Location: Hamburg, Germany
City population: 1,698,688
Project duration: 2013 - ongoing
Project cost: Unknown
Financing source(s): Public local authority's budget

RISA - Rainwater InfraStructure Adaptation of Hamburg

RISA - RegenInfraStrukturAnpassung

The aim of the project is to implement a sustainable rainwater management in Hamburg that is adjusted to the heavy rainfalls caused by the global climate change. The project involves the analysis of pilot projects and the development of the city's rainwater structure plan 2030 (Strukturplan Regenwasser 2030) (Reference 1) that will serve as a basis for the Integrated RainWater Management (IRWM) in Hamburg (Reference 5).

Urban setting

  • Blue areas
    • Other
  • Green areas for water management
    • Sustainable urban drainage systems

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Water management (SDG 6)

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)
  • Researchers/University
  • Citizens or community groups
Project objectives
Shortterm goals: - develop an integrated rainwater structure plan for Hamburg for fulfilling the longterm goals and providing a basis for an Integarted RainWater Management (IRWA) Longterm goals: - Flood protection and inland flood control - Water body conservation - Near-natural water balance (Reference 1)
Implementation activities
2010 - phase I: Joint problem and status quo analysis; 2011- phase II: Evaluation and Planning; 2012 - phase III: Establishment of pilot projects, recommendations for changes/adaptations in regulations or new regulations etc. and structural plan developed; 2015: structural plan is adopted (Reference 1, 2).

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government / municipality
  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)

Management set-up

Co-governance or hybrid governance (mix of responsibilities between government and non-government actors)

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown
Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project
The description of the project writes: "The project was funded by the State Ministry of Urban Development and Environment of Hamburg (Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt) in co-operation with HAMBURG WASSER, the municipal Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal Company in Hamburg in September 2009. Due to a restructuring of the authorities in July 2015 now the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Behörde für Umwelt und Energie) in co-operation with HAMBURG WASSER is responsible for the implementation of the RISA project" (Reference 1).
Project implemented in response to ...
... an EU policy or strategy? Yes
In 2011, Hamburg was chosen to be the Green Capital of the EU, which is in line with aims of the EU 7th Environmental Action Program of the EU. The RISA is in line with the green strategy that the Green Capital Award projected and it is mentioned in the selective report of the city ("Hamburg: European Green Capital: Five years on") being published in 2016 (Reference 3).
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes
The aim of the project was to develop the Rainwater Structure Plan 2030 (Strukturplan Regenwasser 2030). The strategy was published in 2015 (Reference 2).
Expected impacts
  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Water management (SDG 6)
Details on impacts and indicators used - publication of Rainwater Structure Plan (Reference 2)

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

  • Illustration of the RISA Project (2012)
    Illustration of the RISA Project (2012)
    Atelier Dreiseitl, retrieved 08/22/2018 from Ole Braukmann
  • Implementation of the RISA Project (2018)
    Implementation of the RISA Project (2018)
    Behörde für Umwelt und Energie, retrieved 08/22/2018 from Ole Braukmann


Disclaimer: The data collection was carried out between June and August 2017, the information presented has not been updated afterwards.