Project GoingVis – keeping a cool head in hot times!

About the project

Our project “GoingVis – keeping a cool head in hot times” seeks to enhance the resilience of small towns and their residents to the impacts of climate change. We develop climate adaptation measures in participatory and co-creative processes with the local population.

Recent climate change adaptation strategies in Germany mainly concentrate on planning and technological measures of the built environment and infrastructure, such as greening of landscape or measures for (improved) water harvesting and storage. In comparison, social as well as behavioral measures and small cities, their needs and chances to adapt to climate change are given less attention in research and policy-making. At the same time, these cities often have less capacity to implement large-scale construction projects

The aim of GoingVis is to develop climate change adaptation processes suitable for small, peripheral towns. The two project partners Boizenburg / Elbe and Transformation Centre Brikettfabrik Louise engage citizens and stakeholders in different participation formats, workshops and experiments to develop social adaptation practices.

If it is embedded in shared local knowledge (topics, narratives and visions), climate change adaptation can motivate voluntary engagement of and for the community. Consequently, we use local topics, narratives and visions as the foundation for a co-creative development of local adaptation measures. GoingVis aims to consider the diversity of actors and residents in small towns and provide an opportunity for people, who often do not engage in participatory processes, to voice their concerns.

Project Partners

In GoingVis, scientists and practitioners as well as residents co-create climate change related knowledge and practices.

Local partners

Boizenburg/Elbe in Northern Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and Transformationszentrum Brikettfabrik Louise (Transformation Centre Brikettfabrik Louise) in the Verbandsgemeinde Liebenwerda  (Brandenburg) are the local partners in the GoingVis team.

The project partners are in charge for the local adaptation activities. They engage citizens and stakeholders  in initiating and implementing common practices for  climate change adaptation.

Julia Gerdsen

Julia Gerdsen has been Boizenburg’s project coordinator since mid-January 2023. Boizenburg's GoingVis project "PLATZ B" (Plattform Zukunftsbilder Boizenburg) is associated with the Department for Urban Development, Housing and Building in the local administration. Julia Gerdsen coordinates and supports climate change activities initiated by the town's civil society and links them with the small town's political and administrative developments. Before Julia Gerdsen, Dr. Beatrice John was the town's project coordinator from March 2019 to 2022.

Andreas Claus and Daniel Willeke

Since November 2019 former mayor Andreas Claus and former climate protection manager Andreas Claus are the local coordinators of the GoingVis project "Leuchtturm Louise" (Lighthouse Louise). Associated with a regionally renowned site for history and environment education and events, the Brikettfabrik Louise hosts the climate change adaptation platform "Leuchtturm Louise". "Leuchtturm Louise" is a platform for and of the local civil society to collectively realize their adaptation priorities.

Circle of supporters

The project will set up a circle of supporters in each town, in which local key actors will act as multipliers for the entire process. The circle of supporters will meet on a regular basis to discuss and further develop the existing visions, experiments and practices.

Scientific Partner

The Teaching and Research Unit Human-Environment Relations (HER) at the Department of Geography at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich coordinates the project team and supports knowledge co-creation and transfer and is in charge for research and evaluation.

Coordination. The team members at LMU-HER are responsible for the coordination of activities and exchange with the local partners, practitioners and institutions, as well as knowledge transfer with other projects in that area of interest.

Knowledge co-creation and transfer. The team supports the local partners to initiate bottom-up activities for climate change adaptation. LMU-HER imparts knowledge on climate change adaptation and innovations in urban research and policy-making.

Research and evaluation. LMU-HER evaluates the single participation formats and adaptation experiments as well as the overall local adaptation processes. We want to draw conclusions for the governance of adaptation in small towns and engage in the research debate on transformative climate change adaptation .

Dr. Julia Teebken

Project coordinator of GoingVis. Ms. Teebken is a political and social scientist and conducts comparative research on socio-political vulnerability to climate change impacts and climate adaptation policy processes at different levels of governance and government. She investigates the role that different actors can play in transformative adaptation processes and which path-dependent lock-ins hinder climate adaptation. In addition to Germany, she conducts research on adaptation policy processes in China and the USA.

Luisa Hieckel

Research assistant. Ms. Hieckel is a political scientist (M.A.) by training. During her studies, she worked in research and for civil society organizations (e.g. Greenpeace) on sustainability governance in the multi-level system. Before joining the GoingVis team, she worked on city networks and their role for sustainability transformations.

Dr. Klaus Jacob

Former GoingVis project coordinator and head of the Policy Assessment Group at the FFU. He is a political scientist and works on topics such as evidence-based politics, sustainability strategies, ecological modernisations, and innovation and market effects.

Nicole Mitchell

Former research associate. She studied political science and worked on a number of projects relating to heat adaption processes in urban areas.

Carolin Herdtle

Former research associate. Former research assistant. After studying sociology, Carolin Herdtle worked in various projects on sustainability-related transformation processes, participation procedures and mediation processes in municipal planning.

Communication and participation: (r)evolutionäre ideen

Dr. Dominik Zahrnt

Dr. Dominik Zahrnt, head of (r)evolutionäre ideen, supports the local partners with strategy development and participatory approaches. (r)evolutionäre ideen plays a central role in the transdisciplinary knowledge integration. He is also responsible for the moderation of meetings, workshops and conferences and public relations (target groups, events, channels, messages and stories).