How can the future Elbe estuary region adapt to sea level rise?

Project information

submitted by
Maximilian Theye

Supervising professorship
Landschaftsarchitektur und -planung

Prof. Sigrun Langner, Julia Gamberini

Degree programme:
Urbanistik (Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.))

Project description

Rising tidal surges caused by sea level rise pose one of the most pressing dangers to the coasts of Northwestern Europe. They hit a region in which humans have reclaimed land from the sea over generations and have found a way to exist together with the strong forces of nature. How can these complex relationships adapt to future challenges in the light of climate change?

The Elbe estuary, which is the focus area of this thesis, is part of this coastal region. The tidal section of the river, measuring almost 200 kilometers, is a dynamic region, regarding both natural and human activities. Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city and its port one of the busiest in Europe. Conflicts regarding land use and scattered responsibilities over several administrative areas pose vital threats to coastal management.

Making use of several action principles, three scenarios are developed which show how the different elements of protection and gradually be adapted or changed to move into the future. In a so-called Zoom In, the effects on these changes on the coastal landscapes of the region are explored further.

Files and presentations