Climate Action

The Climate Crisis is one of the most urgent challenges for humankind, and its impacts are becoming increasingly severe. However, whilst perception and awareness of the crisis is increasing, also is the gap between awareness and action: While tackling the Climate Crisis needs action in every aspect of society, it seems to be unclear for many stakeholders what type of action is in fact needed and demanded. This lack of ‘knowing how to act’ becomes especially apparent in the grave inaction of individuals and societies as a whole. Hence, a very heterogeneous group of stakeholders is concerned about taking the right actions and making a wide variety of efforts, ranging from rainwater harvesting and community based approaches to promoting bikeability and creating green spaces in urban environments. To combat the Climate Crisis, intentional action is needed and has to start at various levels and locations.

HeiGIT supports stakeholders by providing actionable data analyses and tools to help communities and decision-makers to achieve climate neutrality. In the first step, a platform is developed where the status of a wide variety of high resolution spatial climate action indicators, even at the scale of neighbourhoods, such as user-friendly public transportation or the availability of green energy, is displayed and thus made accessible to communities and decision-makers. This geographic information is tailored to meet the specific demands of different actors in each respective region, and even down to the neighbourhood scale. On a local level, volunteered geographic information (VGI) can help to uncover local perspectives and fill data gaps.

For further information, please contact Kirsten von Elverfeldt.

Indicators for Climate Action

High-resolution spatial indicators in various sectors relevant for climate action will be generated within the framework of the project. State-of-the-art methodology and data, such as volunteered geographic information (VGI), machine learning, or remote sensing, will be used for that goal. For each sector, several climate action indicators will be derived, which show the impact of already implemented measures and the potential of not yet implemented measures. The sectors and indicators include, but are not limited to:

  • Energy, e. g. density of solar / photovoltaic panels,

  • Estimation of change of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a local scale

  • Transportation, e. g. bikeability, walkability, public transportation

  • Supply, e. g. accessibility of farmers’ markets.

A Platform for Stakeholders

The platform and accompanying applications will provide different Climate Action indicators for different regions. It will thus be possible to compare the respective region of interest to other, similar areas. The platform is rooted in a knowledge base that, through utilisation of artifical intelligence, is capable of learning and thus evolving. This knowledge accumulator is therefore constantly aggregating and connecting existing knowledge. Furthermore, a citizen science approach, i. e. regarding citizens as experts for their living environment, ensures that the platform will continuously reflect as well as generate new understanding.

A framework of high-resolution spatial indicators will be developed, which will offer tailored data, information, reports, maps, and diagrams on specific climate indicators for specific regions at the neighborhood level. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis of the developed indicators an array of potential actions on each indicator will be derived. To serve this purpose, information derived from many different data sources will be combined, including open geoinformation data like OpenStreetMap (OSM) and OpenRouteService (ORS), satellite data, and scientific articles.

Access for partners

The plattform will allow to

  • use cititzen-generated geographic data from OSM and other VGI sources,

  • display, download and analyse geospatial data,

  • compare indicators across different neighbourhoods, communities, and other defined areas of interest, and

  • transfer knowledge and get feedback from users.


We are neither doing research in the domain of measuring greenhouse gas emissions, nor on how knowledge about emissions impacts climate action. Our focus is on working with stakeholders to develop spatial indicators as actionable know-how for climate mitigation and adaption.  If you are looking for exciting research in domains beyond the focus of HeiGIT, have a look at the Climate Action Science project at Heidelberg University. The project involves a wide range of activities from researchers from environmental physics, geosciences, geography to social and economic sciences cooperating and is moderated by the Heidelberg Center for the Environment.