Research Area
Landscape Change and Management

Urban Green Space/Climate Change – Even warmer, even drier? Urban green space and structures of open space under climate change

Shady areas in public parks are popular with local people on hot summer days (Photo: Ulrike Wolf)

In today's world sustainable urban development must take account of the likely impact of climate change, regardless whether regions are undergoing urban expansion or contraction. The project Urban Green Space/Climate Change aims to devise strategies of adaption to climate change, based on planning and management concepts for systems of open space in urban areas that are applicable throughout the country.

Building on previous insights on the functioning of open space/green space systems and the beneficial effects which they bring to urban areas, and against a background of current climate projections, the project shall investigate the future impact and relevance of these systems for urban spaces. From this it will be possible to derive development perspectives for planning and managing these areas at the regional, city and city-district level. The identified functional and beneficial effects of such open spaces can then be effectively exploited to ensure sustainable settlement development adapted to the expected pressures of climate change. In view of the range of different aims pursued by nature protection in urban areas, the project intends to devise sustainable concepts of urban development which encompass climate protection, the maintenance of biodiversity and a reduction of land use while taking account of demographic trends. This work requires a systematic illustration of the functions of open spaces in urban areas and their affect on urban development against the background of changing climatic framework conditions.

Various methods, in part borrowed from previous IOER projects, form the basis of research. These are:

  1. the illustration of how open spaces affect their surroundings at the micro-climatic level, as well as the effect of regional climate change on urban areas;
  2. the analysis of structures of vegetation and patterns of urban greenery by mapping the various types of urban biotope, thereby deriving conclusions regarding the ecological effect on urban areas and the functioning of open spaces in the urban landscape;
  3. investigating likely trends, scenarios and climate projections;
  4. the analysis of the goals and instruments of nature protection and spatial planning in order to draw up some recommendations and strategies.

Run Time

10/2008 - 09/2010


Dr. rer. nat. Juliane Mathey
Tel. +49 (0)351 46 79 231

Third Party Funding

F+E-Vorhaben des Bundesamtes für Naturschutz (BfN)