Resilience and Cultural Heritage in Urban Development: From Holistic Guidelines to Practical Approaches


  • Vanessa Ziegler RHA Reicher Haase Assoziierte
  • Christa Reicher RHA Reicher Haase Assoziierte
  • Stefan Greiving plan + risk consult
  • Carola Neugebauer Federal Institute for Research on Building
  • Christoph Klanten RHA Reicher Haase Assoziierte




built heritage, integrated risk management, urban resilience, heavy rain, climate change


Water plays a dual role in the context of cultural heritage: it can be of great importance, but it can also threaten the existence of built heritage. This article explores the intricate relationship between water and built heritage, focusing on the risks posed by climate change-induced events such as heavy rainfall, which can lead to flooding and surface water run-off. The research project “Resilience and Built Heritage” focused on how built heritage contributes to urban resilience and emphasizes the imperative of integrated risk management, which requires collaboration between heritage professionals and risk managers. The challenges identified include mutual understanding of the disciplines of heritage protection and risk management and a lack of clarity in defining common objectives. Hence, integrated risk management is proposed as a comprehensive concept, encompassing an all-hazards approach and analytical as well as normative steps of risk evaluation and management. Integrated risk management can help develop consistent, holistic, integrative strategies to sustainably protect our built heritage – and thus strengthen its resilience to risk.

How to Cite

Ziegler, V., Reicher, C., Greiving, S., Neugebauer, C., & Klanten , C. (2024). Resilience and Cultural Heritage in Urban Development: From Holistic Guidelines to Practical Approaches. Blue Papers, 3(1).





challenges, concepts and new approaches

Author Biographies

Vanessa Ziegler, RHA Reicher Haase Assoziierte

Vanessa Ziegler is a city planner and researcher interested in built heritage and urban design. With a master’s degree in spatial planning from TU Dortmund, she has been a project leader at Reicher Haase Assoziierte since 2019. She works on scientific studies and projects focusing on built heritage, its urbanistic dimension and ways to consolidate its protection and development. In 2024 she began a PhD thesis in the field of urban development and World Heritage. She is also a board member of urbAgora asbl in Liège, Belgium.

Christa Reicher, RHA Reicher Haase Assoziierte

Christa Reicher has since 2018 been head of the Chair of Urban Design and Institute for Urban Design and European Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University. The chair has been recognized as a UNESCO Chair in Cultural Heritage and Urbanism since 2023. She is also the founder and managing partner of Reicher Haase Assoziierte and a member of various scientific and design advisory boards. Her main fields of research and education are qualification strategies in urban development, urban renewal and district development, and urban and landscape design.

Stefan Greiving, plan + risk consult

Stefan Greiving has been head of the Institute of Spatial Planning at TU Dortmund University since 2011. He is also a partner of plan+risk consult, an engineering company for spatial planning and environmental research in Dortmund. His research interests lie in spatial planning risk prevention, adaptation to climate change, and spatial and regional development.

Carola Neugebauer, Federal Institute for Research on Building

Carola Neugebauer became head of the Competence Centre for Regional Development (KRE) in the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) in Cottbus in October 2023. With a doctorate in landscape architecture and specializations in urban development and urban planning, she has been dedicated to the scientific monitoring of transformation processes in cities and regions as well as the sustainable development of existing settlements for many years. Most recently, Carola was a junior professor at RWTH Aachen University for the preservation of cultural heritage.

Christoph Klanten , RHA Reicher Haase Assoziierte

Christoph Klanten has been a partner and office manager at Reicher Haase Assoziierte since 2021 and currently holds a deputy professorship for urban planning at Trier University of Applied Sciences. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University and completed a traineeship in urban planning at the Cologne district government. His research focuses on urban design, building culture and the protection and development of historic towns and neighborhoods.