general procedure recommendations for subsequent projects.


Project partners:

The Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB) as coordinator and the Physical Geography and Climatology Group (PKG) at the Department of Geography at RWTH Aachen University, StädteRegion Aachen, practice partner: Wasserverband Eifel-Rur (WVER)



Project ESKAPE is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (funding code 03DAS048). It is part of the projects in ‘Funding priority 3: Municipal lighthouse projects and establishment of local and regional cooperation’ (Förderschwerpunkt 3: Kommunale Leuchtturmvorhaben sowie Aufbau von lokalen und regionalen Kooperationen).



Coordination: Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB) at RWTH Aachen University

Dr. Andreas Witte, ISB, RWTH Aachen - ; (0241) 80 25 202

Alice Neht, M. Sc., ISB, RWTH Aachen - ; (0241) 80 26 209

Sabrina Hoenen, M. Sc., ISB, RWTH Aachen - ; (0241) 80 25 204

Dr. Gunnar Ketzler, PGK, RWTH Aachen - ; (0241) 80 96 058

Peter Quadflieg, Geodatenmanagement, StädteRegion Aachen - ; (0241) 5198 2557

Friederike von Spankeren, Klimaschutz, StädteRegion Aachen - ; (0241) 5198 6802