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„Climate Change in Cities and City Regions“ – Summer School for Transnational and Transdisciplinary Learning

Lisa Kunert, HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany


From the 26th to 30th of October 2011 the international summer school “Climate Change in Cities and City regions” took place at HafenCity University. The BaltCICA project welcomed 56 participants from different academic backgrounds and 14 different countries. The largest group were students (BA,MA, Graduate and PHD) followed by researchers and academic staff.


During this week, introducing lectures as well as workshops and field trips were part of the program. On the first two days, experts such as Gudrun Rosenhagen of Deutscher Wetterdienst, Johannes Klein of the Geological Survey of Finland and Ove Langeland of the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research gave an insight into expected changes to the regional climate of the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg and the region of the Baltic Sea. Opportunities and risks of climate change adaptation in these regions were also presented. Subsequently, the participants attempted to test innovative methods of transdisciplinary collaboration. The module A “Metropolitan Adaptation Lab” aimed at the development of broad planning approaches for the Metropolitan Region of
Hamburg in a changing climate (metropolitan plan, large scale urban design, visions for future urban development). Following an analysis of the current situation and expected changes, transdisciplinary and internationally mixed working groups created visions for a climate-adapted Metropolitan Region of Hamburg in 2071. The focus was the development of creative and innovative ideas. Almost all groups created a vision of Hamburg which accentuated the living with water. Thus, there were ideas for a water park, public spaces which could be flooded whenever necessary and a “Fun Water District”.


The module B dealt with the process of climate change adaptation and the collaboration of involved stakeholders. Scenario workshops and role playing were the used work methods. All participants were allocated predefined roles of stakeholders such as regional planning, agriculture, or insurance agency with accordant interests, needs and concerns. Goal of the module was the creation of consensus among the stakeholders and the development of an adaptation strategy for the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg. The transdisciplinary discussions among the participants with very different focuses were most
valuable. They quickly adopted the different views of “their stakeholders” which led to an excited discussion. In the process the “stakeholders” developed a vision for a climate adapted Metropolitan Region of Hamburg and a “Climate Adaptation Action Plan”. These were the basis for a list of preferred climate change adaptation measures.


The two different approaches “Metropolitan Area Lab” and “Scenario Workshop and Role Play” introduced new methods in the field of climate change adaption. The collaboration made it possible to get in contact with different research backgrounds and disciplines and to gain new impressions for each participant’s work. As the knowledge of the different participants had been very different at the beginning of the summer school, working in small groups provided the opportunity to benefit from the different academic backgrounds and various international perspectives on the field of climate change.


Two fieldtrips to the levees in Stadersand by boat and to the IBA in Wilhemsburg by bike provided for further impressions. Experts such as Heinz Glindemann, a former employee of the Harbour Port Authority and employees of the IBA Wilhelmsburg willingly answered questions. Furthermore, it was possible to record local developments, changes, opportunities and problems and to talk to local stakeholders. At the end of the summer school, each group presented their work results to a jury and got professional feedback. Members of the jury were Helga Schenk of Hamburg’s Authority of Urban Development and Environment, Dr. Holger Gnest of the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg and Heinz Glindemann.



Climate Change in Cities and City Regions – Documentation of the BaltCICA Summer School 2011 at HafenCity University Hamburg
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Academic background of participants

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Academic background of participants


Vision for climate adaptation in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg


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Vision for climate adaptation in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg


Action plan for climate adaptation in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg

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Action plan for climate adaptation in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg


Participants of the summer school (picture: Tobias Preising, HCU)

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Participants of the summer school (picture: Tobias Preising, HCU)




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