While municipal climate protection is now an integral part of strategic development in many German municipalities, the adaptation to climate change is still much less prominent on the municipal policy agenda. Scientists agrees that many negative impacts of climate change will not be able to be prevented at the local level in the medium to long term, and local adaptation strategies are becoming increasingly important. There are, however, still a lack of adequate management approaches that allow municipalities to address climate adaptation as part of a variety of different objectives, to strategically address them and to translate them into intergovernmental action plans. A large number of concepts and tools exist, for example from the Fraunhofer innovation network »Morgenstadt«, which enable a more efficient management of complex urban development processes, but have not yet been applied in the context of climate resilience in cities.


Information about the project


The SMARTilience project aims to design a municipal control model for climate-friendly urban development and to implement it in the two German cities of Halle and Mannheim. Innovative governance formats for an integrated communal management are to be brought together with concrete fields of action for a climate-friendly city (for example investment in ecosystem services and networked technologies) and tested in the form of rebates.

The project begins on 01.05.2017 and the project definition phase runs until 30.04.2018. In November 2017, a research and development application was submitted for the implementation of the model.

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City of Halle is part of SMARTilience. The aim of the project is to develop of a steering model for climate-friendly urban development.
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Mannheim is the third city partner at SMARTilicience. The implementation of the developed model in the two cities is planned from 2018 onwards.

Project objectives


In the definition phase, the project is prepared in a thematic manner, and the necessary offices and actors are integrated into the planning. In addition, the identification and activation of the local stakeholder groups as well as the joint definition of subordinate project objectives at the local level will be carried out. In the subsequent research and development phase, concrete implementation measures in the two major German cities will be used to define the requirements to be fulfilled by a municipal control model for a climate-friendly city and will determine how this must be integrated into existing urban development and city planning.

In addition to the development and testing of the model, which will be developed collaboratively by industrial partners and research institutes, functioning as a real lab in the two German cities; the generated knowledge will help to enable municipal decision-makers and actors to act in a forward-looking and efficient manner.

Policy recommendations for action by the federal government, the state governments and the EU aim to integrate local climate resilience into the existing regulatory framework. In addition, new models of funding are to be identified that ensure adequate private-sector involvement in investments in climate resilience. Overall, the project is interdisciplinary and application-orientation. Consequently, this instrument should contribute to a systemic, energy-efficient and resource-efficient, climate-adjusted and socially inclusive sustainable development of municipalities in Germany.

Interfaces between actors is an essential lever of transformation in a city

Statement of the project executive

Veronika Zettl, project manager at the Institute for Industrial Science and Technology Management of the Stuttgart University


"Climate change is a big challenge for the German cities and municipalities. To ensure that even under changing climatic conditions they remain fit for their residents and resilient to weather extremes such as storms or heatwaves, each city has to find the right way for climate protection and climate change adaptation. There are many requirements, ideas and solutions as well. The aim of SMARTilience is to develop an approach that helps municipalities and local authorities to define and implement the appropriate climate policies. In SMARTilience we are implementing this approach for Halle (Saale) and Mannheim.»

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Climate change reaction model for Halle (Saale) and Mannheim

Interview with project manager Veronika Zettl.