13. June 2018
Recently, I have met a colleague that told me, that even the participation in workshops and trainings for climate adaptation can be too much for many smaller municipalities. Is it really that effort? Or is it missing clarity on the extent to which the own municipality is affected at all? Where should you start to sort the tangle of information, impacts, options and necessities to act to obtain at least a rough overview?

13. June 2018
It strikes me always to see how little awareness and practical knowledge is with people, house owners, enterprises or operators. With the nice summer weather in the centre and northern part of Europe over the last weeks, I had quite some reminders where we stand in everyday reality: ...

26. April 2018
Some years ago, the German government introduced a funding scheme for municipalities enabling them to employ a climate change mitigation manager. The scheme became increasingly popular. However, there had not been a similar funding programme for climate change adaptation managers yet. Nevertheless, one can observe that an increasing number of municipalities report that they are actively implementing adaptation measures as well. Sounds good. Are we on the safe side?

11. February 2018
Back in 2009, I was among the first members of the evaluation team of the European Green Capital Award (EGCA), when it was initiated by the European Commission. While I was happy to see the attention of the European Commission for the urban environment, at a time, when this issue was hardly handled at the European level, I also had some doubts: Does it make sense to add another award? There are many city rankings going on and you hear all over the place: “the best city is …”, “the most...

07. January 2018
“Adaptation problem recognised. Let’s get started with adaptation! We take a guidance tool and follow it… But oops...!? There are incredible many guidance tools! Which one is actually the best for us? How can we find out? We want to make a clever choice of course.” Does that situation sound somehow familiar to you?

02. November 2017
Your city in 2040: How will you, your friends and neighbours live given all these upcoming changes in demography, lifestyle, technology, climate …? How will life look like in more than 20 years? What will be the headlines in the local news? These were the questions I asked young citizens at the age of 18-23 years in two visioning workshops, which I organised in the city of Hofheim am Taunus in Germany. The feedback surprised me. First, there did not come up any ideas about the future!? These...

17. October 2017
Or is there a way for towns and rural municipalities too? It was, when I attended a conference on climate change adaptation in Hessen, one of the German Federal States, that learned about inspiring activities and progress here at my current place of living. Even specific funding for implementing of adaptation action is available. While strolling around in the sun at lunch break, I came to chat with a colleague from a tiny municipality. She told me that it sounds all very well - the activities...

22. September 2017
How often have I heard the message from cities and other stakeholders “We would like to act, but we do not have the financial resources to do climate change adaptation action”? I cannot count it, but it pops up again and again. Do you really need money to start action? What would you do with a bunch of money suddenly dropping on your table? Would you know, where and how to invest that best? Do citizens, politicians and other stakeholder go along with your ideas? ...

05. August 2017
I was just sitting together with a colleague of the planning department of a smaller city in Hessen Germany. It is quite well positioned in terms of sustainability, but when I asked how they are prepared for climate change impacts… ‘?! ehmmm?!… Yes, of course, we have green areas and try to keep these. For flood protection, the regional government is rather responsible.’ No, there was not any word about climate change and possible impacts in the latest version of the city planning...

09. July 2017
Leegebruch is a small place with 6500 inhabitants close to Berlin, a neighbour village of my hometown that I passed frequently as a child. There was nothing special about the place, but suddenly I find it in many German newspapers. What happened? On 29 June up to 250 litres per square meter of rainwater poured down over Berlin and its surroundings. The area of Leegebruch was hit particular hard. In addition, it suffered much longer from flooding than other towns and villages nearby. Days later...

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