CLISP - Climate Change Adaptation by Spatial Planning in the Alpine Space

Client: European Territorial Cooperation Programme ALPINE SPACE 2007 - 2013, (ERDF-Fund, European Commission, Directorate General for Regional Policy)


Project duration: September 2008 – September 2011

Starting Point and Overall Objectives

Climate change will affect spatial development, incl. socio-economic sectors and ecosystem services, in the Alpine Space more severely than in other European regions. Growing risks from natural hazards like floods, landslides, storms, rockfalls, weather extremes threaten settlements, infrastructure, human lives and future development options thus causing new spatial conflicts. For Alpine regions and municipalities, doing nothing will increase exposure and sensitivity to disasters and other adverse climate change impacts massively. The task of comprehensive spatial planning is to provide the basis for sustainable spatial development. As adaptation to climate change is a rather novel field for planning on regional and local level in the Alpine Space, the knowledge, experiences, procedures and tools required to fulfill the key role in adaptation attributed to spatial planning by the EU White Paper on Adaptation and the EU Territorial Agenda are still widely lacking.

Objectives of the Project

CLISP aimed at preventing, reducing and mitigating climate-change related spatial conflicts, vulnerability of spatial development and spatial structures to adverse climate change impacts, and consequential damages and costs. Therefore, tools and methods were developed to evaluate the “climate change fitness” of spatial planning systems which led to new strategies for climate proofed planning as well as for sustainable and resilient spatial development on transnational, national and regional level.


Our Approach

Umweltbundesamt has acted as lead partner of a strategic partnership that bundles national, regional and local spatial planning authorities from public spatial planning and applied research institutions. Observers and further planning experts form an "Advisory Committee" for knowledge transfer and project support. Thus, CLISP involves spatial planning stakeholders from all Alpine countries, building the basis for elaborating feasible climate change adaptation strategies.



Added Value

While climate-related threats are to a large degree comparable across the Alps, spatial adaptation & mitigation is still a novel policy field in the Alpine countries. Common action is needed,  since climate change will not stop at borders, thus elaborating transnational is more effective than solely national strategies. Bundling competencies and experiences of planners, stakeholders and experts from all over the Alpine Space will speed up and intensify the urgently required process of analyzing and enhancing the planning systems in terms of adapting towards climate change impacts. Also substantial knowledge on Alpine vulnerability can only be generated in a transnational process. Thus, a transnational approach can finally prevent extensive damages and save restoration costs.


All proceedings and information from the CLISP final conference on September 8, 2011 in Vienna as well as all further information on the project can be downloaded at the CLISP website.