Main motivation for taking adaptation action
Elmshorn's main motivation for taking adaptation action is to ensure that the city's
development, growth, and inhabitants are resilient in the face of future changes in the
Have you already developed an adaptation strategy?
We (will) integrate adaptation into existing relevant plans
Name of the strategy/ plan (If adopted)
"When the water comes from both sides": Building blocks of a mission statement on climate change adaptation in Elmshorm and the surrounding area
Weblink of the strategy/ plan
Summary of the strategy/plan
When the water comes from both sides", which aims to raise awareness about climate
change and the necessity to respond accordingly to the risks, was developed in 2014 with
the help of city representatives, public service agencies and five institutions of higher
education in the Hamburg area. A key focus of the work was the scientific
quantification of climate change impacts and risks such as heavy precipitation and flooding.
In addition to raising awareness with this research, Elmshorn also hopes to unite relevant
stakeholders and develop common adaptation strategies and measures.
Planned adaptation actions
Seeing as rainwater drainage poses the biggest risk to the city, Elmshorn plans to
implement a number of rainwater drainage measures including the KAREL project
(Klimaanpassung der Regenentwässerung Elmshorns und des Umlandes). This project,
which will likely begin in 2016, facilitates the development of an integrated and regionally
comprehensive concept for climate adaptation and makes improvements to the drainage
situation in Elmshorn and neighbouring communities.
Good practice / spotlight item
The construction of multifunctional bodies of water
What sectors are concerned
"Steindammsee" in the center of Elmshorn was originally designed as a recreation area but will now be used for additional purposes, namely as a retention basin. Seeing as Elmshorn is increasingly at risk of flooding as a result of climate change, the water level in the Steindammsee will be intentionally reduced when long-term weather forecasts predict severe weather. In order to do so, technical equipment such as the effluent weir must be converted, allowing pond drainage to be temporarily blocked. Such a dynamic body of water will give Elmshorn the ability to retain 20,000 cubic metres of water and thereby minimize the risk of flooding in the city. Biotope protection and the protection of species have also been taken into consideration throughout this project.
- Water management
The Steindammsee in Elmshorn is used for recreation and storm water retention.
Climate change impacts
- Sea Level Rise
Key vulnerable sectors
Mayors Adapt signatory
Date of officially joining Mayors Adapt
02 Oct 2014