S Y N D I C A T E

Syndromes and Paradigms 2005


Project members:

Matthias Lüdeke (Project Speaker),
Diana Reckien, Diana Sietz,
Oliver Walkenhorst, Carsten Walther


The syndrome-approach, devised by the German Advisory Council on Global Change and developed and operationalized at PIK, represents a promising approach to place-based integrated assessment of Global Change. Within the approach the richness of human-nature interactions is categorized by specifying typical combinations of symptoms of Global Change (ecosystem conversion, impoverishment, etc.). The project also seeks to formulate a "pharmacy" for syndrome mitigation requiring the identification of positive patterns of change, called paradigms.
The Syndrome methodology is applied within the GEO-4 process, where a set of "archetypes of vulnerability" is defined and investigated.


Two externally funded sub-projects deal with regional applications of the Syndrome approach:

1. TYPICAL CAUSE-EFFECT PATTERNS OF LAND USE CHANGE IN SELECTED DEVELOPING AND NEWLY INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES
Emphasis on smallholder agriculture in N-E-Brazil under climate change, price fluctuations and ressource degradation (DFG funded). Key publication:

Sietz, D., Untied, B., Walkenhorst, O., Lüdeke, M.K.B., Mertins, G., Petschel-Held, G. and Schellnhuber, H.J. (2006): Smallholder agriculture in Northeast Brazil: Assessing heterogeneous human-environmental dynamics. Regional Environmental Change 6, 132-146. PDF

2. URBS PANDENS
Urban Sprawl: European Patterns, Environmental Degradation and Sustainable Development (EU funded). Key publication:

Lüdeke, M.K.B., Meyer-Veden, D. (2007). Qualitative attractivity models - a new approach to describe and predict urban development. Accepted for publication, Environment and Planning B. PDF

On the global scale a set of ARCHETYPES OF VULNERABILITY was identified. This list is the basis for the integrating chapter of the Global Environment Outlook 4 (UNEP)
Key publication:
UNEP: Global Environment Outlook 4, Chapter 8. To appear in Oct. 2007