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PlanSmart at the Lahn River

PlanSmart at the Lahn River


One central aim of the integrated EU-LIFE project "LiLa – Living Lahn" is the development of the so called Lahn Concept until 2026. The Lahn Concept is expected to develop a future perspective that is supported by society and politically agreed upon through a declaration from the federal government and states.

Within the scope of the cooperation the PlanSmart aims for a joint generation of scientific knowledge about strategic scenarios for the future development of the Lahn river basin and about economic, social and ecological effects of these scenarios for humans and nature. Furthermore PlanSmart supports the identification of strategies for implementation and financing of the preferred scenarios.

PlanSmart aims for the following outcomes:

  • Develop scenarios on options for the future development of the Lahn river basin
  • Simulate effects of the scenarios on land use and ecosystem services as well as assessing social and economic effects
  • Propose financing and realization concepts for preferred scenarios
  • Identify governance structures within the LiLa project as a basis for realization options for scenarios

LahnLab as a platform for transdisciplinary cooperation

PlanSmart is a scientific and politically independent research group with a transdisciplinary approach systematically and closely cooperating with the LiLa consortium from the beginning of the project.

The cooperation between LiLa and PlanSmart happens in a non-public space called the LahnLab (based in the concept of real world experiments) as a platform for cooperation. The LahnLab consits of a series of five Workshops starting in winter 2017 and ending in winter 2019. The workshops each take six hours and are located at suitable places along the Lahn river. The LahnLab offers the opportunity of creatively discussing strategic scenarios and thinking about unusual ideas. Through the workshop collaboration mutual understanding is promoted and the common knowledge base is broadened.

© PlanSmart

LahnLab: A series of workshops as platform for collaboration between PlanSmart and LiLa

The interest workshop serves for coordinating common aims of the LahnLabs as well as for the exchange about problem definitions and aims of the project partners and the concretisation of the study area. In the second workshop assumptions and variables for the following identification and design of strategic scenarios are developed. The futures workshops is used for the presentation of the prepared scenarios and works with the assessment of effects from land use changes as well as with the adaptation of the scenarios. In the effects workshop detail analysis of the scenario effects are presentedand a corridor of acceptable scenarios for the future development of the river is developed. The last workshop works with discussion and adaptation of a method for identifying spatial potentials for restoration measures.


  • Relations between local actors and the Lahn river basin

    The Lahn river landscape provides several services contributing to the local and regional population’s well-being. Some of these people, here referred to as actors, have different relationships with these services. They can benefit from them, but they also can help on provision and management of these services. Getting to know who these actors are, what kind of services are important for them and what kind of relationships the actors have with the surrounding landscape, services and other actors, are the focus of the new research developed by PlanSmart.

    Through a survey with nine interest-oriented groups of local actors, we are investigating what are the perceptions of these actors regarding their relations to services of the landscape and with other community members.  It will generate a network map that contains the actors’ interest groups, the local services important for them, and all the connections between them which will be analyzed.

    The analysis of this network will provide insights about how decisions that will affect the Lahn river landscape and its services can have an impact on people related with it. This will generate relevant information to support discussions, decisions and practical knowledge on local and regional level.

  • What are the most important places along the Lahn River?

    These questions examines the research project PlanSmart and asks interested parties via this online survey:

    Researchers of the Leibniz University of Hannover explore in the coming months, which significance has the river basin of the Lahn for the citizens. All interested parties are invited to participate in the online survey of the research project PlanSmart: (closed - 31/08/2017)

    Environmental planning - Leibniz University of Hanover deals with the social perception and its integration into the planning process. Prof. Dr. Christian Albert, leader of the PlanSmart project, elucidates: „the question of places possesses a special meaning for the local citizens and plays increasingly an important role in the research of landscapes. This instrument of map-based online surveys offers a large range of people the possibility to participate in the research - just by marking their favorite places and answering the stated questions."

    The results of the survey will be scientifically assessed and presented on a website. PlanSmart ( monitors the EU-LIFE project „LiLa – Living Lahn“( as an independent research project. 3.000 persons of the county Gießen and Lahn-Dill were invited to a representative pilot-study. The researchers of PlanSmart look forward to lively interest in the survey that was active from 27th of June to the 31st of August in 2017.

    In the case of any question please contact Sarah Gottwald.

    © PlanSmart