Dortmund becomes a climate laboratory: two districts are test areas for rain and heat

TU Dortmund’s social research center is studying strategies for municipalities to mitigate the possible consequences of climate change in cities.

Dortmund – The consequences of climate change are being felt everywhere. However, the effects of extreme weather conditions are particularly evident in densely built cities. The joint project “iResilience” of the social research center of TU Dortmund is therefore testing some practices in three urban areas with which municipalities are better armed against the consequences of climate change. These include two test areas in Dortmund.

responsible TU Dortmund Social Research Center (sfs)
test areas Port of Dortmund, Dortmund-Jungferntal, Cologne-Deutz
occurrence Test strategies for adaptation to climate change

TU Dortmund: Consequences of climate change: Researchers are testing strategies for resilient cities

Urban areas are characterized by dense buildings, sealed areas and little green space. These circumstances are not suitable for possible water masses caused by heavy rain or heat waves. Due to the increasingly evident effects of climate change, however, cities need to become more resilient to long-term climate change.

The joint project “iResilience” was therefore launched in 2018. Now those responsible have published a “script” for other municipalities. Present the results on the applicability of the tested strategies. The manual therefore offers guidance to interested municipalities on how to make urban areas more resilient to the climate and create real laboratories. But smaller projects such as “climatic oases” are also part of the project through the creation of urban gardening areas.

TU Dortmund: Strategies for a climate resilient city: the university is testing these measures

In Dortmund, the port and the Jungferntal district are test areas for the project. The Schützenstrasse in the northern part of the city was chosen in particular for the densely populated center. Here the themes of urban green and heat prevention are at the fore. In the Jungferntal, test measures focus on flood prevention, as the area is characterized by single-family homes and borders the Rahmer forest.

Stephanie Bund heads the joint climate resilience project.

© Social Research Center of TU Dortmund

Measures for a climate resilient municipality include, inter alia, temperature sensors in the port district. A total of 30 sensors were hung on the street lamps and they measure the temperature and humidity in different places. The measurement data should then be visible to everyone in an app, so that people in the city can find cool places and routes in extreme heat. A so-called “heat label” provides information and advice on how to behave in everyday life on hot days.

The July 2021 flood hit parts of NRW particularly hard.

© Future Image / Imago

The prevention of heavy rain plays an important role in the Jungferntal. A round table for residents and experts aims to promote the exchange. There is an opportunity to share experiences in the neighborhood and to ask the urban drainage experts for expert information on precautionary measures (further news from Dortmund at RUHR24).

TU Dortmund: the joint project “iResilience” already has an international follow-up project

The joint project will last until the end of June, but will then be continued by a follow-up project entitled “iResilience goes Europe” in collaboration with the city of Dortmund and the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca. The partner municipalities therefore want to examine measures for adaptation to climate change in an international exchange. Subsequently, a manual for climate resilience in urban areas could also be created, which can be transferred to other European cities.

The city of Dortmund has recently planned several measures for adaptation to climate change. These include three scenarios designed to reduce heat in the city center. But the Ruhr area should also prepare for extreme weather conditions. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has a large investment available for this.

List of sections: © A.Friedrichs / Imago

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