ExTrass – urban resilience against extreme weather events

As a consequence of climate change, extreme weather events are projected to increase in frequency and magnitude. Many German cities are highly prone to these effects. Already today, extreme weather events are responsible for considerable damages to the built environment and a number of health threats. Adaptation strategies and actions to adequately respond to the effects of climate change mainly exist in large cities. Medium-sized cities appear to often lack the required resources to elaborate adaptation plans and to put them into practice. Nonetheless, we still know too little about the drivers and path dependencies which limit the effective development of adaptation responses in medium-sized cities.

The definition phase of the project aimed at contributing to increase the resilience of medium-sized cities towards extreme weather events. Three cities (Würzburg, Potsdam, and Remscheid) served as case studies for this practice-oriented research project, in which adelphi partners with the three municipalities, the University Potsdam, and the Johanniter. During the project's definition phase, the research proposal for the main research and implementation phase was developed in close cooperation between the research and practice partners of the project consortium.

In addition, climate change adaptation plans and strategies of 220 German medium-size cities were analysed in order to identify so called “pioneer cities” and their motivation to start and adapt to the effects of climate change. This research step was accompanied by an in-depth path analysis of adaptation processes in selected cities. Additionally, requirements for vulnerability and risk analyses are being analysed and innovative responses to the effects of heavy precipitation events and heat waves were identified and evaluated in terms of their potential feasibility. The results fed into the research proposal and was presented in research and position papers, and at conferences.

Further information, especially on the project's implementation phase (ExTrass Plus), can be found on the ExTrass website of our project partner, the University of Potsdam as well as the adelphi project website.

Publications of this project