KomKlAn – Status and Progress of Municipal Climate Adaptation in Germany

The project is aiming to improve the knowledge base with regard to municipal climate adaptation in Germany, to strengthen municipal climate adaptation activities, and to identify leverage points for municipal climate adaptation activities that can be used to advance effective transformation processes towards climate resilient municipalities. 

Research approach

The aims of the research project are to improve the knowledge base with regard to municipal climate adaptation in Germany and to strengthen municipal climate adaptation activities. By combining different data sources and data collection methods, the project aims to identify and apply ways to better and regularly track climate adaptation at the municipal level. That way, different perspectives are to be brought together: On the one hand, the aim is to improve the municipalities’ knowledge about climate adaptation activities and on the other hand, to enable the municipalities themselves to determine and evaluate their own adaptation progress. A special focus is on small to medium-sized municipalities. 


In Germany, too, climate change is leading to more frequent extreme weather events such as heavy precipitation and the associated flooding, as well as pronounced dry periods with intense heat. Against this backdrop, municipalities face numerous and diverse challenges, such as adapting basic infrastructures like public water supply and wastewater disposal, energy supply or transport infrastructure to climate change. Demographic change is increasing the pressure for action in many municipalities, for example when it comes to protecting particularly vulnerable groups from extreme events.

While climate protection is now anchored in numerous political measures and instruments at the municipal level, this is hardly the case for climate adaptation. Municipalities are particularly important key actors in the implementation of climate adaptation measures. However, it has been shown that small and medium-sized municipalities in particular have difficulties in adequately addressing the range of challenges. So far, there is no comprehensive monitoring and no corresponding database on the basis of which, for example, support services for these municipalities can be developed.


Based on a systematic research and analysis of existing data sources and reporting systems with regard to municipal climate adaptation, indicators and leverage points are identified with which the progress of municipal climate adaptation can be measured and strengthened. An updated picture of municipal adaptation to climate change will be determined in a municipal survey. On this basis, the research team is developing an online scoring tool that will enable municipalities to independently collect and evaluate data and information concerning their status and progress. In order to enable a user-friendly design of the tool, the development and testing will take place together with selected municipalities in a transdisciplinary process. 

Project partner

  • UP Transfer GmbH at the University of Potsdam
  • Factorial GmbH
  • SOKO Institut für Sozialforschung & Kommunikation GmbH
  • e-fect dialog evaluation consulting eG


The research project “KomKlAn - Where do municipalities stand in adapting to climate change and how do they arrive at multifunctional and transformative adaptation solutions?” is commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt).


Friedrich, Thomas/Antje Otto (2023): Stand und Fortschritt Klimaanpassung - Forschungsprojekt entwickelt neues Tool für Kommunen. ISOE Blog Soziale Ökologie. Krise - Kritik - Gestaltung

Otto, Antje/Thomas Friedrich (2023): Klimaanpassung: Sind Kommunen auf die Folgen des Klimawandels vorbereitet?. In: Bertelsmann Stiftung (Hg.): transforming economies, Gütersloh


2022/10 – 2025/10