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DevelopIng STratEgies by integrating mitigatioN, aDaptation and participation to climate changE Risks

DISTENDER investigates and analyses strategies for adaptation and mitigation in response to climate change. DISTENDER develops a methodological framework for the development of strategies through participatory approaches, which shows the effects of different climate and socio-economic scenarios and thus identifies the save action corridor to assess adaptation strategies and their impacts. Using models, quantitative and qualitative analyses of the impact of different scenarios are analyzed for different case studies in Europe. These case studies represent different regional characteristics, climate adaptation and mitigation measures. The case studies serve both as a methodological template for developing robust strategies and for estimating regionally different impacts and assessing effects of adaptation strategies. Models for analyzing climate impacts relate to the thematic areas: Energy Economy, Agriculture, Air Quality and Health Urban Climate and Water. Impacts of climate change in these thematic areas are analyzed in terms of economic consequences in order to assess risks and vulnerability and to develop and analyze strategies for their mitigation. The development of robust adaptation strategies requires stakeholder participation and a co-creation process. The effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation measures will be assessed with the help of a decision support system (DSS) using a multi-criteria analysis. The project is divided into three phases: Current land use under different scenarios, Future land use under different scenarios, Analysis of adaptation strategies. As case studies, five study areas of different sizes and characteristics in the following countries will be investigated: Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Spain. The spatial scales range from urban regions (Turin, Guimaraes) to mesoscale study areas (NE Netherlands) and large-scale areas (Austria). Hydrological investigations take place in catchments (Po, Zoutkamperril, Kamp, Enns, Ave, Tagus).
DISTENDER combines three key concepts: cross-scale consideration, cross-disciplinary harmonization and robustness testing. The working group at the University of Cologne is responsible for the hydrological analyses using hydrological models (SWAT, MIKE-SHE) on different spatial scales and with different model concepts from simple conceptual to complex process-oriented.

Further information:

  • Funding Institution: European Commission, Horizon Europe
  • Funding budget for all partners: 6,4 M EUR
  • Participating countries: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom
  • Project Duration: 06/2022-11/2025
  • Project Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Roberto San José (Technical University of Madrid (UPM))
  • Project members at University of Cologne:
    • Prof. Dr. Karl Schneider and Dr. Tim Reichenau (WP5 Coordination)
    • Dr. Morteza Zargar (Hydrological Modelling)
    • Zryab Babker (Hydrological modelling)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101056836. Further information about the DISTENDER project is available at: