KoOpRegioN – Intercommunal cooperation options for sustainable land use in the Northern Black Forest region

  • Project team:

    Winkelmann, Markus (Project leader); Gerhard Sardemann, Jürgen Kopfmülller

  • Funding:

    BMBF, Stadt-Land-Plus program

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Regionalverband Nordschwarzwald (RV NSW); EIFER, European Institute for Energy Research; ZIRIUS, University of Stuttgart; MWO – Markt- und Organisationsforschung, Würzburg; City of Pforzheim; Chamber of Commerce and Industry Northern Black Forest; Economic Region Northern Black Forest GmbH

  • Research group:

    Sustainable Bioeconomy

Project description

Source: ITAS

The project’s main objective is to analyze and improve urban-rural relations based on the example of the Northern Black Forest region. To this end, we will use a participatory process to initiate and scientifically accompany a process of rethinking among municipalities. We will investigate the potentials for a more sustainable use of settlement areas by intercommunal cooperation and how they can be realized. We will encourage the municipalities’ motivation for intercommunal cooperation by showing how municipalities in urban, suburban and rural areas can benefit from possible cooperations and a more sustainable land use in the region. For this purpose, measures and instruments for intercommunal cooperation and sustainable land management will be identified and integrated (work package WP2). Furthermore, regional actor and conflict constellations as well as action requirements are compared (WP1) . Relevant actors will be motivated to discuss new options for action and new common goals (WP3). We will develop and apply a set of sustainability indicators for the evaluation of options for action (WP4). For further strategy development, we will identify particularly relevant policy packages (WP5) and use scenarios to analyze these packages (WP6). We demonstrate whether a more sustainable land use is possible in the region. The significance of the measures for the actors involved in a selected land use and the municipalities involved in the urban-rural pattern will be shown. The aim of this process is to motivate regional actors to formulate strategies for more sustainable land management with the help of intercommunal cooperation using the intercommunal policy packages described above (WP7a). These strategies will then be implemented in pilot projects (WP7b).

Role of ITAS (WP4)

Based on existing, sustainability indicators, this WP will assess the initial situation in the municipalities with regard to the conditions relevant for land use. For this purpose, the Integrative Concept of Sustainable Development (ICoS) will be used to develop an assessment tool.

ITAS is specifically responsible for the following activities:

  • Development of a tool that can be used to examine current land use from a sustainability perspective and provide orientation on how local, regional, and also global sustainability goals can be achieved in the future.
  • Analysis of the initial situation in the municipalities regarding the geographical, socio-economic, and ecological conditions relevant for land use.
  • Development of a set of indicators that can be used to assess the current problems caused by land use and the shortcomings in stakeholder behavior. These will be selected from the comprehensive set of indicators at hand and the thematically relevant standards (e.g., ISO standard) by taking into account the availability of data and including the existing utilisation criteria. The Helmholtz Association’s Integrative Concept of Sustainable Development (ICoS) will provide the guiding framework for the necessary comprehensive state of the art analysis.
  • Based on the set of indicators developed and the status quo described with its help, the impact of measures and policy packages proposed in WP2 and pre-assessed in WP3 will be analyzed and evaluated (WP7b).


Book Chapters
Wassermann, S.; Kosow, H.; Kopfmüller, J.; Wagner, U.
Interkommunale Kooperation im Gewebeflächenmanagement
2022. Stadtregionales Flächenmanagement. Hrsg.: S. Henn, 1–23, Springer Spektrum. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-63295-6_31-1


Markus Winkelmann, M.A.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26098