Current projects

Rapid Planning


Rapid Planning: Sustainable infrastructure, environmental and resource management for high dynamic metropolises 

Rapid Planning is an action-oriented joint research project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which was developed on the basis of the results of the "Future Megacities Research Program" funded by the BMBF and supported by the DLR project management organisation. The project has been running since April 2014; most of the project partners are expected to complete their work by end of 2019. AT-Verband is responsible for coordinating the joint project.

The main objective of Rapid Planning is to develop a comprehensive methodology that allows urban infrastructure planning to be rapidly adapted to the needs of a fast growing population. The project focuses on supply and disposal infrastructure, in particular water, wastewater, energy, waste, and urban agriculture. The method is to be developed and tested in the three project cities Da Nang (Vietnam), Kigali (Rwanda) and Assiut (Egypt) together with the local project partners.

The project cities were selected in order to take into account the needs and characteristics of different regions and cultures in method development. A toolkit of instruments, methods and guidelines developed within the project will be made available to cities worldwide. It includes methods for rapid data collection, calculation tables and simulation programs, information on adapted technologies for supply and disposal infrastructure, and methods for stakeholder empowerment. Key aspects of Rapid Planning are the identification and exploitation of potential planning synergies for the considered sectors water, wastewater, energy, waste and urban agriculture. The aim is to achieve mutually reinforcing solutions that are both cost-efficient and energy- and resource-saving.

The Rapid Planning toolkit can be used for different tasks and in different urban contexts, e.g. urban expansion planning, densification, city-wide planning or planning for the urban-rural area. Roadmaps and guidelines provide detailed application information for different planning phases from conception to implementation and monitoring.


emplement! Empowering urban regions for cooperative, synergistic and practical implementation of sustainability and resilience strategies considering the urban-rural nexus

emplement! is a joint R&D project within the framework of the "Sustainable Development of Urban Regions" programme, which is funded by the BMBF and supported by the DLR project management organisation. Within the framework of the overarching objective "sustainable urban regions", projects are to be promoted which serve to increase the "resilience of cities, their environs and urban regions". After a 6-month preparation phase and an 18-month definition phase, the project has entered a 4-year R&D phase (01.06.2021 - 31.05.2025). The project is coordinated by AT-Verband.

Rapid urbanization poses major challenges for cities and their environs - not only due to the increasing consumption of resources and the related consequences, but also due to climate change and the associated negative effects. Strategies and plans to address these challenges not only have to be developed, but also need to be implemented in practice.

The aim of emplement! is to develop transferable instruments and the necessary capacities to enable involved actors in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang and the neighbouring province of Quang Nam to transfer sustainability and resilience strategies and plans into practical and synergetic measures. Thereby the city and province are not considered separately, but with special attention to their systemic interdependencies. The tools are developed at three different levels:

  • System level (strategies, plans, general framework; methods of data generation
  • Technology level (appropriate technologies, decision support);
  • Implementation level (identification of obstacles, showcases, research for implementation).

In view of the economic importance for Da Nang and Quang Nam and their direct competition for resources such as water, energy or land, but also the great synergy potential, emplement! concentrates on the following four fields of action:




Built environment


RESURC Urumqi - RESILIENT Urumqi - Integrated Planning for Maximising Synergies in the Fast-Growing UETD-District as a Demonstration of Sustainable Development in a Climate-Sensitive Urban Region in Western China / Central Asia!

RESURC is a joint R&D project within the framework of the "Sustainable Development of Urban Regions" programme, which is funded by the BMBF and supported by the DLR project management organisation. The project is currently in an 18-month definition phase, followed by a 4-year R&D phase. The project is coordinated by Institut für Umweltwirtschaftsanalysen Heidelberg e.V. (IUWA) .

The fast-growing Chinese city of Urumqi is facing major challenges due to its dynamic development. Climate change, reduction of emissions and sustainable urban development are issues the city will have to face in the coming years. For sustainable urban development, not only the reduction of emissions, but also the improvement of infrastructures, taking into account urban-rural relations, play an important role - also with regard to strengthening adaptability and reducing vulnerability.

An essential aspect of the project is an integrated planning approach that stands for a cross-sector and interdisciplinary approach. The aim of this planning approach is to identify and use synergies within the framework of planning tasks that lead to a reduction in CO₂ and pollutant emissions and at the same time increase the resilience of the rapidly growing Urumqi. All work steps are coordinated and carried out together with the Chinese partners and in close cooperation between research and practice. Resurc's integrated planning approach provides for, among other things:

  1. Drastically reducing high CO₂ - and pollutant emissions and improving the urban climate, paying particular attention to air quality and living conditions;
  2. Optimize supply and disposal systems and increasing their adaptability and reducing their vulnerability;
  3. Considering systemic and urban-rural interdependencies to create additional synergies for an integrated urban and spatial approach, aiming at strengthening resilience.

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