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 its residents to the impacts of climate change. We examine climate adaptation measures in participatory processes and design co-creative procedures together with the local population.

Recent climate adaptation strategies in Germany mainly concentrate on cities as well as primarily on infrastructure and institutional change. The focus on adaption policies in smaller towns is rare.

The aim of GoingVis is to develop joint visions for climate adaption in small, peripheral towns. We examine different participation formats, workshops and experiments in order to analyze, envision and change social practices connected with climate change.

It is important to consider local and cultural characteristics in order to create adequate climate-adaption measures. Consequently, participation and co-creative approaches play an important role in our project. We aim to consider the diversity of actors and residents in small towns. We also wish to incorporate marginalized groups. We aim to build on local knowledge and local needs. Consequently, we combine different participation-formats, experiments as well as quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

Project Partners

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


We cooperate with Boizenburg/Elbe in Northern Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and Übigau Wahrenbrück in the region of Elbe-Elster (Brandenburg).

Residents in both towns develop innovations on climate adaption, are responsible for the envisioning process and the planning as well as the implementation of activities.

Scientific Partner: Environmental Policy Research Center at Freie Universität Berlin

The Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) at Freie Universität Berlin is responsible for the coordination of the project, knowledge co-creation and transfer as well as research and evaluation.

Coordination: the team members at FFU are responsible for the coordination of activities and exchange with the partner towns, practitioners and partner institutions, as well as knowledge transfer with other projects in that area of interest.

Knowledge co-creation and transfer: the team supports the towns and (r)evolutionäre Ideen to create joint visions for transformative adaption to climate change. The FFU imparts knowledge on climate change adaption and urban innovation processes.

Research and evaluation: the team members of the FFU conduct research concerning transformative adaptation to climate change. They evaluate processes on vision-development, experiments and the implementation and/or change of adaptation practices.

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.


Political and Social Science Research

Dr. Klaus Jacob

Project coordinator and head of GoingVis. 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.

Dr. Thorsten Heimann

Research associate. Sociologist and Cultural Scientist. He has been working in several research projects concerning climate change and urban as well as rural development. A focus is on cultural peculiarities and to create opportunities for adaptive transformation.

Julia Teebken

Research associate. Political Scientist and Sinologist. Apart from her work at FFU and GoingVis, she conducts research on lock-ins to transformative adaptation and vulnerability governance in China and the United States as part of her PhD thesis.

Nicole Mahlkow

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

Communication and participation: (r)evolutionäre ideen

Dr. Dominik Zahrnt

Dr. Dominik Zahrnt works and carries out research in the field of strategy development, design and participation mainly in the field of sustainable development. (r)evolutionäre ideen plays a central role in the transdisciplinary integration of knowledge in the project. His main responsibilities are

  • Moderation of internal and external meetings, workshops and conferences.
  • Participation procedures, diversity and envisioning building.
  • Public relations (target groups, events, channels, messages and stories).

Partner towns

Beatrice John

Beatrice John is concerned with the question: “How to improve Boizenburg in a sustainable manner?” and has been the town's project manager for climate adaptation and sustainable development since March 2019. She addresses questions on climate adaptation and mitigation to improve the adaptive capacity in participation processes together with the local population.