Case studies

During the kick-off meeting we proposed to link the case studies from the CHANGES project with EMAPS. The CHANGES project ( aims at identifying socio-economic and physical changes (mainly natural hazards), including climate change. CHANGES is a Marie Curie Network involving so called Early Stage researchers and some Experienced Researches, each of them covering a topic within the CHANGES framework. The research methods and the methodologies will be applied and tested in four pilot study sites where hazards are currently evident and some risk management procedures have already been implemented. The study areas are located in the French Alps, North Eastern Italy, Romania and Poland:

  • French Alps: Ubaye and Tinée valleys;
  • Italy: Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region;
  • Romania: Buzău County;
  • Poland: Wieprzówka catchment.

These areas are expected to experience substantial impacts related to climate change and may expect also important changes in development, which requires an important component of spatial planning. Most of these areas have been previously investigated during earlier national or international research projects and/or training/mobility programmes and are, therefore, extensively documented. Methodologies and models will be transferable between regions, as well as being able to incorporate the individuality of a particular site. This is envisaged to be extremely useful in the future exploitation of results across the European Union.

The CHANGES project will pay attention in particular to the comparison of risk assessment and management frameworks between Eastern and Western European countries. In order to ensure optimal integration of the work of the young researchers and the project partners the Network will concentrate on a limited number of pilot areas, where most of the aspects of the methodology will be combined. In principle all network partners will also work in the four pilot areas, in order to fully benefit from the complementary expertise of the partners. Network meetings will also be organized in these areas, so that all partners get known the differences and, purely as a practical side effect, these stays can be combined with field work and direct contacts with local stakeholders/end-users (see also

As the TU Dortmund is project partner in the CHANGES project the interim results in the case studies as well as the previous research carried out there can be used to illustrate typical controversies in climate change adaptation related to spatial development and planning as envisaged in the EMAPS project. This will, however, not happen before the end of 2012.

2 Responses to “Case studies”

  1. [...] département de planification territoriale de l’Université de Dortmund mènera des études de cas  et que l’on peut établir éventuellement des comparaisons avec la [...]

  2. The ESPON Climate project (; lead partner TU Dortmund) was carried out between 2009 and 2011 aiming at producing a spatial and integrated assessment of the EU 27 regions towards climate change vulnerability. The semi-quantitative assessment on the NUTS3 level was accomplished by case studies in order to strengthen more qualitative and narrative interconnections between climate change, socio-economic and other drivers as well as the resulting climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. Further, it was possible to detect adaptation potentials and options. In this context the case studies may be used for the EMAPS project.

    Case study Alpine Space
    The case study aimed at an in-depth analysis of impacts of the different climatic stimuli on Alpine tourism, of the specific sensitivity of Alpine tourism and the adaptive capacity of the tourism sector. The main focus was on the institutional and cultural dimension of vulnerability. For the adaptive capacity assessment of the tourism sector a specific set of indicators for assessing adaptive capacity was developed and a standardized survey was conducted among representatives of public authorities and non-state organizations in all Alpine states. The case study therefore complements the pan-European vulnerability assessment conducted in ESPON Climate with a qualitative approach by integrating qualitative data into the indicator based overall methodology.

    Case study Tisza river basin (Hungary)
    A vulnerability study was carried out in the field of agriculture, using a uniform methodology. As there were no consistent data for the exposure index, no vulnerability calculations could be made regarding the impacts of floods, only a partial sensitivity analysis could be made. The impact of climate change on discharges and the uncertainties of forecasts are described in a special chapter of the case study report.

    Case Study North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany)
    Sensitivity towards climatic changes is expressed considering the physical, environmental, social and economic dimensions by means of a multitude of indicators. These are assigned to distinct direct (climatic variables derived from the regional model CCLM) and indirect exposure variables (frequency of flood events) representing changes from 1961-1990 to 2071-2100 under the emission scenario A1B. Sensitivity is expressed as a relative measure covering the range of values within the municipalities of NRW. It also takes into account the relevance of the respective sector for the municipality and is described by its current status. All indicators as well as the components of the vulnerability concept have been assigned equal weight in the aggregation process to enhance the interpretation of the results.

    Case Study Spanish Mediterranean coast
    The objective of this case study was to perform a vulnerability assessment to possible water shortages induced by climate change in the tourist areas of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. In order to produce such an assessment the study used variables related to exposure (water availability after changes in temperature and precipitation); sensitivity (characteristics of the tourist sector), and adaptive capacity (water supply alternatives, income). The relative weighing of each variable has been determined from a Delphi panel composed by ESPON experts.

    Case Study Bergen (Norway)
    Sensitivity to climate change can be measured by how different exposure indicators lead to a detectable change (positive or negative) in the studied object. In the Bergen case study the main sensitivity dimensions are physical sensitivity (infrastructure), cultural sensitivity (world heritage sites) and economic sensitivity (business activities and tourism). The potential impacts are a function of exposure and sensitivity, and regions can be both adversely and beneficially affected. For the Bergen region and Western Norway temperature increase, precipitation and sea level rise are the most important exposure indicators.

    Case study on the Netherlands
    The increase of flood hazard, drought and water nuisance are recognized as the biggest challenges of the Netherlands with respect to climate change. This case study focuses on flood hazards, expected to increase due to both sea level rise and an increase in extreme discharges of the main rivers.

    (Source: ESPON Climate Final Report)

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