By means of urban land use planning and readjustment, land management serves to control the development of settlements in cities. It also provides long-term planning foundations to meet the challenges of climate change. Not least due to these long-term decisions, land management will form the basis for investment in real estate, as real estate has to fulfil climate-relevant demands. Derived from higher-level guidelines, municipalities create individualised approaches towards climate change. These approaches interpret the principles of urban development according to specific starting positions. The article's focus is on to what extent higher-level requirements are met on the binding planning level, which impact these measures have on climate change, and how the underlying decision-making processes work.The cities of Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart will be analysed on the basis of their hierarchical planning system according to the most similar case design. Their formal and informal objectives of plannings and guidances will be compared to the binding values for the projects on the operational level. By means of a quantitative analysis of zone development plans, the different strategies of the cities can be revealed. The quantitative analysis also shows how the trends have changed and what guidelines have a real effect on the owners. Embedded in the Institutional Analysis framework by Elinor Ostrom, a qualitative document analysis and interviews with the municipalities uncover the processes that lead to the observed decisions and explain the motivation for the observed action.Despite having the same objectives, the cities pursue different strategies and set their priorities. Our initial studies show a discrepancy between the goals defined at higher levels and what is actually practiced. It appears that in practice, climate concerns are not given the same importance as they are given on less detailed planning levels. Climate change measures are not used as an authoritative basis for justification of projects, but instead, they merely serve as a supplement which can be used strategically to influence developments.The article outlines which measures of climate mitigation and adaptation from higher-level strategies are incorporated in actual projects and clarifies what status climate change has in local communities. In addition, decision-making processes and motivations which lead to commitment in climate change-specific land management will be revealed.