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Evolving Regions




TU Dortmund / Social Research Centre; TU Dortmund / Institute for Spatial Planning; German Institute of Urban Affairs; BEW - The German Education Centre for the Supply and Waste Management Industry gGmbH; ZDF Digital; University of Twente; the districts of Wesel, Steinfurt, Siegen-Wittgenstein, Soest, Minden-Lübbecke, Coesfeld, and Lippe; the municipalities of Kampen and Zwartewaterland (NL)

The "Evolving Regions" research project is concerned with the implementation of climate impact adjustments through regional processes. Prognos is supporting the project by monitoring its activities and developing concepts for a total of nine regions.

Project background

How can climate adaptation processes be implemented more effectively through regional processes? How can we raise awareness of the need to adapt to the consequences of climate change? Together with six partner institutions, Prognos has been conducting research on these issues as part of the EU-funded "Evolving Regions" project since July 2019. Seven districts in North Rhine-Westphalia and two regions in the Netherlands will serve as real laboratories for new concepts and methods over the next three years. The kick-off for the substantive work today is in the district of Steinfurt, the project’s first pilot region.

"Evolving Regions is the answer to the specific challenges of climate adaptation at the spatial level of the districts of North Rhine-Westphalia. The regional systems will not be targeted selectively, but systematically and procedurally, to meet future requirements," explains Oliver Lühr, who is managing the project at Prognos. The goal: Develop and implement a target path for climate adaptation strategies and measures through regional roadmaps. The population is directly involved.

Evaluation and long-term monitoring concept

Prognos is supporting the project with an evaluation and monitoring of the implemented measures. In addition, the regions will be able to carry out further monitoring independently once the project has ended. In this way, adaptation to the consequences of climate change should be anchored in regional development strategy in the long term. "We make the impact of the adaptation measures and processes measurable and verifiable," says project manager Oliver Lühr.

The central element to the monitoring is the creation of regional causal networks of climate adaptation. The measures decided and implemented within the regional processes are clustered according to fields of action and categorised within them in terms of their impact, so that the synergistic as well as antagonistic effects of the measures can be mapped in the achievement of the objectives. In addition, an indicator-based evaluation of the measures is carried out at four levels: inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impacts. This will enable studies to be carried out at a later stage of the project on the efficiency and effectiveness of the measures implemented in achieving the climate adaptation targets set by the regions themselves.

Project organisation

The Social Research Centre at the TU Dortmund is responsible for the management and coordination of the project. In addition to the districts of Steinfurt, Wesel, Coesfeld, Siegen-Wittgenstein, Lippe, Soest, Minden-Lübbecke and the municipalities of Kampen and Zwartewaaterland, the Institute for Spatial Planning at the TU Dortmund, the German Institute for Urban Studies, the BEW Education Centre for the Supply and Waste Management Industry, the University of Twente and ZDF digital are research partners in the project. The project will run until March 2023 and will be funded by the EU's LIFE environmental programme and co-financed by the NRW Environment Ministry.

To the project website (

To the project description on the website of TU Dortmund´s Social Research Center (in German)

More information about the LIFE funding programme

Project updates

Evolving23 – Climate adaption in rural areas

| Event

The Evolving23 conference focuses on the implementation of climate adaptation measures. Lukas Eiserbeck provides information on financing climate adaptation measures.

Evolving 22 - Conference on Climate Adaptation in Rural Areas

| Event

The latest project results will be presented at the Evolving 22 conference. Lukas Eiserbeck also heads the working session "Monitoring of climate adaptation processes."

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Oliver Lühr

Vice Director, Head of Environmental, Circular Economy & Climate Change

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