Heat resilient development of cities and urban districts - knowledge generation with a focus on local residents and implementation in Dresden and Erfurt

Module 1 | Impact assessments of climate change and various options for adaptation

The module provides current and future climatic input quantities for the districts in Dresden and Erfurt. The adaptive measures against heat stress developed and selected in module 3 are being investigated in several areas. For example, the thermal loads on residents in open spaces and in buildings, the effects of average climatic loads and climatic extremes on buildings, the future demands on building services systems and the climate-regulating performance of urban ecosystems are analyzed.

The processing of module 1 results in data adjusted for heat-related climate risks for the neighborhoods in Dresden-Gorbitz and the district of Erfurt Oststadt, e.g., the definition of a medium and extreme summer heat period in the climate period 2021 to 2050. In addition, the input data for the determination of human biometeorological indices are generated. With the help of these measures, the heat stress of the residents in the present and future can be assessed. The effects of future heat spells on ecosystem services and biodiversity are also considered for the investigated districts in Dresden and Erfurt. At the building level, the energy requirements of the existing stock are analyzed under changed climatic conditions, in particular for an extension and intensification of summer heat waves. Thus, the data and tools of module 1 support the knowledge transfer in module 2 as well as the development and testing of options for climate change adaptions in module 3.

Module 2 | Actors' perspectives on local climate adaptation processes

The module analyzes and describes ongoing as well as completed climate adaptation measures within the cities of Erfurt and Dresden. By interviewing stakeholders from housing companies, city administrations and NGOs as well as citizens, strengths and weaknesses of previous adaptation measures in both cities will be identified. The collected data will then be visualized with the help of a network analysis. Apart from that, international and national ‘good practices’ illustrate how climate adaptation can be practiced successfully in cities. An exhibition of ‘good practices’ will be prepared and shown to the public in both cities in summer 2019. Within the heat stressed neighborhoods, surveys and information events will enable local residents to learn about heat stress and to become involved with the scientific process. As a special form of inquiry, ‘mental maps’ are used to cartographically detect the subjective heat perception of local residents. The results of those ‘personal heat maps’ are then compared to actually measured temperature values within the example quarters. The results of the interviews and surveys, conclusions from participatory events as well as expert opinions and findings will be processed scientifically and compiled.

Module 3 | Implementation at the level of residents and neighborhoods

This module considers the input variables on climate change (Module 1) as well as the perceptions, expectations and behavioral patterns of residents (Module 2) from the project areas. On this groundwork, specific options are developed for actions at the level of local residents (WP 3.1), the building sector (WP 3.2) as well as in the Environmental Departments of the state capitals Dresden (WP 3.3) and Erfurt (WP 3.4). These specific options are then tested in the two project areas.

The module makes on the one hand use of data and tools from Module 1 in order to develop innovative forms of adaptation by considering both effectiveness and efficiency. On the other hand, working approaches and techniques from module 2 are used for the resident-oriented management and supervision of the negotiation and prioritization processes in order to ensure socially balanced and accepted measures.

Module 4 | Inter- and transdisciplinary project management

The close collaboration of scientists and practitioners enables a transdisciplinary development of the project. A co-design of the various sub-tasks is thus necessary, whereby the contents, goals and work processes closely reflect the practical requirements, potentials and windows of opportunity.

The core elements of a project management that strives for cooperation and the intelligent division of tasks are: (a) the joint discussion and management of the main research questions and their linkage by a project steering group with equal voting rights for scientists and practitioners; (b) the provision and moderation of suitable formats for information and communication at project level; (c) the continuous supervision of planning and negotiation processes in the two project areas as well as (d) the risk management on the basis of wide experience gained in collaborative projects with complex and demanding constellations of partners.