For almost four years, climate adaptation in rural areas has been promoted within the framework of the EU-LIFE project Evolving Regions. In seven regions of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, integrated and collaborative climate adaptation processes based on innovative methods have been carried out, enabling regional actors to actively address the challenges posed by climate change.

Under the headline „Approaches to climate change adaptation in rural regions across europe“, TU Dortmund University shared in three workshops its experiences and invited practitioners of regional and local climate adaptation as well as stakeholders from academia to discuss different aspects of climate adaptation. Participants learned about different approaches from European countries, were able to network and discuss cooperation in municipalities and regions, the role of climate data in dialogue processes, and process formats for climate adaptation.

In this post, we want to look back at the three workshops.


In the first workshop „Effective solutions for multilevel cooperation of local and regional authorities“ represantatives from the project Evolving Regions, representatives from the Government of the Balearic Islands and the LIFE AdaptCalaMillor project discussed together with the participants how successful inter-municipal cooperation at different levels can advance climate adaptation at the local and regional level. Jürgen Schultze (TU Dortmund) began by presenting the Evolving Regions project and how it dealt with the challenges and potentials of multilevel cooperation. In addition to a general presentation of the project, the focus was on the different governance levels in Germany and how the project dealt with the interdependencies. In addition to that, climate adaptation depends on the interaction of different actors, both vertically and horizontally.

Afterwards, Lara García Gimeno from the Government of the Balearic Islands presented the project LIFE AdaptCalaMillor. In the presentation it became clear to what extent the municipality of Cala Millor is affected by climate change and how many different public and private actors have to be involved in order to implement climate adaptation measures. The aim of the project is to anchor climate adaptation in Cala Millor in the long term and to increase the resilience of the infrastructures and socio-economic system.

In the following discussion it became clear that climate adaptation depends on actions in different levels and fields. Furthermore, it had to build on already existing responsibilities and tasks. An integrated multilevel approach can have value here, as the actions developed can be transferred to other localities, creating new synergies. In addition the participants discussed possible drivers and obstacles regarding climate adaptation form a multilevel perspective. Accordingly, a shared vision and a shared goal can promote such a process, especially if the relevant stakeholders are involved. Reaching the stakeholders can be a challenge, which is why local or regional multipliers should be involved. It is also important to identify and think about the interdependencies between the levels. It can be helpful to analyze the current situation in the region and to identify and involve responsibilities, competencies and relevant actors.

The presentations of the speakers together with the transcript of the discussion can be found here:


In the second workshop „Data for climate adaptation: Preparation for applicability in dialogue processes and the use in planning practice“ represantatives from the project Evolving Regions and Zuzana Hudekova from the Slovak Environment Agency discussed together with the participants about data and modelling in climate adaptation processes and how the knowledge about climate change impacts and the associated data has to be disseminated that it can be used for municipal decision-making and action. At first Alina Tholen and Sophe Holtkötter from the Institute of spartial planning (TU Dortmund) presented the climate impact analysis

First, Alina Tholen and Sophie Holtkötter presented the Climate Impact Analysis (CIA), which was developed within the project. This method can be used to identify and visualize spatial priorities and hotspots. The aim of the climate impact analysis was the creation of a evidence and decision base for (municipal) stakeholders to increase adaptation capacity in municipalities. Besides a presentation of the CIA in the software Tableau, the speakers presented the learnings from the project regarding the climate impact analysis.

Zuzana Hudeková from the Bratislava Municipality Karlova Ves and the Slovak Environment Agency then presented the LIFE DELIVER project. The project presented a tool called „Klimasken“, which helps cities, municipalities and buildings to monitor their own emissions, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, exposure to climate change and preparedness of institutions to implement climate adaptation and mitigation measures. Based on this tool, measures, strategies and action plans can and have already been designed.

In the ensuing discussion, the relevance of assessing climate change and its impacts was initially emphasized, but the collection and analysis of data by itself would not be sufficient. Rather, the results must be communicated in a goal-oriented and user-friendly manner. Processing, disseminating and the use of the data each comes with its own challenges that must be considered when implementing a climate analysis. For example, through a user-friendly visualization or the calculation of costs incurred by missing measures.

The presentations of the speakers together with the transcript of the discussion can be found here:


In the third workshop we wanted to discuss with you how the integration of relevant climate adaptation actors can be successful and what added value participatory methods offer for climate adaptation in rural areas. This discussion is to be seen in the context of the EU Adaptation Strategy, which calls for a more systemic climate adaptation at local and regional level in order to develop smart and quickly implementable measures for the challenges posed by climate change. However, small and medium-sized municipalities in particular have rarely developed their own adaptation strategy and often the pressure to act only arises when events of damage have already occurred locally. In order to move from a reactive to a preventive and sustainable action strategy, it is particularly useful to involve the relevant actors from the very beginning and to use participatory and integrated methods to develop strategies and measures. Participants had the chance to get to know the approach of Evolving Roadmapping as well as other best-practice examples and exchange ideas with the project. Unfortunately, the workshop had to be cancelled due to low attendance. A guide to implement the Evolving Roadmapping method can be found here: