The continuing growth of settlement and traffic areas in the dynamic urban regions continues to take place primarily at the expense of agricultural areas. In the BMBF funded project NACHWUCHS, the possibilities for a change of perspective and paradigm in development are being investigated for the metropolis of Cologne and its surrounding area on the left bank of the Rhine. The focus is on alternative scenarios for sustainable, land-efficient and climate-sensitive land use with special consideration of agricultural land and its diverse strategic significance and functions. For this purpose, the new land use model NACHWUCHS is used to model the development of settlement areas in the cities and municipalities of the region. Using different scenarios, potential development paths for the entire region are shown, analyzed and evaluated with a consistent indicator system from the areas of housing, agriculture as well as landscape ecology on the basis of raster-based spatial data. The approach thus provides valid bases for land use decisions on different spatial and temporal scales.