Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Future perspectives for the Lower Elbe region 2005-2030: Climate trends and globalization
This study investigates future perspectives for the Lower Elbe region – the Northern German region encompassing Hamburg and the surrounding districts – against the background of climate change and global and regional socio-economic, technological and political changes. The most relevant developments for this investigation are
- structural change in the context of the region's transition to a post-industrial economy,
- climate change,
- environmental degradation and the protection of the region's ecosystems,
- the growing influence of globalization and of the framework of the European Union,
- increased competition between global city regions against the background of population aging and shrinking in large parts of Europe.
The most interesting and consequential risks and opportunities for the region tend to result from mutual dependencies between the above fields as well as from long-term trends. Beyond that, neglecting either of the involved developments will lead to misestimates in other fields. Interconnections between the different fields are therefore at the core of the analysis. Applicability of the results has been sought throughout the investigation through a stakeholder workshop and interviews with more than 50 experts and stakeholders.
Core results are
- a localization of an IPCC A2 SRES-scenario for the region and a presentation of stakeholder expectations of climate impacts for agriculture and the port of Hamburg (Part I)
- a policy-analysis of agri-environmental programs and aspects of flood protection (Part II)
- a cost-benefit analysis of the port of Hamburg (Part III),
- an assessment of urban renewal processes in Hamburg on the basis of a comparative analysis of different metropolitan regions in Europe (Part IV) and
- three interdisciplinary scenarios for the region on the basis of the above results (Part IV).
Iris Grossmann is a Research Associate for the GKSS Research Centre at the Institute for Coastal Research in Geesthacht, Germany.